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The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe


Map of the Shrine

 Map of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

1. Chapel of Tepeyac 6. Carillon
2. Old Basilica 7. Chapel of the Indians
3. New Basilica with Baptistry 8. Chapel of the Well
4. Plaza of the Americas
5. Capuchin Chapel
9. Galleon


 1. Chapel of Tepeyac - On this site once stood the Aztec temple to Tonantzin, our venerated mother, mother of the gods. It is here that the true Mother of God chose to appear to Juan Diego and supplant the idolatrous worship of the indigenous peoples with worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father and the Holy Spirit. In this chapel the holy image initially was venerated, cared for by Juna Diego, who lived on the premises. Today only a replica hangs here, the original image is in the modern basilica.

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 2. Old Basilica - begun in 1695 and finished in 1709 this basilica succeeded the Chapel of Tepeyac as the shrine of the Image. However, because Mexico (City) is built on a lake bed the basilica has both settled and been subject to the ravages of the earthquakes experienced by the city. Today it is leaning considerably and has been closed for the safety of the public.

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2a. Statue - Standing adjacent to the Basilica, between the old and new one,  is a statue of Pope John Paul II, dedicated in 1981 to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the apparitions and the first anniversary of the Pope's initial visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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 3. New Basilica, with its round Baptistry (3a)- dedicated in 1976 the new basilica can hold 20,000 people and gives an unobstructed view of the Image and the altar to all. There are 1000 subterranean pillars to support the structure, but no internal ones. Between the altar and the wall upon which the Image hangs is a space where the people can pass on a conveyor belt system to view the Image above. Each day from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Holy Mass is celebrated each half hour for the sake of the pilgrims.  

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An attempt in the '20s to blow up the Image bent this candlestick. The Image, only a few feet away, was unharmed.

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The Image as seen from the altar area

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The vault door leading to the Image from behind.


4. Plaza of the Americas - a great open plaza permits the attendance of many hundreds of thousands beyond those who can enter the Basilica. On such occasions the front walls of the Basilica can be rolled aside permitting a view of the interior from the Plaza. Here often can be seen various peoples singing, dancing and exhibiting the culture and costumes of their regions for visitors - a testimony to the unity of the various indigenous peoples in the Catholic faith which has been accomplished by the Virgin of Guadalupe. Here also, as at other religious shrines in Latin countries, can be seen penitents completing the last stage of their journey to Our Lady on their knees.

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 5. Capuchin Chapel - the parish church of the region, it has also suffered from sinking. It is believed that Juan Diego is buried on the site.

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Old Basilica and Capuchin Chapel

  6. Carillon - Completed in 1991 this bell and clock tower shows computerized images representing the four apparitions of Our Lady to Juan Diego, as a means of catechesis. Standing 76.5 feet tall, it can play 38 different chimes and 23 melodies.

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7. Chapel of the Indians - this first church on the site is a especially frequented by native Americans.

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8. Chapel of the Well - dedicated in 1777 this chapel is built over a sulphurous spring from pre-Columbian times, one that is   reputed to have medicinal properties.

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 9. Galleon - the masts of a ship were carried to the site in the 1700s, in fulfillment of a vow to build a shrine on Tepeyac if Our Lady would save the ship's crew from a tropical storm. The masts were carried on the backs of the sailors from Vera Cruz on the coast to Tepeyac and today are encased within the modern monument. 

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