(Closed) so confused…virgin of guadalupe is same as virgin mary or not?

posted 6 years ago in Catholic
Post # 4
873 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I was raised catholic, but I too am confused by this. I don’t think they are the same virgins though. The only thing I know about the Virgin de Guadalupe is that she appeared in front of a peasant names Juan Diego and made Roses grow where it would have otherwise been impossible as a sign that he was carrying her message.

I believe the Virgin Mary is “La Virgen Maria”.

Post # 5
69 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

They are the same! 🙂 The Virgin of Guadalupe is that specific and miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary 🙂 

Post # 6
2587 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - UK

Yep! Same lady! Much like Our Lady of Lourdes, the Virgin of Guadalupe is a vision of Mary!

Post # 7
335 posts
Helper bee

The Virgen de Guadalupe is a vision of Mary.  Any “Our Lady of,” or “The Virgin of,” or whatnot, is pretty much Mary that appeared in whatever location is listed, just like she’s called “Our Lady of Perpetual Help,” too.

Post # 8
3697 posts
Sugar bee

@newname_99:  Yes, it can be confusing but Mary has lots of different epithets (specific names attached to her that refer to different dimensions of who she is), i.e. Our Lady of Grace, Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Hope … It can be confusing for non-Catholics and new Catholics because to outsiders it seems like she’s too important (Catholics are often accused of “worshipping” Mary. We don’t worship her, but we place a lot more importance on her than other denominations do). Mary is just a saint, but she’s the most important saint, and in many ways the most relatable and approachable one. Almost everyone can identify with having a mom, and knowing that you can go to her to ask for help and prayers for absolutely *anything* – and we know that Jesus is a good son who listens to his mother and respects her. In the Bible passage about the Wedding at Cana it was Mary who learned that the wine was running dry and the couple was about to be hideously embarrassed at their own wedding, and she asked Jesus to intervene on their behalf. When Catholics pray to Mary, it’s in that spirit: we’re not worshiping her, we’re asking her to add her prayers to ours. Whatever we pray to Mary about, we’re *already* praying to Jesus about; just as we would ask friends and family to pray for us, we can ask the saints to do the same thing, and we know that when we ask Mary, her prayers always have Top Priority Status. 😉

Her identity as the Virgin of Guadalupe is *EXTREMELY* important in Mexico, Latin America, and really throughout the Americas (the VdeG is the Patroness of the Americas). She appeared in Mexico just a few years after the Spanish Conquest. At the time, missionaries from Spain were in the early stages of bringing Christianity to the native peoples. The really important thing about the VdeG is that when Mary appeared to Juan Diego, he saw her as an Indian woman, not a European: she had brown skin and black hair, native features, and she was dressed like an indigenous woman of central Mexico, and she was wearing a sash that they only wore when they were pregnant. So when she left her image imprinted on Juan Diego’s tilma (cloak), it was important for two main reasons: the native people of the New World could look at it and know that God had sent a messenger specifically to them, someone who looked like them and spoke their language, showing them that he loved and wanted them as his children and this Christianity thing wasn’t only for the Europeans; and it’s one of the very few images in existence that show the Virgin Mary when she’s actually pregnant. Most of the time she’s either depicted as a young girl, or at the moment of the Annunciation (i.e. when she says “yes” but before she actually becomes pregnant), or else after the birth of Christ, in the role of his mother.

The thing about her having Native features is really important. I know a priest who keeps a painting of the VdeG in his office, and, while it’s beautiful, it annoys me a tiny bit every time I look at it because it was done by a Spanish artist – and he made Mary look Caucasian, just like all the other depictions of her. Which is how he was trained, and very traditional and all, but it bugs me because I feel like it misses the entire point: she is patroness of the Americas because she came specifically for the people of the Americas.

Post # 9
4370 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@KCKnd2:  That is so interesting. I learned about the Virgin of Guadalupe in Sunday School (?) or maybe I read about it, but I didn’t know the detail about the clothing!

Post # 10
3697 posts
Sugar bee

@LadyBear:  Yeah, in the US that detail often gets missed because we are kind of blind to the cultural reference. I teach Spanish, though, and I also really enjoy art history, so I love diving into the details of the Guadalupe story.

Post # 12
3697 posts
Sugar bee

@newname_99:  You bet! I remember being really confused by it in Spanish at first too, especially by what to make of Mary’s words: “?No estoy aqui, que soy tu madre?” I was a high school student at the time and had intermediate Spanish proficiency, and it was really hard to wrap my head around how that sentence worked. The best way I can think of to express it in English is:

“Am I not here, I, who am your mother?”, which is still a little weird, but I read it as a rhetorical question Mary uses to make the point, “I *AM* here, and I *AM* your mother,” i.e. just like I am for the Spaniards, all the Europeans, etc. I’m here in the New World too, to bring you the message that God cares about all of your people just as much as he cares about the people of the Old World.

Post # 14
1695 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

What a wonderful question, especially this time of year!

Post # 15
3697 posts
Sugar bee

@newname_99:  Oh, brother! Tongue Out Yay for cultural misunderstandings … isn’t it lovely, having people assume that because of a language barrier you’re totally ignorant?

A few other cool things to know about the Virgin of Guadalupe (that you can use to impress your Future Mother-In-Law and correct her misapprehension):

– She told Juan Diego to bring a message to the bishop to build her a shrine on the hill where she had appeared. The bishop demanded proof of Juan Diego’s story, so she told him to gather a bunch of roses from there on the hill and bring them to the bishop. It was mid-December, when roses should not have been in bloom, and when the bishop saw them he recognized that they were Castilian roses from Spain that should not have been growing in Mexico.

– Juan Diego carried the roses wrapped up in his tilma, and when he opened it to reveal them, he and the bishop discovered the image of the virgin (that now hangs in the Basilica de Guadalupe) on the cloak. Tilmas are woven from the fiber of the agave plant and normally would not endure more than a few decades at most, but this one remains intact after almost 500 years. The image is also not made of known, identifiable paints or pigments.

– I remember reading somewhere that in the image on the tilma, the Virgin’s eyes contain a tiny reflection of a man kneeling in front of her – Juan Diego. It’s so small as to be invisible to the naked eye.

– the Aztecs used the title Tonantzin, “Our Revered Mother,” for female deities, and there used to be a temple at Tepeyac hill to a Tonantzin. It was destroyed in the early 1500’s, about a decade before the Virgin’s apparition to Juan Diego. One of the important Aztec gods is Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent. In Christian iconography, the Virgin Mary is often depicted crushing a serpent beneath her heel, and so when she appeared at Tepeyac, the natives associated her with Tonantzin, crushing the serpent (rejecting the old religion) and bringing them the good news of the son she carried in her womb.

Post # 16
3830 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Its Mary, mother of god.  Just a different vision of her. 

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