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The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe is often present in front yards.
The Virgin of Guadalupe at first glance resembles the Virgin Mary but, her story is very different.
In 1523 the first Roman Catholic missionaries arrived in Mexico, this marked the beginning of the religious conquest. One of the first converts to Christianity was a man given the name Juan Diego. One morning on his way to Mass Juan Diego saw a bright light and heard angelic music. This was followed by the vision of a beautiful, dark skinned women who called him, "my son". She told him she wanted to have a church built in her honor on Tepeyac hill and told Juan Diego to deliver this message to Bishop Juan de Zumarraga.
The humble Juan Diego found this task to be difficult as it was not easy to see the Bishop. When he finally did see him, the Bishop demanded Juan show him proof. Juan was scared and avoided the Bishop for days. When the Virgin of Guadalupe reappeared to him, he told her of the Bishop's request. The Virgin told him to pick roses from the hill and deliver them to Bishop Zumarraga as a sign. Juan picked the roses and wrapped them in his cloak.
When he was seen by the Bishop he opened his cloak and there was an image of the Virgin emblazoned on his cloak. The Bishop ordered that a church would be constructed in her honor.
The legend of the Virgin of Guadalupe lives on and the Mexican people keep images of her on and in their homes. She is seen as the mother of Mexico and her small church on the hill has been replaces by a large structure in 1709.
The Miracle of Guadalupe, as it is called, after being recognized by the Vatican is also celebrated in Mexico on December 12th.