Posts Tagged ‘Saints’

Our Lady of Guadalupe and the First Indigenous American Saint

Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe Research Topic

Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe Research Topic screencap via Proquest eLibrary

As Catholic tradition has it, on December 9, 1531 the Virgin Mary appeared in a vision to Indian peasant Juan Diego on a hill near Mexico City. She asked that a church be built on the hill in her honor to bring comfort to the people. Upon hearing the story, a skeptical Spanish archbishop told Juan Diego to ask Mary for a sign of her presence. Mary pointed him toward roses growing in a place where only cacti were normally found, and when Juan Diego returned with the flowers gathered in his cloak, Mary arranged them and told him return to the archbishop. When Juan Diego dumped the flowers to the floor before the archbishop, it was discovered that they had left an image of Mary on his cloak.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City houses what is purported to be the actual fabric and image (known as the tilma) described in the story above. The tilma is visited by millions of pilgrims every year, and the image is the most popular religious image in Mexico. The popularity of the story and the relic have persisted despite skepticism, including questions about whether Juan Diego even existed, and in 2002 Pope John Paul II canonized Juan Diego as the first indigenous American saint. Juan Diego’s feast day is December 9 and the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12. Previously having been a largely Latin American tradition, observation of the Guadalupe holiday is spreading north to the U.S. and elsewhere.

Whether Juan Diego’s tilma is the result of a miracle or a fabrication, its influence has been large, spurring millions of conversions to Catholicism and helping shape Mexican identity.

For information on Our Lady of Guadalupe, related topics and just about anything else, search in eLibrary, follow the links in the text above and see the resources below:

Research Topics:

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Roman Catholicism, Virgin Mary

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Religion, Christianity

St. Patrick’s Day

Come on, admit it. You wear green on March 17. And you eat corned beef and cabbage. You claim to be Irish, if only for a day.

Next week brings the annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, so here is a quick review of the day and its namesake. Follow the links in this text to see the wide range of resources that eLibrary has to offer.

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eLibrary’s St. Patrick’s Day Research Topic page

The known story of St. Patrick, born Maewyn Succat, begins at age 16, when he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped back to Britain, where he became a priest and then returned to Ireland to convert the natives to Catholicism from paganism. Since Ireland has no snakes, legend grew that Patrick chased all the snakes into the sea. His clerical work in Ireland led to his becoming the patron saint of the island nation.

While Patrick was never formally canonized, his feast is observed as a religious holiday by numerous Christian denominations, including the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church. The holiday, Green Chicago Riverwhich falls on March 17, is also observed as a secular celebration around the world, with notable celebrations, the playing of bagpipes and parades in New York City, Chicago and Boston. While Boston appears to have been the first U.S. city to mark the holiday, in 1737, there seems to be conflicting information about whether Boston or New York held the first parade. (Article 1, Article 2) Chicago is known for dyeing its river green.

The shamrock has become a symbol of St. Patrick’s Day due to the legend that Patrick used the three-leafed plant to teach about the Christian Holy Trinity of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock is the reason green has become associated with the holiday.

So, whether you plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by feasting on traditional Irish food or by making your yard fountain green, you can consult eLibrary to learn about this centuries-old holiday and much more. Our St. Patrick’s Day Research Topic page, like thousands of other RTs, can be found by typing an exact-match phrase in the eLibrary search box (note the drop-down list as you are typing) and by clicking the Browse Research Topics button below the Basic Search area.