A poor man’s daily life is interrupted by the queen of heaven in shimmering attire who assigns him a task. He offers excuses but ultimately obeys. Three times he tries, and three times he returns with the task incomplete. At last, the queen adds magic, and he accomplishes the task. A great temple is built, the man’s dying relative is healed, he lives on happily, his goodness is sung with hers.
When religious legends have a fairy tale structure like “Virgin of Guadalupe,” it helps me understand how to believe them, how to take in their essence, inspiration and power.
Believe these: a bilingual art book, a children’s book, and a new scholarly study:
Annerino, John, The Virgin of Guadalupe. Gibbs Smith, 2012.
DePaola, Tomie, The Lady of Guadalupe. Holiday House, 1988. (Out of print; hold onto yours! Kindle edition available.)
Peterson, Jeannette Favrot, Visualizing Guadalupe: From Black Madonna to Queen of the Americas. University of Texas Press, 2014 (Joe r. and Theresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture).