Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mexico celebrates "La Virgen Morena," the Brown Virgin

The most solemn day in the nation's liturgical calendar is observed in every city, town and village

Guadalajara -
Today is the 481th anniversary of what millions of Mexicans (and many other Latin Americans) believe was the miraculous appearance of their beloved Brown Virgin - the national Patroness - to a young peasant named Juan Diego (modeled by this child).

According to the faithful, she addressed Juan Diego in Nahuatl, his indigenous language, and asked that a church be built in her honor at the spot of their encounter. Three days later, when Juan Diego took the request to Mexico City's first archbishop, a sudden miraculous event is said to have convinced the church prelate of the truth of the humble man's story. Mexicans refer to the Brown Virgin as Our Lady of Guadalupe, a word derived from the Nahuatl language, which may mean "rocky summit," in reference to the remote and barren place of the apparitions in which so many believe.

These shots were taken in Mérida last year: a proud youth group in its "team uniform;" the archbishop of Yucatán entering perhaps the city's most beautiful church for the evening service; food for hungry Mass-goers; and tots specially outfitted for the feast day, with clothing hecho a mano.

Today's edition of a Yucatán tabloid reminds readers that the Brown Virgin of Guadalupe is "always present."

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