Another Guadalupe

We’re familiar with the 1531 apparitions and image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico that led to the mass conversion of the Aztecs. But did you know that, when that happened, there was already a famous shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spain?

The shrine at the 14th c. Royal Monastery in Guadalupe, Extremadura, houses a two foot tall cedar statue reputed to have been carved by St. Luke the Evangelist. In the sixth century, Pope Saint Gregory I gave it to Saint Leander, Bishop of Seville. Saint Leander is famous for having converted the Arian king’s son, Saint Hermenegild, to Catholicism. There will be more about Hermenegild later.

In 712, when the Moors conquered Seville, a group of priests took the statue with them when they fled the Muslim persecution. Its whereabouts were then lost to history until the Virgin Mary appeared in the early 14th century and instructed priests where to dig. After they discovered the statue, along with its provenance, they built a shrine at the spot to house and display it for pilgrims. The statue is usually clothed in elaborate, costly robes deemed suitable for the Queen of Heaven.

Pilgrims began arriving in 1326; soon after, copies of the statue were being venerated in satellite chapels. Our Lady of Guadalupe became one of the rallying points for Catholic Spaniards in their reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula. And it was at the monastery that the monarchs Isabelle I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon signed documents that authorized the first voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Americas in 1492. Upon his return, Columbus went back to the monastery to give thanks to God, who had granted him a safe voyage through the intercession of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

The apparitions and miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico happened in 1531, just four decades after Columbus landed in the New World and the Spanish monarchs began sending soldiers and missionaries over. The missionaries weren’t getting very far with the Aztecs, but after the Blessed Mother intervened, they converted by the millions, ending the daily human slaughter that had marked their brutal religion.

Jump forward another forty years to October 7, 1571, and the famous Naval Battle at Lepanto that marked the end of Muslim aggression into Europe. The Protestant Reformation was making inroads in drawing Catholics away from the faith, but in the Mediterranean areas that were most immediately threatened by the Muslims, the populace was still very Catholic.

For months prior to the day of the battle, Pius V had urged Catholics to say the daily rosary for victory over the Muslims and many of the sailors prayed the Rosary the night before the battle. Is it any wonder that October 7 is now celebrated as the Feast of Mary, Queen of Victory and Queen of the Most Holy Rosary? And get this … before the battle, the commander of the Catholic fleet prayed for victory before an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that he kept in his cabin!

But wait. We haven’t gone full circle quite yet. Remember St. Hermenegild, on whose behalf Pope Saint Gregory I gave St. Luke’s carving of Our Lady to Saint Leander, Bishop of Seville? The story behind that is that Hermenegild’s father, King Leovigild, was so furious about his son’s rejection of the Arian heresy that he had his son imprisoned, threatening to execute him if he refused to receive communion from an Arian bishop. Hermenegild held firm to his new faith, refused the heretical host, and was killed, thus becoming a Eucharistic Martyr. His death date – April 13th – is a feast day of special importance on the Spanish Catholic liturgical calendar.

Catholicism teaches that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. The way I think about is this: If you mix a cup of red paint with a cup of yellow paint, you get two cups of orange paint. But with Jesus, the cup of red paint (representing His humanity) and the cup of yellow paint (representing His divinity) mix to create one cup of paint that is completely red and completely yellow. It’s a mystery, one that people who prefer the transcendent God fit into a box small enough for their puny human brains to understand are always trying (with Satan’s help) to simplify.

Heresies about Jesus’ human/divine nature tend to go one of two ways. Like the Arians, some of them hold that Jesus was just a man, albeit a very special man. The others say that he was only divine and that his humanity was an illusion. Both errors are still kicking around today with one notable example being Islam. Like St. Hermenegild’s father, Muslims believe that Jesus was nothing more than a very holy man. So now you see how we truly have come full circle!

But wait, there’s more! The Blessed Mother promised that, within 12 months after God sends the Warning (aka, Illumination of Conscience), He will perform a great miracle at Garabandal, Spain, which will be accompanied by many healings and followed by a permanent sign. Conchita, one of the seers, has said that this miracle will happen between the 8th and 16th of April, May, or June, on a Thursday (that is not Holy Thursday), and on a feast day of a Eucharistic Martyr.

If you don’t remember the details of the Marian apparitions at Garabandal, Spain, go read

If you don’t remember the details of the Warning/Illumination of Conscience, go read

Then, go back and reread this post and marvel at God’s amazing plan!


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2 responses to “Another Guadalupe

  1. So glad to see your analysis showing a real possibility of the Garabandal Miracle happening this spring! I’ve been a student of Garabandal for many years and always hoped we’d see it soon. It didn’t seem very likely since the predictions of war with Russia being pretty far fetched 10 years ago. Now it looks inevitable.

    Liked by 2 people

    • chrissythehyphenated

      I’ve seen mentions several times about prophecies re: war breaking out after the pope returns from Moscow. He’s been talking about and trying to arrange a visit for months now.

      Liked by 1 person