Guadalupe Hidalgo

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Guadalupe Hidalgo (gwäŧħälōō´pā ēdäl´gō, wä–), shrine, central Mexico, in the Federal District. The basilica of Guadalupe containing the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe (feast: Dec. 12) is the focal point of the most famous pilgrimage in the Western Hemisphere. According to legend, in 1531 a local Indian peasant, Cuauhtlatoatzin (who later took the name Juan Diego, and was canonized in 2002), reported to Archbishop Zumárraga a series of miraculous visions of the Virgin Mary on the hill of Tepeyacac. At the same time, an image of the Virgin was supposed to have been imprinted on the peasant's cloak. The Spanish prelate attempted to discredit the miraculous claims, but the spot was nevertheless renamed Guadalupe in honor of the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Spain. To this was added later the name of the revolutionary priest Hidalgo y Costilla, who adopted her banner as his standard. She is the patroness of Mexico, especially beloved by the indigenous population. Although devotions at the site date to the mid-16th cent., many modern scholars doubt that Juan Diego ever existed, because his name is not associated with the shrine before the first mention of him in a 1648 account.

See D. Demarest and C. B. Taylor, ed., Dark Virgin (1956); S. Poole, Our Lady of Guadalupe (1995); D. A. Brading, Mexican Phoenix: Our Lady of Guadalupe (2002).