V is for Virgin of Guadalupe

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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).

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2 responses

  1. Ah, I could say sooooo much. For now, thanks. (Did you READ the scholarly study – a good read or heavy text-booky? Already too many of those in my masters degree.. But I LOVE this tale and appreciated seeing the summary in those terms.

    • Marni, I have not read it, but I was so impressed by what I read ABOUT it that I wanted to include it. The author has addressed some of the questions I’ve wondered about as I drive around San Antonio, home to much public art which includes *la virgen* and many devoted guadalupanas. The publisher’s description (http://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/petvis) calls it an “exegesis,” so I’m guessing heavy! Also a bit expensive, but that may just mean good reproduction of the artworks. (Looking back after your note, I realized I had misattributed it, too, and have changed that. Thanks!)