The Virgin of Guadalupe is one of many “Marian apparitions” or ‘miraculous’ manifestations of the Virgin Mary, an icon of the Roman Catholic Church. She is especially venerated in Mexico, where she is said to have appeared to the impoverished native
farmer Juan Diego in the early sixteenth century. According to legend, as Juan was on his way to mass one morning, he was distracted by the sound of music emanating from nearby Tepeyac hill, some say in the location of a shrine to the Aztec goddess Tonantzin.
Pausing to investigate, he saw a vision of a glowing clouds, encircled by a rainbow. On the top of the hill appeared a young woman dressed in Aztec clothing, who told him she was the Virgin Mary, and that she desired a church on the site. Juan hurried to tell his Bishop, (The Spanish Bishop de Zumárraga) who was skeptical, asking for proof. Juan returned to the hill, where he discovered Spanish roses growing in the snow. Gathering them up, he returned to the Bishop, who was startled to discover the image of the Lady on Juan’s cactus-fiber cloak
A Basilica was built on the spot two years later, which still displays Juan Diego’s mantle with its renaissance-style image of the virgin. The image of the Lady of Guadalupe is said to be the most recognized catholic image in the world.