Religious Art of the Westside
Who is the Virgen de Guadalupe?
As the sun went down and the moon came up, Juan Dieguito had no idea that
the next morning his life would change. Walking down an old beat-up dirt
road Juan Dieguito passed Tepeyac Hill, a tiny dirt rise. Some say he heard
beautiful singing with a soft flute. Others say he heard a humble Indian
woman cry his name, Juan Dieguito, Juan Dieguito, ven aqui!
Filled with great peace, he felt the presence of a special spirit close
by. The voice gently continued: Where are you going this morning?
Stunned, he couldn't answer. Looking up at the hill, he noticed a bright
glow. An Indian woman dressed in a turquoise robe and a pink dress stepped
out of this bright yellow mist. Now Juan Dieguito knew that he was in the
presence of the Virgen.
I am the Virgen de Guadalupe, she said. She wanted him to ask
Fray Juan de Zumarraga, a bishop of Mexico, to build a shrine in her
Dieguito's request was rejected for lack of proof. The Virgen
encouraged Juan Dieguito to return to the Fray, this time with a bundle of
roses wrapped in his tilma (poncho). Juan Dieguito handed the roses over
to the bishop. Dropping to his knees, Fray Juan de Zumarraga, in tears,
began praying in amazement and joy. When the bishop unwrapped the tilma of
roses, he had seen imprinted on the cloth an image of the Virgen de
Guadalupe. The shrine now stands in that very spot on top of Tepeyac
(Source: "The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe;" Mexican American
Cultural Center handout; Houston, Texas.)
The Story Behind Her Symbols
More Westside artwork of the Virgen de Guadalupe
The Garden of Gethsemane Sculptures