Friday, August 10, 2012

Virgen de Guadalupe

Today was the last day of my internship and now it is time to pack (although I am currently recovering from practically swimming home, thank you Ernesto), but I wanted to share some pictures from two weekends ago. Part of the pyramid trip included a stop at the shrine of the Virgen de Guadalupe

The story is that the Virgin Mary spoke to an indigenous man and told him to build a shrine on the hill he was walking by. He knew that no one would believe him and asked for a miracle to prove it (or maybe the Archbishop told him to ask her for a miracle). Even though it was December, flowers grew on the hill, including roses from Spain, and the man picked them up in his cloak to take to the Archbishop. When he opened his cloak and the flowers fell to the ground, there was an image of Mary on his cloak. Apparently the cloak was made from the threads that are taken out of the cactus plant.

There are now three shrines at the site. The smaller church on the top of the hill is the original shrine. The bigger one in front is newer, and yes it is leaning. Nuns used to live in the part to the right, but it is unsafe now. It has been severely damaged by earthquakes.

Inside the leaning shrine.

The newest shrine is a modern structure that I think looks like a spaceship. It was designed to hold wayyyy more people but also be evacuated quickly if there is an earthquake. Tons of people make pilgrimages here every December.

There was a quinceanera going on inside.

The cloth with Mary.
Sorry for the bad quality of pictures. No flash allowed! While the original cloth hangs at the back of the altar, you can go underneath and they have little moving walkways for you to stand on and see it up close (genius idea for keeping people moving!).

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