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Virgin of Guadalupe: Images in Colonial Mexico

Bowers Museum, Santa Ana. In the year 1531 at a sacred location known as Tepeyac Hill near today’s Mexico City, the report of one man’s vision of the Virgin Mary sparked a phenomenon of religious fervor like no other.

The man, addressed by the saint in his native language, was instructed to carry a message to the bishop for the construction of a church where the Virgin’s compassion would be known. The appearance and the subsequent miracle she performed there were the first events of their kind to be documented in the Americas. Over time, the adoration of the Virgin managed to intertwine and merge with the most diverse social and cultural manifestations. This exhibition explores the extraordinary impact of the appearance of the Virgin through various themes of religious, political and social importance during Mexico’s colonial period. The exhibition is exclusive to the Bowers Museum and is comprised of several important collections from Mexico, including the Museum of the Basilica of Guadalupe, the most visited religious pilgrimage site in all of the Americas.