Virgen de Guadalupe
On December 9, 1531, some twelve years after Cortes arrived
in Mexico, an indigenous peasant named Juan Diego encountered a beautiful, dark-skinned
woman on Tepeyac Hill, the former site of an Aztec temple dedicated to the earth
goddess Tonatzin. This mysterious woman identified herself as the Virgin Mary,
and she asked Juan Diego to tell the bishop of Mexico to build a temple in her
honor, so that she could comfort and defend Mexicos weak and unfortunate.
Three days later on December 12, the Church accepted the veracity of Juan Diegos
account, when an image of the dark-skinned virgin appeared miraculously upon the
peasants cloak in the presence of the bishop. Every year on this date people
throughout Mexico honor La Virgen de Guadalupe.