Thursday, December 07, 2006


This is inspired by my blogging friend "Gardener in Chacala Mexico" (see sidebar). She has blogged several times about her growing fascination with the veneration the people of Mexico have for Our Lady of Guadalupe. Since December 12th is her feast day, this seemed an opportune time to share this picture I took in a clothing store in Puerto Vallarta earlier this year. Gardener from Chacala is right; Our Lady of Guadalupe images are all over Mexico, and it's rare to find a home and even most businesses without some tribute to her. From chipped, scarred statues to postcards or a photo on the wall, or even more elaborate displays like this one, it's an iconic image throughout the country. I've even seen her statue in the banos (bathrooms)! This shop, for instance, is a women's clothing and jewelry store, and doesn't sell religious goods. Yet there, front and center, is their tribute to the Blessed Virgin. And yes, the roses were freshly cut.

Having attended Catholic schools, I grew up with the story of the Blessed Virgin appearing to the peasant Juan Diego in 1531, and telling him to relay to his bishop her message to build an abbey on the spot where she appeared. The sceptical bishop asked for a sign and got one when Juan went back to the Virgin and she told him to gather the roses that were suddenly growing on the hillside in the dead of winter. When the peasant returned to the bishop and opened his cape to allow the roses to spill out, a perfect vision of the Virgin was imprinted on it. The cape, or tilma, is displayed to this day in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. After the church was built, it's said that 9 million indigenous people in Mexico converted to Catholicism and human sacrifice in that country came to an end. I wonder if Mel Gibson covers this aspect in his new movie "Apocalypto"?

Now, on to the roses. They were Castilian roses, common in Spain, but not seen in Mexico. The Spanish-born bishop recognized them though. Miraculous, indeed!


Mary said...

Sweet story. I attended Catholic schools and this post brought back to my memory some lessons I learned. Beautiful photo!

LostRoses said...

Thanks Mary, I've learned there's quite a few of us Catholic school girls on Blogger!

Kerri said...

Interesting reading the story of the Blessed Virgin appearing to Juan Diego. I've heard it before, somewhere in my past years. The traditions of Catholicism date way back, don't they?
Those roses are magnificent in your lovely photo.
I've enjoyed reading your recent posts. Your grandtwins are adorable! :)
Whew! Looking after 5 young grandchildren and decorating all in one day. No wonder you were tired!
Blue pointsettias? A definite 'no thank you'!
I had a giggle at the Chevy Chase Christmas display behind your house :)
Thanks for visiting. I'm sorry you lost a cat to a raccoon too. They certainly can be vicious and a nuisance in spite of their cute appearance. I hope we can be rid of the creature soon and make our barn a safe refuge for our cats again.

LostRoses said...

Kerri, thanks for reading my blog! I have to tell you the library where I work decided to have a cute cuddly mascot for the children's programs and they picked a raccoon! I was saying NO, but to no avail. I guess because everyone thinks they ARE cute and cuddly.

The Chevy Chase retirement center behind me is apparently having problems with too many lights. I've noticed they're having to alternate the lights each night on some of the displays. They probably need another transformer! As long as they don't blow ours I'm fine with it.

Good luck with the raccoon-trapping, and I hope your kitties are safe again soon.

Annie in Austin said...

Another former Catholic-school girl here... although I don't remember learning about Our Lady of Guadalupe at school - it was later, when I had children of my own.

Well, it's just after midnight here in Austin, so here's a Happy Feast Day card that can be emailed, although it really should have Juan Diego on it, too!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

LostRoses said...

Annie, that's a lovely feast day card, thanks! I've said it before, you are certainly adept at searching the Internet and coming up with interesting things!

Now that you mention it, I'm not sure just when I learned about Our Lady of Guadalupe. It may have been much later than parochial school since I remember that, aside from Christmas, the main feast day we celebrated in December was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on the 8th, which was a holy day of obligation. Ummm... do you remember wearing the little round lace veils on our heads at Mass? Gee, I haven't thought of some of this stuff in years!