Feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe

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Today is the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico also known as the Goddess of the Americas.

While I'm not super Catholic, I would call myself more spiritual than religious. Still I'd like to pay my respects to this image of the virgin.

I've visited her Basilica in Mexico City, where she is said to have appeared before Juan Diego in 1531. You can read more about the apparition here.

I've traveled all over Mexico visiting shrines to the Virgin Mary and saints. You can see some of the photographs I've taken in this slideshow below.

People have claimed to see the Virgin of Guadalupe in the most unusual places in an underpass in Chicago, in the windows of an office building in Florida and even in a grilled cheese sandwich.

Now I can't profess to any such claims. But I have run across her iconic image in my travels, including inside a London church.

I was visiting a friend there five years ago, and she wanted to show me her local church. We arrived and it was closed. But the priest was seated on a bench in the park next to the church.

He overheard us talking and offered to open up the church for us.

At the time I was living in Mexico and my friend explained this to the priest.

"Follow me," he said.

I followed him inside the church into a room where there were many statues and images of the Virgin Mary. He took me to a portrait of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

It warmed my heart to know that she was watching over me on that trip.

Dec. 12 is a day that people from Chicago to Mexico and beyond think of her lovingly.

She represents motherhood, forgiveness and most of all faith. 

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  • For a related story, see my blog, Cafe Libre, on the Virgin of Guadalupe as depicted by Los Angeles artist, Lalo Garcia
    http://lydiabreen.com/

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