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Archivo del agosto, 2022

Legend of the Virgin of Guadalupe from Estremeña


dates back to the 1st century of Christianity, they say that the authorship of the carving would correspond to Saint Luke and that the evangelist died in Boeotia (present-day Greece), the image would be buried with him and would follow the same fate.


In the middle of the fourth century both the body of the evangelist and the image were transferred to Byzantium (Constantinople), from there the image was taken to Rome in the year 582. At that time a terrible plague broke out in the city that ended life of many people and among them that of Pope Pelagius II. Being later elected Pope Saint Gregory the Great ordered litanies and a procession of the image that he had in his personal oratory, which was none other than Our Lady of Guadalupe. While in procession, a heavenly song was heard similar to that of some angels who sang praises to the Holy Virgin in the air saying


Rejoice, Queen of Heaven, rejoice. Here the one you deserved to conceive and give birth to is already resurrected according to what he said.


Right after, an angel appeared above what is currently known as Castel Sant’Angelo, cleaning the blood from a sword. After all this, the pestilence ceased in the city and Saint Gregory became a faithful devotee of the image.


A few years later, Saint Gregory sent several relics to the Archbishop of Seville, Saint Leandro in gratitude for having taken care to destroy the heresy of the Arrianos. Among those relics was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. While the image was going on a ship from Rome to Seville, a terrible storm broke out that endangered the ship and its occupants, so one of the clergymen, moved by faith and devotion, took the image of the Virgin out on deck and begged her with so much humility and devotion that the storm ceased that the storm subsided automatically. Knowing San Leandro the present sent by the Pope went to the port to receive the image and with great veneration it was transferred to his chambers. Being later enthroned in the main church of Seville and venerated with great fervor by all the people.


But the Arab invasion, in the year 711, caused some Sevillian clerics to flee the city to the north of the peninsula, taking with them the relics they were able to transport, among which was the aforementioned image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Deep in Extremadura and to avoid their desecration, they buried such relics in a mountainous area near a river known as Guadalupe.


Already in the middle of the 14th century and when the Christian reconquest was almost finished when Alfonso XI reigned in Castile, Gil Cordero, a cowboy from Cáceres, walked in the company of other shepherds guarding his cattle in a meadow called Guadalupe, near the river of the same name. At one point Gil Cordero realizes that he had lost a cow and immediately went out to look for it, after a while he discovered the animal’s corpse next to the banks of the Guadalupe River, heartbroken he decided to take advantage of its skin and when he took out the knife to skin the animal he returned to life before the astonished gaze of the cowboy. At that moment the figure of a woman wrapped in light who identified herself as the Virgin made an appearance exclaiming:


Do not worry. I am the Mother of God, Savior of the human race. Take your cow and take it to the herd with the others and then go to your land. You will tell the clerics what you have seen. Also tell them from me that I am sending you there. Let them come to this place where you are now. Let them dig where the dead cow was, under these stones: they will find an image of me. When they take her out, tell them not to move her or take her from this place where she is now, but to make a box in which to put her. Time will come when a very remarkable church and house will be built in this place, and the town will be great.


Obeying divine designs, Gil Cordero went to Cáceres and reported what had happened to both the civil and religious authorities, but no one believed him.


He came home disturbed by everything that had happened to him and found his wife in the company of some clerics and neighbors crying inconsolably, her son had died and he was present. Looking at the cowboy fixedly at his eldest son lying on his back, he remembered how the Virgin had resurrected the cow and without thinking about it too much, he knelt on the ground entrusting himself to Our Lady and with great devotion he begged:


Lady, You know the embassy that I bring on your behalf and I believe it is very true that this is ordered by You, that I should find this my son dead, because You showing Yourself marvelous in resurrecting him, let it be more lightly believed by those that I am here because of Your commanded to come Well, that’s right, Lady, I beg you to want to resurrect him and from here I offer him to you for your perpetual servant and to take him to that holy place, where you had the good of appearing to me.


Before the astonished look of all those present, the young man got up, like someone who wakes up from a dream, everyone was amazed at how
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