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© 2005 Alfredo Mora Izaguirre, All Rights Reserved.
EquipmentCanon G3, Vanguard tripod, Apple QTVRAS, Powerbook G4
EnglishBasilica de Guadalupe The very famous Basílica of Guadalupe -- not just another Catholic church, but the central place of worship for Mexico's patron saint and the home of the image responsible for uniting pre-Hispanic Indian mysticism with Catholic beliefs. It is virtually impossible to understand Mexico and its culture without appreciating the national devotion for Our Lady of Guadalupe. The blue-mantled Virgin of Guadalupe is the most revered image in the country, and you will see her countenance wherever you travel.
The Basílica occupies the site where, on December 9, 1531, a poor Indian named Juan Diego saw a vision of a beautiful lady in a blue mantle. The local bishop, Zumarraga, was reluctant to confirm that Juan Diego had indeed seen the Virgin Mary, so he asked the peasant for evidence. Juan Diego saw the vision a second time, on December 12, and when he asked her for proof, she instructed him to collect the roses that began blooming in the rocky soil at his feet. He gathered the flowers in his cloak and returned to the bishop. When he unfurled his cloak, the flowers dropped to the ground and the image of the Virgin was miraculously emblazoned on the rough-hewn cloth. The bishop immediately ordered the building of a church on the spot, and upon its completion, the cloth with the Virgin's image was hung in a place of honor, framed in gold. Since that time, millions of the devout and the curious have come to view the miraculous image that experts, it is said, are at a loss to explain. So heavy was the flow of visitors -- many approached for hundreds of yards on their knees -- that the old church, already fragile, was insufficient to handle them. An audacious New Basílica, designed by Pedro Ramírez Vazquez, the same architect who designed the breathtaking Museo Nacional de Antropología, opened in 1987.
Here is a brief history of the shrines construction. After the original construction the building was expanded in 1561-1575. Then in 1601-1622 a more elaborate shrine was erected. Another, much richer was built in 1695-1709. Other structures of the 17th century and 18th century connected with the basilica are a parish church, a convent and church for Capuchin nuns, the Well Chapel, and the Hill Chapel. In about 1750 the shrine got the title of collegiate, a canonry and choir service being established. It was aggregated to St. John Lateran in 1754; and finally, in 1904 it was created a basilica.
When this Old Basilica (from 1709) became dangerous due to the sinking of its foundations, a modern structure called the New Basilica was built nearby between 1974 and 1976, designed by architect Pedro Ramírez Vásquez and architect RP Gabriel Chávez de la Mora, OSB. It has a circular floorplan and the original image of the Virgin is located high up on one wall, so it can be seen from any point within the building.
An empty crucifix symbolizes Christ's resurrection. The choir is located between the altar and the churchgoers to indicate that it, too, is part of the group of the faithful. Its seven front doors are an allusion to the seven gates of Celestial Jerusalem. It can accommodate 10,000 worshippers at a time, which is often necessary because a mass is almost always taking place inside. Waves of pilgrims flood the place year-round, but are especially frequent during the Holy Week and especially the Holy Day of December 12. The Basilica de Guadalupe is considered by many Catholics to be the holiest place in all of the Americas and it is the most visited sanctuary in Latin America. The basilica may be the second most visited shrine in all the Catholic world, second only to St. Peter's in Rome (The Vatican).
Atrás de la cámaraAño tras año, el Centro Escolar del Lago realiza en el mes de enero su ya tradicional peregrinación a la Basílica de Guadalupe para dar gracias por el año anterior y pedir bendición para el año que inicia. En esta ocasión pude por primera vez realizar un panorama del lugar y justo en la capilla principal de la planta superior.
Por lo que representa el lugar y por el momento en que se tomó este panorama es que lo coloqué como el mejor del año. ¡Felicidades a todos!