On October 12, 1895, by decree of Pope Leo XIII, the Image of the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe was crowned with great solemnity. On October 12, 1945, the fiftieth anniversary of the crowning, Pope Pius XII proclaimed her Patroness of all the Americas.
The depiction of Our Lady on Juan Diego’s tilma is Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural icon, and under this mantle the Blessed Mother has garnered such titles as Queen of Mexico, Empress of Latin America and the aforementioned Patroness of the Americas.
Through the unshakable faith of one, humble man, this single image became integral to forging the Catholic identity of Mexico and the Americas.
(Editor’s Note: Up until this apparition occurred, the Spanish were having very little success in converting the Aztecs to Christianity. Within five years of this event, one of the greatest mass conversions in history occurred, with millions — virtually all of present-day Mexico – converting to the Faith.)
Meghan Ferraracontributes to Regina Magazine where this article was originally published. It is reprinted here with permission.