Goddess of the America: The Rise of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Kolander, Ryan D.
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The primary assumption of this paper is this: “Guadalupe still remains the most powerful religious and national symbol in Mexico today.” The purpose of this thesis paper is not to prove the assumption. Rather, it to answer this question: How did the Virgin of Guadalupe become the national and religious figurehead of Mexico? In order to answer this question, this paper briefly investigates Aztec life before the Conquest and Hernán Cortés’ conquest of Mexico and the ensuing decade (1521-1531). This paper evaluates the current assumptions about the Virgin’s rise to power and over whom she exerted the most influence. Finally, this paper examines closely the extant sources that are contemporary to her apparition (1531) and the sources of scholars and religious leaders in the ensuing centuries. This thesis aims to historically examine several facets which have subsequently led to the rise of the Virgin of Guadalupe and her absolute dominance in the Mexican psyche today. Finally, this thesis will provide a few applications for the Lutheran evangelist who wishes to reach out to a Guadalupan devotee.