This is our Lady of Guadalupe who guards the front door to our home.
December 12th is the Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe or the Day of Guadalupe. Derived from the Catholic religion, Our Lady of Guadalupe or the Virgin of Guadalupe is seen everywhere in Mexico from candles in people’s windows to statues on cabbie’s dashboards to full altars in front of homes. Many Mexicans have adopted this darker skinned version of the Madonna or the Virgin Mary, who was first introduced to the culture by Cortez, as their own. It is believed that she first appeared as a vision in 1531 to Juan Diego, a native Mexican peasant, on was on his way to mass.
Since then the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, has become one of the most visited Catholic pilgrimage destinations in the world, especially during the anniversary of the apparition.
Leading up to December 12th the “Guadalupeans” show their devotions to the virgin by praying, biking, running, walking and illuminating their home altars. On a trip to Valladolid we saw dozens of groups of young men and women biking through the city, showing their dedication to the Virgin.
Puerto Morelos has several small parades on the 12th of December ending at the church on the main town square. This ritual happens at churches all around the country. Mexicans flock to their local churches and homemade memorials in their homes to worship Guadalupe. The prayers will be followed by a celebration and as always in Mexico, a large meal. For a more detailed account of the tale, check out Wikipedia or Smart History.