Nov 29, 2012


With the feast of la Virgen coming up soon, I am excited to have completed a new huipil in her honor. "All Roses, All the Time" represents her apparition to Juan Diego on Dec. 12, 1531, just outside of what is now Mexico City. According to legend, the Spanish had been occupying Mexico for about ten years when an indigenous peasant, Juan Diego, saw the glowing figure of a beautiful lady on a hill called Tepeyac. Identifying herself as the Mother of all the gods, she asked him to build her a temple on that spot. 

Not coincidentally, it was the exact spot where a temple to the mother goddess Tonantzin, had been destroyed ten years earlier. When Diego recounted the request to Archbishop Juan de Zumárraga, he was told to ask her for proof of her wishes. Diego did return, and the lady told him to climb the hill and pick some flowers as a sign to the Bishop. Although it was winter and he was sure that nothing would be blooming, Juan Diego found an abundance of roses, which the lady bundled into his tilma, a cloak woven from cactus fiber. When Juan Diego presented the tilma to Zumárraga, the roses fell out and he recognized them as Castilian roses, indigenous to Spain; but more significantly, the tilma had been miraculously imprinted with her image, now known as the Virgen de Guadalupe, named after the holy statue of a virgin in his hometown of Extremadura. The tilma, preserved since that date and showing the familiar image of the Virgin with her head bowed and hands together in prayer, remains perhaps the most sacred object in all of Mexico. 

THE ORIGINAL! In Guad We Trust bumper stickers, c1996

1 comment:

Joy said...

I didn't know the beginnings of the Virgen. Thanks for this story.