Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Meaning Of The Name Of The Blessed Virgin Mary Of Guadalupe: Part 1

Cuix amo nican nica nimonantzin?
No estoy aqui, que soy tu Madre?
Am I not here, who am your Mother?

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is approaching, when we celebrate the visit and apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Juan Diego in México.

Before the arrival of the True Faith in what is now México, the native people worshipped a multitude of gods. One could make the argument that Satanism is what was being practiced, what with gods who demanded blood sacrifice. Some people may lament that there were codices lost and burned by Franciscan missionaries. Insight into Aztec life might have been useful to historians. However, let us look at some of what has been preserved: bloody scenes of battle, and parents allowing Aztec priests to tears the hearts out of their children. When Hernán Cortés saw this, he was outraged, and saw it as his duty to smash the idols that he saw. Cortés helped to put an end to that, finally, in 1519.

For over a decade, the Franciscans tried their best to convert the Aztecs, but there were very few who came to the Catholic Faith. Paganism was deeply rooted in the Mexican people. One of the few was an Indian by the name of Cuahtlatoátzin (Singing Eagle), and his wife, María Lucía. His wife died in 1529.

Juan Diego would frequently walk from his house in the village of Tolpetlac, to the Franciscan Church at Tlaltelolco. On the Feast of the (Immaculate) Conception of Mary, December 9th (as it was kept in those days by the Franciscans in their calendar) St. Juan Diego was walking to hear Mass. Over the next four days, while walking to church, St. Juan Diego had visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In another post, the entire story, called the Nican Mopohua, will be posted.

Where the visions of the Blessed Virgin happened was on a hill called Tepeyac. This hill, before the arrival of the True Faith, was dedicated to a goddess called Tonantzín. If one looks at the image of Guadalupe, it conveys a great amount of information, almost like an eastern icon. One actually could start with the name. What does Guadalupe mean? Bishop Zumárraga, the Bishop of México, did not speak much Náhuatl, but did have an interpreter, Fr. Juan Gonzales. When Juan Diego and his uncle Bernardino (who also experienced a vision of the Virgin), were asked what the name of the Virgin was, they were astounded to hear the name of Guadalupe, the name of a shrine in the Bishop’s native land of Spain. It is not a name that has any connection with México or the Náhuatl language. Dr. Mariano Rojas of the National Museum of Anthropology of México in 1895 says that the name probably used was “Te Coatlaxopeuh.”

te = stone
coa = serpent
tla = the
xopeuh = crush, stamp out

Her name means that she is the one who will crush the Serpent. She in other words, was identifying herself with the Immaculate Conception, with her name and the date on which she first appeared. Bishop Zumárraga wrote to Cortés on December 24th, 1531, inviting him to the procession taking the image from Tepeyac to the Cathedral of México. In that letter, Bishop Zumárraga refers to the image of Guadalupe as the Immaculate Conception; so he saw that there was a link between the image, the Immaculate Conception, and Genesis 3:15. In her name, we can see that she says she will crush the serpent, and the cruelest serpent to the Aztecs was Quezacóatl, behind whom was Satan. 20.000 people annually were sacrificed to Quezacóatl. In Genesis 3:15, we see that God says that he will put indemnity between he and the woman, and that she will crush his head. In Apocalypse 20:2, the Serpent is specifically identified as Satan.

Our Lady of Guadalupe did have her victory over Satan, as after her visit to México, the greatest mass conversions in history took place, with over 7 million coming to the True Faith in a little over 10 years.

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