Dignified, Respectable and Venerable Mother
By Rev. Manuel F. Ibarra, Pastor, St. Ann Deming
Our dignified, respectable and venerable Mother Mary of Guadalupe arises from the historical context of a village that has been recently conquered and now faces a new reality with specific needs a few days into the month of December of the year 1531.
Tlatelolco, where the legal headquarters of evangelization were located, was also the focus of dominance and expansion of the conquest. The author of the Nican Mopohua, who tells the stories of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe, uses: “Incenquizcan Ichpochtli” which means wholesome maid, to designate her as a complete virgin. He also uses the phrase: “when it was still nighttime,” Juan Diego would visit on matters of God and His messages.” Per the Nahuatl mythology, in order to create the Fifth Sun, the gods gathered at Teotihuacan “when it was still nighttime.” The Nican Mopohua points out that the Guadalupana succession is just as important a reality as was the creation of the world and that of humanity. As it relates to God, this is what Juan Diego seeks, “the Truth” when referring to Tlatelolco, on matters of God and His messages.
As the sun rose, Juan Diego heard the bird song of the Coyoltotol and of the Tznizcan. Their symbolism indicates, truth, beauty, and philosophy. The feather and the eagle in the prehistoric culture symbolize mediation. Only those who had the feathers could fly through the air and be a mediator between heaven and earth.
In the Mesoamerican cultures, the garments used by the important characters depict authority and status. The objects, signs and symbols show the status and mission of that particular person. Maria de Guadalupe has the sun behind her, she is not the sun, she isn’t God, but the sun is her garment, she has a relationship with God.
The kind of evangelization that attracts or interests a native gives coherence to the words and actions; it is the voice and the word of the Lady in heaven who calls on Juan Diego from the top of Tepeyac. The native doesn’t see the Virgen as an exterminator. These are the characteristics of the Guadalupana evangelization: to love, to appreciate, to cherish and to consider.
On Tepeyac, dignity is restored to the poor and the world is changed from that of death to one of life.
The natives are to be loved, and we must come in solidarity with their suffering, help out with their projects, embrace their cause as our own; defend. This is the objective proposed by the evangelization from Tepeyac as an alternative to the “spiritual conquest.”
The will of the Virgin is to hear the wailing and to remedy and cure. The village must talk so that the Guadalupana may listen. Juan Diego, the poor Indian, who considered himself ignorant, superstitious, an addict and a liar, in the new evangelization he becomes the messenger of the Virgin, he becomes the one that goes in search of the Bishop so that he may participate in the evangelization by believing and by working on the liberation of the natives who already have faith and believe.