On December 12, the Church commemorates the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Guadalupe, on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City, whose faithful had been begging for maternal help since 1531, recognizing in her a star for the evangelization of Amerindian families and peoples.
It all started on December 9, 1531, a little north of Mexico City, on a hilly area called Tepeyac. A young, mixed-race woman, wearing a garment shining like the sun, appeared to the baptized Indian, Juan Diego.
Presenting herself as the Virgin Mary, the apparition instructed him to ask the bishop of Mexico to build a church in this place. Bishop Zumarraga was very skeptical and asked for a sign to attest to the supernatural nature of the event reported to him by Juan Diego.
On December 12, the date chosen by the Church to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Virgin appeared for the last time to Juan Diego. She sends him to gather roses at the arid and frozen summit of Tepeyac. He filled his “tilma” - a cloak made from vegetable fibers - with the most beautiful flowers he had ever seen.
Upon returning to the bishop’s house to offer it to him, Juan Diego opened his tilma. On the fabric gradually appeared, before eyes of the bishop and all other present, an extraordinary image of the Virgin. The miracle is indisputable.
On December 26, 1531, another phenomenon occurred: during the procession carrying the image to the new chapel of Tepeyac, an Indian is accidentally killed by an arrow. His body laid at the foot of the tilma, he comes back to life.
The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, wearing symbols specific to Indian culture, can be deciphered by all Indians as the antithesis of the “Pachamama,” the earth goddess in the Quechua language, the one that epitomizes all the pagan Amerindian beliefs and who was scandalously honored at the Vatican during the recent Synod on the Amazon.
Pachamama, naked, pregnant, face turned to the ground, represents fertility and abundance considered in a purely terrestrial way, without reference to the supernatural end of man.
Conversely, the Virgin of Guadalupe, graciously adorned with colorful clothes, wrapped in the sun, the moon under her feet, wears the features of a young pregnant mixed race woman, and presents herself as the Mother of the only Redeemer, who came to the Indians in order to bring them the grace of salvation, and the abundance of supernatural goods.