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Posts Tagged ‘Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe’

Today is Guadalupe’s feast day.  This Queen of Mexico, Empress of America, and patron saint of Mexico is being celebrated all over Mexico and, apparently for the first time in Vatican history, today Pope Francis to Say Mass in Honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

In Mexico, it’s not just a one-day event.  Wednesday afternoon, while Chris and I were giving our previously mentioned presentation at the Oaxaca Lending Library, only blocks away festivities began with a religious ceremony at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the side of Llano Park.  It was followed that night with a calenda through the streets of the city.  Yesterday, Guadalupe’s children, the little Juan Diegos and their peasant sisters, were brought by parents (and grandparents) to the Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (at the north end of Llano Park), where they waited patiently in long lines to enter the church to be blessed and then be photographed in “Guadalupe” scenes.

However, on the streets of Oaxaca, Guadalupe is seen everywhere and everyday…

The other big news from Rome, that Oaxaqueños are celebrating, is the Wealth of Oaxaca craft present in the Vatican Museum — a Christmas tree and Nativity scene decorated with artesania crafted by 142 Oaxacan families from 25 municipalities in the state.  The exhibition was inaugurated on December 10 and will run through February 2015 — should you be planning a trip to Italy!

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Tomorrow, December 12, is  el Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, aka, Queen of Mexico, Empress of America, and patron saint of México.

Legend and belief has it that in, “1525, only four years after the conquest, the Aztec Quauhtlatoatzin was baptized by a Franciscan priest, who named him Juan Diego. Six years later, on December 9th, Juan Diego witnessed the first appearance of the Virgin of Guadalupe. She told him she wanted a church built on Tepeyac Hill and told him to communicate her wish to the authorities.  Mexico’s first Bishop, Juan de Zumárraga, didn’t believe him.”  She appeared to Juan Diego three more times and with her last apparition, “she asked him to go gather some flowers: roses, which had never grown there, much less in mid-winter.  He wrapped them in his ayate or tilma, a sort of coarsely woven cape, and the Virgin told him not to open it until he was before the Bishop. When Juan Diego opened the tilma in front of Bishop Zumárraga, the roses cascaded out and they discovered the image of the Virgin imprinted upon it. ”  Thus, her iconic cloak we see in paintings and statues.

In Oaxaca, her fiesta began on December 2 and will end with a mass at 7 PM on December 13.  Today, little boys of the city, dressed as Juan Diego, and little girls, in the traditional traje (costume), were brought by parents (and grandparents) to the Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (at the north end of Llano Park), where they waited patiently in long lines to enter the church to be blessed.  Once they exited, fifteen (más o menos) “Guadalupe settings” designed and constructed by photographers and their assistants, vied for pesos for portraits.

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By the way, there was a reward awaiting the little Juan Diegos and his sisters —  rows upon rows of food stalls, carnival rides, and puestos selling toys, Santa hats, Christmas lights.

Tomorrow, I’m off to Teotitlán del Valle for their traditional Virgen de Guadalupe performance of the Danza de la Pluma.  And, did I mention yesterday’s national Day of the Clown festivities?  Stay tuned…

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On this day honoring one of the most revered icons of Mexico, the Virgin of Guadalupe

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The city of Oaxaca’s children are dressed as little Juan Diegos and their peasant sisters.

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They are brought to the Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe at the north end of Llano Park.

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Here they and their parents wait patiently in a line that rings the church.

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They are waiting to enter (via the door with a large banner marked, “entrada”) the church and be blessed.

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Once they exit (via the door marked “salida”), there are photographers waiting, with burros and panoramic scenes, to take commemorative photographs — for a fee.

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The sun is hot, the lines are long, and sometimes it’s long past nap time.  By the way, there is also a carnival (with rides and games) and puestos upon puestos of food; the religious and secular meet.

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