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a decade after Spain's conquest of Mexico, the future of Christianity
on the American continent was very much in doubt. Confronted with a
hostile colonial government and Native Americans wary of conversion,
the newly-appointed bishop-elect of Mexico wrote to tell the King of
Spain that, unless there was a miracle, the continent would be lost.
Between December 9 and December 12, 1531, that miracle happened, and
it forever changed the future of the continent.
was then that the Virgin Mary famously appeared to a Native American
Christian convert on a hilltop outside of what is now Mexico City.
The image she left imprinted on his cloak or tilma has puzzled
scientists for centuries, and yet Our Lady of Gudalupe’s place in
history is profound. A continent that just months before the
apparitions seemed completely lost to Christianity suddenly and
inexplicably embraced it by the millions. Our Lady of Guadalupe's
message of love replaced the institutionalized violence of the Aztec
culture, and built a bridge between two worlds — the old and the
new — that were just ten years earlier engaged in brutal
Our Lady of Guadalupe continues to inspire the devotion of
Canada to Argentina — and even beyond the Americas — one finds
great devotion to her, and great appreciation for her message of
love, unity and hope. Today reproductions of the Virgin’s
miraculous image can be seen throughout North and South America, in
churches and homes, on billboards and even clothing apparel. Her
shrine in Mexico City, where the miraculous image is housed to this
day, is one of the most visited in the world.
Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love,
& Chavez trace the history of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the
sixteenth century to the present discuss of how her message was and
continues to be an important catalyst for religious and cultural
transformation. Looking at Our Lady of Guadalupe as a model of the
Church and Juan Diego as a model for all Christians who seek to
answer Christ's call of conversion and witness, the authors explore
the changing face of the Catholic Church in North, Central, and South
America, and they show how Our Lady of Guadalupe's message was not
only historically significant, but how it speaks to contemporary
issues confronting the American continents and people today.