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Mary, Our Lady of the Guadalupe

Mary's strength and concern for the downtrodden is revealed in Mexico, where she is called Our Lady of Guadalupe. Typically Our Lady of Guadalupe is imaged as a woman wearing a crown and starry robe standing on a crescent moon held up by a cherub. The sun glows behind her, suggesting the image of the woman clothed in the sun from the Book of Revelation.

Her name may derive from the Aztec Nahuatl word coatlaxopeuh (pronounced quatlasupe) -- the one who crushes the serpent.

According to Roman Catholic tradition, Mary appeared centuries ago (1531) in Central Mexico to Cuauhtlatoatzin (Juan Diego), an Aztec and a Christian convert. He reported that a beautiful woman surrounded by light as bright as the sun appeared to him and requested that a church should be built on that location. (See a painting of Juan Diego by Jose de Ibarra, 1743.)

Mary revealed herself, not to a member of the church hierarchy but to one who was poor, not to a European but to an indigenous person. Roman Catholics of Mexico, especially those who are among the many living in poverty there, treasure this powerful image of "Our Lady of Guadalupe." They see her as a champion of the poor and oppressed, a defender of children, and even a dragon-slayer (the dragon or "beast" is symbol of the devil).

Mary is known by a variety of titles in Latin America. The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute lists these:

Argentina: Our Lady of Luján
Bolivia: Our Lady of Copacabana
Brazil: Our Lady "Aparecida" (who appeared)
Chile: Our Lady of Carmel of the Maipú
Columbia: Our Lady of Chiquinquirá
Costa Rica: Our Lady of the Angels
Cuba: Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre
Dominican Republic: Our Lady of "La Altagracia"
Ecuador: Our Lady of Quinche
El Salvador: Our Lady of Peace
Guatemala: Our Lady of the Rosary
Honduras: Our Lady of Suyapa
Mexico: Our Lady of Guadalupe Nicaragua: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of El Viejo
Panama: The Immaculate Conception
Paraguay: Our Lady of the Miracles of Caacupé
Peru: Our Lady of Mercy
Puerto Rico: Our Lady of Divine Providence
Uruguay: Our Lady of the Thirty Three
Venezuela: Our Lady of Coromoto Honduras: Our Lady of Suyapa

- Jesus and Courageous Women

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