Virgen of Guadalupe

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I just learned from my friend Erika that Shea was born on the day of the Virgen of Guadalupe, an important holy day in Latin America. Here is the Wikipedia entry:

Our Lady of Guadalupe, also called the Virgin of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe or Virgen de Guadalupe) is a 16th century Roman Catholic icon depicting an apparition of the Virgin Mary. It is Mexico’s most beloved religious and cultural image. Our Lady of Guadalupe is known in Mexico as “La Virgen Morena”, which means “The brown-skinned Virgin”. Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast day is celebrated on December 12, commemorating the account of her appearances to Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City from December 9 through December 12, 1531.

The Virgin of Guadalupe is a cultural symbol of significant importance to the Mexican identity.

Some historians consider that the icon was meant to syncretically represent both the Virgin Mary and the indigenous Mexican goddess Tonantzin, providing a way for 16th century Spaniards to gain converts among the indigenous population of early Mexico. It may have provided a method for 16th century indigenous Mexicans to covertly practice their native religion, although the contrary was asserted in the canonization process of Juan Diego.[1]

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