I BELIEVE IN THE GUADALUPE VIRGIN
The Sanctuary of Tepeyac is the second most-visited Christian site in the world. The Virgin of Guadalupe (also known as La Guadalupana) appeared in 1531, on the hill of Tepeyac, to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (canonised in 2002 by Pope John Paul II). Today, more than 500 years after her apparition, the people of Mexico continue worshipping her with boundless devotion; millions of people make the pilgrimage to Tepeyac on 11th and 12th December each year (seven million Mexicans made the pilgrimage in 2016). From far away places; by bicycle, on foot, in caravans of buses or private cars, men and women of all social ranks travel to Mexico City; thousands of them spend the night of 11th December in the streets around the temple and, above all, in the square in front of the Sanctuary. The Virgin of Guadalupe can be considered as the catholic continuation of the pre-Colombian Goddess Tonanzin (Mother of Gods). Today, only a few people, Los Concheros, continue to worship following the pre-Colombian rites; they bear offerings, dress an altar and hold a vigil on 11th December, and then dance on the 12th in a traditional tribute to the Black Virgin, the Mother of God.