It began in 2001, when a group of Catholics in Santa Fe, New Mexico [United States] formed a nonprofit to build a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Fundraising began that year, and an sculptor was eventually selected.
Artist and sculptor Gogy Farias was educated at the Universidad Iberoamericana and the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas (National School of Fine Arts) in Mexico City, where she currently lives. As one of the city's most established contemporary sculptors, her work has been exhibited around the world.
Gogy's devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe stems from her early years, when as a young mother she became very ill. She prayed to Our Lady for her recovery, and because of this, she was moved to donate her artist fees.
Our Lady's home was to be the Santuario de Guadalupe in Santa Fe, New Mexico, considered to be the oldest shrine in North America dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is located in the historic Guadalupe Barrio [neighborhood], on the historic El Camino Real, the 'Royal Road' from Mexico to Santa Fe.
Parishioners from the Santuario in Santa Fe traveled to Mexico City to begin the emotional journey of carefully transporting the 12-foot tall, 4,000 pound sculpture from Mexico City to Santa Fe on the back of a huge transport, metaphorically tracing the steps of the Catholic faith north through 'New Spain', as it was then known (Mexico, Central America, and much of the United States). Along the way, parishioner Deacon Trujillo collected dirt from every church along the route, storing it in baggies, with the intention of adding it to the installation of Our Lady at her final resting place at the Santuario.
After a harrowing lock-down at the border of Mexico and the United States, where she sat imprisoned for some time under bureaucratic dictate, she finally arrived safe and sound in Santa Fe at her home at the Santuario in August of 2008.
You can share the day-to-day journey in a book entitle Our Lady of Guadalupe, A Journey, written by photojournalist Joshua Trujillo, available on Amazon.com.
"Having visited this site (Santuario de Chimayo), I made the walk from Santa Fe during Holy Week and prayed prior to a very serious surgery ... I was told that I would be retired on disability, best possible outcome," she said.
"Well, I am healed and the doctors cannot explain why ... let me just say that this is a very holy place in New Mexico. I cannot explain what is going on at El Santuario."
Inside the church, the holy dirt that supports the faith of an entire community fills only a small hole in the floor. Visitors are asked to take only what is needed for their personal use.
An open shrine to Guadalupe sits outside the church where visitors can light a candle if they remember to bring matches.
~ To learn more or to arrange a transformational travel program for your family, school group, or church group to this amazing holy place AND others in Northern New Mexico, contact email@example.com or visit www.communitylearningnetwork.org
"Roderick placed a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a niche at the top of a 100 year old stairway that led to his property in northeast L.A. The stairway was frequented by gang members and drug users.
"The Virgin changed everything," he said. "She created a sanctuary – the shrine has power – before she arrived it was a dark and dreary space." People began dropping by to bring her flowers and pay their respects.
Suddenly she disappeared one Easter. Before he could replace her, two brothers, employees of the local car-wash down the road, rang his doorbell. They took him to see the gift of the new Virgin, now secured in wet cement. The brothers sit on the steps at least once a week to sip beers and spend time with Mary. "We call them the ushers of the Basilica", he said.
story originally reported in the Los Angeles Times
Dozens of professional clowns took the streets of Mexico City on Tuesday to express devotion for their country's patron saint, the Lady of Guadalupe.
Sporting neon-bright clothes and equally colorful wigs, the clowns marched from the city center to the Basilica de Guadalupe, a Roman Catholic church.
This year's pilgrimage marked the 26th years the clowns united to thank the saint for the work they've received. The clowns carried images of the Virgin with them on the trek.
"I want to give thanks to Lupita [Guadalupe] for this great blessing of being a clown because it's a very beautiful profession," one clown told The Guardian.
According to Catholic tradition, the Virgin Mary appeared to a Native American peasant named Juan Diego in 1531. Millions make the pilgrimage to the basilica every year to venerate the relic she reportedly left behind -- an imprint of her image on a cloth.
"[We come with] faith, devotion and the willingness to move forward. Because there are many clowns who have all kinds of problems and we call on the Virgin for her help to solve them," another clown told The Guardian.
Huffington Post, Dec 18, 2014, by Carol Kuruvilla