Our Lady of Guadalupe

Frederico Vigil

National Hispanic Cultural Center

National Hispanic Cultural Center

Our Lady of Guadalupe stands as one of the most important cultural and religious icons in Mexican and Mexican American history. This complex figure has played an integral role in the lives of her worshippers since her appearance almost 500 years ago. She was originally used as part of the Spanish agenda to assimilate the native populations of Mexico. Her image later became a symbol of revolutionary struggle and protection of the oppressed in Mexico’s liberation from Spain and the 1910 Mexican Revolution, where she appeared on the banners of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. Similarly, she became an icon of the farmworkers’ strikes of the 1960s. Pope John Paul II declared her the Patroness of the Americas in 1999. In recent years, Chicana artists and feminists have reinterpreted the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to shift the marginalized perceptions of female identity within their culture and counteract the passive assumptions of women’s roles that characterized the previous adoration of the figure of Guadalupe. Today, her basilica in Mexico City receives more visitors than any Catholic church besides the Vatican.

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  • Title: Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • Creator: Frederico Vigil
  • Location: Albuquerque, NM