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Life Arts    H3'ed 12/11/22

Dec. 12, Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Real Miracle

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   4 comments, In Series: Spirituality & Religion
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I made this sweet little devotional book to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, an icon of divine motherhood, whose Feast Day is December 12. In the Catholic calendar she is the patroness of mothers. I'm not Catholic, but December 12 happens to be the day I became a mother, so I've garnered an affinity for Our Lady, especially after living in the American Southwest, where she is revered.

Our Lady of Guadalupe booklet made by Meryl Ann Butler
Our Lady of Guadalupe booklet made by Meryl Ann Butler
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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Our Lady of Guadalupe is associated with a series of Marian apparitions which occurred in Mexico in December 1531 and a venerated image on a cloak enshrined within the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe now in Mexico City.

The story that comes down to us from the Spanish conquerors is that Juan Diego, an Aztec peasant, saw a vision of the Virgin Mary as he walked over the Hill of Tepeyac on a cold December day in 1531. She spoke to him in the Aztec language, Nahuatl, identifying herself as the "mother of the very true deity", and asking him to have a church built on the site in her honor.

Juan Diego then told the Archbishop of Mexico City, Fray Juan de Zuma'rraga, what had transpired, but the Archbishop did not believe Diego. Juan Diego saw the lady again, and reported to the Archbishop again. This time the Archbishop instructed Juan Diego to ask the lady for a miracle to prove the story.

When Juan Diego reported this to the lady, she told him to gather flowers from the summit of Tepeyac Hill, which was normally barren all year. When he reached the summit, he was surprised to find Castilian roses, which were not even native to Mexico, blooming in the cold. Then, the Virgin arranged the flowers in Juan Diego's tilma, or cloak. Later that day when Juan Diego opened his cloak before Archbishop Zuma'rraga, the beautiful fresh flowers cascaded to the floor-- and miraculously the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe was revealed to be imprinted into the fabric of his cloak.

And the Archbishop built the church, as she had asked.

Virgen de guadalupe1.
Virgen de guadalupe1.
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org), Author: Author Not Given)
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Much earlier, the Hill of Tepeyac had been sacred to Tonantzin, an Aztec goddess of motherhood. Her temple on that very hill had been destroyed by the Spanish conquerors. One of the names in Nahuatl used to refer to Tonantzin has linguistic similarities to the word, "Guadalupe," so some believe it was really the Aztec Virgin who appeared to Juan Diego. And Juan Diego, reported by the Spanish to be a simple, local peasant, may have actually been a revered Aztec shaman, Cuauhtlatoatzin.

Today, many Mexicans revere the Virgin Mary and Tonantzin as two aspects of one deity, and perhaps the real miracle is that Tonantzin fooled the Spanish conquerors into replacing her temple.

This video shows the components I included in this little book, which was made as a gift. To make it, I folded a 9" x 12" sheet of scrapbook card stock which was printed on both sides. For the basics in how to fold the foundation book, please see my video "How to Fold a Little Book From 1 Sheet of Paper or Card Stock".

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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