One of the most necessary sites in Catholicism is located in the outskirts of Mexico City. The Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Basilica of our Lady the Guadalupe) is went to by millions of world every year and also is a nationwide shrine in Mexico. It’s actually the second most visited shrine in Catholicism, behind the Vatican. There’s a fascinating story behind the building of the original basilica, and also that’s where we’ll begin.

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Back in 1531, our Lady of Guadalupe appeared before a peasant named Juan Diego top top Tepayac Hill. She asked for that a shrine to her be built there, and also Juan Diego quickly relayed the article to the archbishop. The bishop didn’t think him, however, and demanded the he return through a sign to prove the encounter. Showing up a second time, the Virgin told Juan Diego come return the following day. When Juan Diego returned home that night, he uncovered his uncle to it is in terribly ill. Because that the following two days, he stayed at his uncle’s side, lastly leaving to uncover a monk to prepare him because that death. It to be then that the Virgin showed up to the a third time and uttered the now famed words:

“No estoy yo aquí que soy tu madre?”(Am I not here, I that am your mother?)

She told that to collection flowers native the height of the hill to present the bishop. Even though it was December, Juan Diego discovered roses there. That wrapped them increase in his tilma (cloak) and also brought them come the bishop. When he opened it, the flowers dropped to the floor and photo of the Virgin showed up on the tilma. She wish soon came to fruition, together the bishop ordered the building of a shrine immediately. The next day, Juan Diego went back to his uncle to uncover that he had actually been healed and also that the Virgin had also visited him. While over there is most absolutely a debate around the legitimacy that the story, the tilma remains one of the many sacred social relics in Mexico and is still on display in the basilica to this day.

Our Lady that Guadalupe


The fractional on the large grounds.

Devotion to Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe continued to flourish in Mexico after indigenous of the encounter spread. The Spanish supplied the story to transform millions that indigenous people to Catholicism. She was made patroness the Mexico City in 1737 and also then provided a feast day (December 12) through Pope Benedict XIV a couple of years later in 1754. Eventually she was made patroness that the Americas and the Philippines.

The Basilica – Old and also New


Antigua Basilica

The initial basilica is officially known as Templo Expiatorio a Cristo Rey (Expiatory temple to Christ The King), or just as Antigua Basilica (Ancient Basilica). It was constructed in between 1531 and 1709, when it was consecrated. In 1921, a bomb was detonated near the altar, causing an excellent damage come the building. The tilma made it through the blast, and is now shown behind bulletproof glass. Similar to many other old structures in Mexico City, the basilica began to sink and was reputed unsafe.


Inside the old Basilica.

The old Basilica to be closed to the public from 1976-2000, but you deserve to once again go within to view religious art and also sculptures. Outside is a statue come Juan Diego, who became the an initial indigenous saint from the Americas as soon as he was canonized in 2002.


Nuevo Basilica

Construction the the Nuevo Basilica (New Basilica) developed between 1974-76. It to be designed through the architect Pedro Ramírez Vásquez in a circular shape that looks an ext like an arena 보다 a church. Thanks to its shape, the divine image that the Virgin have the right to be checked out by everyone inside.

The new Basilica deserve to hold countless people and also it regularly does. There space masses every day of the year here and also confessions space heard as well.

What else to See

There’s lots an ext to view here, consisting of the impressive bell tower well-known as the Carillón just opposite the brand-new Basilica in the plaza. In enhancement to the clock and bells, it has a drawing of the sun rock (the Aztec calendar).

There space a couple of other churches you have the right to visit ~ above the huge grounds, including the Antigua Parroquia de Indios (Ancient Parish the the Indians).

There’s also the Capilla del Pocito (Chapel the the little Well), a beautiful baroque structure built to respect the well that sprung up throughout one the the Virgin’s appearances. As soon as you go within to have actually a look, don’t be surprised if you find that crucial ceremony such as a baptism or an initial communion is taking place.

If you have the right to handle a small walk uphill among the crowd, you deserve to go view the Capilla del Cerrito (Cerrito Chapel). It’s worth it because that the see of the city turn off to the side, and also the interior of the church is fairly beautiful together well.

There are always crowds here, but they number in the millions top top December 12 (Our Lady the Guadalupe’s feast day). Many pilgrims keen on their knees for miles prior to praying come the Virgin. Regardless of what work of the year that is, this is an extremely important and also holy site and also a fascinating location to visit.

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