The virgin of Guadalupe Sample Essay

The virgin of Guadalupe Sample Essay.

The virgin of Guadalupe Sample Essay

                                                         Category: Others

Cultural conventions are often carried from one generation to the next by means of ICONOGRAPHY, a system of visual images the meaning of which is widely understood by a given culture or cultural group. These visual images are symbols that represent more than their literal meaning.
The Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlan was done on several fronts, two of the most important were the political and spiritual fronts, I want to direct our attention to the spiritual front that the image the Virgin of Guadalupe represents.

Answer the following questions:

1. What does the image represent?
2. Describe the symbols that form the composition (the moon, angels, etc.).
3. Describe the iconographic meaning associated with each symbol.
4. What event is the image based upon, is there a narrative associated with?
5. Does the composition have any political implications and why?

First, you must answer each of the five questions and then respond to TEN of your classmates’ postings for a total minimum of 10 postings. You are encouraged to Google additional information as long you list the sites you consulted. I will not give credit to students using the Wikipedia. You must use university, academic sources, or cultural, museum sites.

Requirements: 300 words  

The virgin of Guadalupe






The virgin of Guadalupe

            The painting of the lady of Guadalupe is an important spiritual and cultural monument to the people of Mexico. The painting has been described as having various interpretations and significances to the people of Mexico. Both Christianity and the native religions of Mexico have interpreted the lady in the painting in numerous ways. One account describes the painting as a representation of the virgin Mary, who was the mother of Jesus Christ in the Bible. The painting has also been used as a symbol representative of the protection of humanity, as a symbol of social justice and the fight for women, inclusive of feminism. The painting of Guadalupe represents a patron saint of Mexico, and the image lays the foundation of Mexican identity and faith and represents motherhood and goodness.

            The origins of the paintings are considered to be mysterious and spiritual. During the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores, the Spanish arrival to Latin America led to the discovery of the Aztec Indians and the religions they had developed. Conflict arose between the natives and the Spaniards as they tried converting the native population into Christianity since they viewed the Aztec religion as primitive. Ultimately, Christianity was spread among the natives and was adopted into their faith. Historical accounts show that our lady of Guadalupe first appeared to Juan Diego, a peasant headed to Church, instructing him to build a shrine in her name.

Afterward, Juan Diego went to the local bishop with the message received with doubt due to lack of proof. In winter, Juan Diego later met our lady of Guadalupe, instructing him to take roses to the bishop as evidence (Guadalupe | Our Lady of Guadalupe | Upon delivery to the local bishop, Juan Diego opened his cloak, twelve roses fell on the ground, and his cloak had a picture of the virgin Mary. The incident seemed to be enough proof to the bishop as he ordered that a church be built on Tepeyac hill in honor of the Virgin Mary.

            The painting of our lady of Guadalupe is a powerful catholic symbol and can be translated to various interpretations and conclusions. Her name is interpreted to mean the crusher of the serpent’s head and usher in the dawn and light of the true faith. The lady of Guadalupe destroyed the false gods of Mexico and established an era of peace within the region. The painting contains various elements that have been translated into different interpretations in both Christianity and the native religion. There is light surrounding her, which can be related to the biblical account in revelation 12:1 “the woman clothed with the sun.” The light represents the power of God.

The moon under her feet has been widely translated to mean different things. First, the moon under her feet symbolizes that she has more power than the God of darkness. The moon under her feet was also described as being representative of her virginity and purity (“Brooklyn Museum,”). The moon also depicts the conception of her son and the Messiah Jesus Christ. The stars on the mantle demonstrate that she comes from the heavens and is a heavenly being. The angel carrying her shows the support that the lady is of royalty and signifies the dawn of a new age. People of royalty are customarily depicted as being carried or above the masses and standing out to represent their high status.

The roses within the composition represent a dozen roses that Juan Diego collected and presented to the bishop as proof of the appearance of our lady Guadalupe. Her hair is painted loosely to convey that she is a virgin maiden. Additionally, the mantle of the lady is colored turquoise, which is only used as a symbol of royalty or the gods (“Our Lady of Guadalupe – Symbolism of the image,”). The eyes of the lady of Guadalupe are pointed down, and they are symbolic that the new God is a compassionate and humble supernatural being.

Since the inception of the lady of Guadalupe, the painting has been used as a political symbol in Mexico. The painting played an important role during the Mexican revolt against Spanish rule. The lady of Guadalupe has been transformed into a unifying symbol and an instrument of gathering the support of the masses in Mexico and also Mexican Americans (“Our Lady of Guadalupe is a powerful symbol of Mexican identity,” 2016). In the Mexican fight for independence, she was used as a symbol of freedom. Accounts show that soldiers were required to wear boots with the lady of Guadalupe imprinted on the sole of their shoes, failure to which would result in being shot (“history and significance of the virgin of Guadalupe,” 2021).

Throughout the revolutionary history of Mexico, the image has held an influential icon to the revolutionary ideologies within the country. The lady of Guadalupe has been used as a symbol for the fight for Gender Equality and women’s rights. The virgin Mary is described in the Bible as a woman blessed by God and as a channel through which the Messiah was born into the world (“Guadalupe’s legacy: How a 486-year-old vision of Mary in Mexico continues to influence the Church,” 2017). Various women’s rights organizations within Mexico used the image symbolic of the fight against oppression and the strive for Gender Equality.

 Lastly, the image of the lady of Guadalupe can be used for the sake of social justice. The lady of Guadalupe is also a symbol of humility and justice. She is the voice of the oppressed, poor, and disadvantaged in society. She represents a spiritual relief for those suffering in the world, which is why the general population has embraced her. The lady of Guadalupe has played a crucial role in unifying the Mexican people and giving them a sense of identity and belonging. It is a national treasure that is embraced by millions within the country.


Brooklyn Museum. (n.d.). Brooklyn Museum. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from

(n.d.). Guadalupe | Our Lady of Guadalupe | Retrieved September 22, 2021, from

Guadalupe’s legacy: How a 486-year-old vision of Mary in Mexico continues to influence the Church. (2017, December 1). America Magazine.

The history and significance of the virgin of Guadalupe. (2021, March 24). Homeschool Spanish Academy.

Our Lady of Guadalupe – Symbolism of the image. (n.d.). Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church – Sacraments, Youth Programs, Child Programs, Adult Programs, Faith Formation, Ministry, Service. Retrieved September 22, 2021, from

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a powerful symbol of Mexican identity. (2016, December 12). NBC News.

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