The basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City is a big pilgrimage location for visitors. The Basilica is found at Mount Tepeyac, which was a place of bloodshed before the arrival of Christianity in America. In prehispanic times, the highest point of Mount Tepeyac had a temple dedicated to the God of Earth and fertility called Tonantzin, the Mother of the Gods. The temple of the mount was an important location of pilgrimage for the habitants of Tenochtitlan, the important Aztec Capital located near Mount Tepeyac. Shortly after Hernan Cortes took over Tenochtitlan in 1521, the temple was destroyed and prohibited pilgrimages to the Mount.
December 9, 1531, an Aztec Indian, Christian, baptized with the name, Juan Diego was walking by the church and near the Mount Tepeyac he heard a woman's voice that was calling him. Juan Diego climbed the mount and saw a woman surrounded by gilded light.
The woman revealed that she was the mother of Jesus Christ and that it was her wish that he built a church in her honour and asked to relay the message to Bishop Juan de Zumarraga. It was very difficult for Juan Diego, being a humble Indian, to get a meeting with the top prelate, but persistency paid off and was eventually admitted. The bishop didn't believe him and told Juan Diego that he needed to see a sign. Juan Diego avoided Tepeyac for several days until December 12, when he was rushing to find a priest for a seriously ill uncle, and took a short cut across the hill. The Virgin appeared and Juan Diego told her of the Bishop's request. Juan Diego, following the instruction of the Virgin Mary, cut some roses that were growing from Mount Tepeyac (which was usually...