One thousand 600 tons of garbage was what Catholic believers left during their pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe just a few years ago. In recent dates, that amount has not changed. Centuries ago, millions of individuals walk long distances to thank all the miracles to the Virgin Morena. Inspired by their faith, they do it as a form of liberation and respect towards that figure that has given them so much. They ignore that the soil they walk is part of their roots and the only thing they leave are traces of waste, regardless of the damage they do to the environment.
How did they do it?
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the inhabitants of Tenochtitlan believed in different deities that completely guided their lifestyles. Tláloc, Quetzalcóatl, Tezcatlipoca, and Huitzilopochtli were the figures that dominated the fate of the Aztecs. When the conquerors arrived, the main challenge they encountered was to establish the Christian religion as the only and dominant one. Along with the invaders came priests of different orders, such as the Franciscana and the Dominican, both trying to use faith in their gods as a way to control the population.
The method they used was to completely destroy ancient Aztec beliefs by mixing them with Christian elements. The Aztec natives worshiped a figure called Tonantzin, who was considered the “Mother Goddess”. That deity they called “Our great mother” or “Our lady” was adored by the locals and was seen as responsible for providing food and keeping beautiful the world in which they lived. According to author DA Branding, the Aztecs used to perform pilgrimage activities to worship Tonantzin in a temple built in Tepeyac, just outside of Mexico City. What the European religious did was to destroy that construction and replace it with a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. The Indians continued going to thank their mother goddess,
The deception was just beginning.
Tonantzin – Coatlaxopeuh – Guadalupe
Despite the fact that some Catholic experts affirm that the existence of Juan Diego and the appearance of the Virgin are real, all the documents that speak about these figures are second-hand accounts, as the authors Alberto Peralta and Stafford indicate in their studies. Poole Don Juan de Zumárraga, first Archbishop of New Spain (called “the protector of the Indians”) could have been responsible for the idea of using Tonantzin to evangelize the natives with the help of another priest in charge of translating the sacred texts into Nahuatl : Bernardino de Sahagún, but it was not exactly like that.
The first indication that Juan Diego and the four apparitions are null and void is the fact that most of the texts that talk about these events establish Zumárraga as the main responsible. The strange thing is that the Archbishop was an avid writer and documented much of the events he observed in New Spain. None of his papers mentions a man with the appearance of a mestizo figure.
The only valid documents that speak about the Virgin date from the sixteenth century and only tell the discussion that had the Franciscan preachers and the Dominicans about the cult that was generated around the image that the Indians now adored.
It is speculated that, in the time of Zumárraga, the natives who made a pilgrimage to honor Tonantzin began to use different names to refer to it. Authors such as Father Mariano Jacobo Rojas suggest that “Coatlaxopeuh” may have been a word of Nahuatl origin that eventually became Guadalupe. The meaning was “She who has dominion over the serpents.” That term could be used to refer to the metaphorical destruction of Quetzalcoatl and also as a new representation of Adam and Eve, establishing the Virgin as Eve defeating the snake instead of falling into its trap. Eventually, the name was transformed by Guadalupe, thus giving a new alias and face to the mother of Jesus and the goddess Tonantzin.
When Zumárraga died, his place was taken by the Dominican Archbishop Alonso de Montúfar, who was convinced that the cult of the Virgin was the best method to indoctrinate the natives. The priests of the Franciscan order were outraged at such use of the biblical figures, even suggesting that these kinds of traps were satanic activities. The leader of the order, Fray Francisco de Bustamante, claimed that it was detrimental to the Mexica because they were convinced that he performed miracles, contrary to what his priests taught them, thus causing disappointments and submissive mentalities.
The most common argument used by the devotees of the apparition of the Virgin is the fact that the image appeared in a divine way. The truth is that the person responsible could have been the Aztec painter Marcos Cipac de Aquino. The event was similar to a miracle because he did not make preliminary drawings and it is possible that he created it in a few days working without stopping. This can be confirmed with the sudden disappearance of the crown, a fact that shows that it was created by human hands since the painting of that area began to fall. The only study that states that it was created in a supernatural way have been replicated by hundreds of Catholics in order to keep the illusion alive.
The Virgin of Guadalupe is a myth created by the Spaniards and the submissive Aztecs to control an entire population. The faith that existed for the mother of life was transformed by Mary and, consequently, by Guadalupe. It is one more example of the betrayals and deceptions of the Christian Church to maintain control over people in one way or another. The hypocrisy of Mexicans who worship the Virgin while seeking to connect with their Aztec roots is proof of the idiosyncrasy with which religion works. This is just a piece of history in a huge sea of lies that impede the free thought and the prosperous evolution of humanity.
By: Alonso Martínez
“Juan Diego and the Apariciones el pimo Tepeyac” by Joaquín García Icazbalceta.
“Mexican Phoenix: Our Lady of Guadalupe” by DA Brading.
“Exile of shadows: light in the origin of the image and cult of Our Lady of Guadalupe del Tepeyac” by O’Gorman, Edmundo.
“Mexican Phoenix: Our Lady of Guadalupe: Image and Tradition Across Five Centuries” by D. Brading.
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