Either by its enigmatic origin, by the faith that the people of Mexico lavish or simply because its image radiates great tranquility and hope, the Virgin of Guadalupe is, today, one of the greatest symbols of our mestizo identity, distinguishing us as a devout, religious and more than catholic, guadalupano people.
Although controversial in its beginnings, the Virgin of Guadalupe, “appeared” in 1531 to an indigenous named Juan Diego, managed to impose her faith on the newly converted Mexican people and more than that, she managed to begin the consolidation of a syncretic culture between Spaniards and natives Of which she is your best representative.
Its temple, primitively erected in the precise place that Juan Diego pointed out, was first a humble hermitage, the Hermitage Zumárraga (1531-1556). Some time later, Archbishop Montúfar ordered it to be expanded, so his name changed to Ermita Montúfar (1557-1622).
Later, at the foot of the previous one, the Hermitage of the Indians was built, this towards 1647. This chapel initially had a chaplain and later became a vicar, parish and later archipresbiterial parish.
And it should be noted that between 1695 and 1709 a new, much larger and more sumptuous temple was also built in honor of the Guadalupe, in which the Collegiate Church was erected and converted into a Basilica in 1904.
Currently the Villa de Guadalupe houses the chapel of Cerrito, very simple manufacturing; the Pocito chapel, which combines excellent architectural contours with materials of pleasant presence (talavera, tezontle and chiluca); the old basilica, with four towers, basilical plant and sober decoration and; Finally, but not least, we have the new Basilica, built in 1976 under the direction of Mexican architect Don Pedro Ramírez Vázquez.
Its atrium is extremely wide and syncretic dances of the so-called concheros and other popular manifestations of love and fervor towards guadalupana occur regularly. These simple expressions are joined by the most sophisticated manifestations of devotion to the virgin, mainly reflected in the pictorial works of artists such as Juan Correa, José de Alzibar, Gonzalo Carrasco, among others. Undoubtedly, it is this famous construction, the very image of the great Guadalupe fervor that characterizes Mexicans.
It is the most visited Marian enclosure in the world, surpassed only by the Basilica of San Pedro. Although the figures quoted are not uniform, about twenty million pilgrims annually visit the sanctuary, of which about nine million do so in the days close to December 12, the day that Santa María de Guadalupe is celebrated. Annually, the basilica of Santa María de Guadalupe has at least twice as many visitors as the best-known Marian sanctuaries, so it constitutes a prominent social and cultural phenomenon