The Virgin of Guadalupe is not only the patroness of Mexico, but also the patroness of Latin America. This image of the mother of God is 489 years old and is today the cradle of many faithful throughout the world.
Every December 12 the so-called Dark Virgin receives millions of parishioners at the doors of her home. The number of people who visit it made the Basilica of Guadalupe the second most visited Catholic center in the world, only surpassed by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Virgin of Guadalupe, patroness of Latin America
According to story of the Virgin of Guadalupe she attested to its existence on December 12, 1531. La Morenita del Tepeyac chose a faithful servant to appear for the first time.
From there, a Guadalupano love began from the Vatican. Pope Urban VIII granted plenary indulgence to those who visited the sanctuary during the feast of December 12. In 1754 Benedict XIV proclaimed the feast of December 12 as the patron saint of Mexico.
Later, Pius X proclaimed Our Lady of Guadalupe “Patroness of all Latin America.” For his part, Pius XI named her patron of “all the Americas”; Pius XII called her “Empress of the Americas”; and John XXIII, “The celestial missionary of the New World” and “the Mother of the Americas.”
Later, Pope John Paul II worshiped the Virgin of Guadalupe in all his visits and named her “the Patroness of America” during his visit to Mexico in 1999. And he went further, because in the Basilica in honor of the mother of God, John Paul II beatified the Indian Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, on May 6, 1990, an Indian to whom the Virgin was shown and who at that time became the first indigenous saint of Latin America. In one of his speeches, John Paul II said that the Virgin was everywhere, but “she lives in Mexico.”
Pope Francis, being Latin American like the Virgin of Guadalupe, knelt at the feet of the Virgin Morena in February 2016.
Devotion to the Dark Virgin
Devotion to the Virgen Morena has grown over the years, becoming recognized by at least seven out of ten Mexicans. Some of the miracles attributed to him have to do with healing health problems, help with fertility, solving difficult problems, finding a job and partner.
Therefore, every December 12, it receives a number of pilgrims that exceeds 15 million people. This 2020, for the first time the Basilica will not allow pilgrimage, but it does not diminish the intention of being venerated in other ways.