CELEBRATIONS IN ECUADOR: Our Lady of Guadalupe

Image

December 12 is the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady of Guadalupe is Patron Saint of the Americas.

December 12 is when Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated around the world as people reflect on the many virtues of Our Lady of Guadalupe, including faith, humility and understanding. Here in Ecuador, Our Lady of Guadalupe was celebrated by the entire town last weekend. Ribbons were strung in garlands over the streets and along the fences the day before the celebration.

Image

The next day, the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe was carried from where she normally sits in the local Catholic church and carried in a procession to the beach. Since this is a fishing town, and as she is considered here the Patron Saint of The Fishermen, hundreds of people followed her statue to the beach and then through the town in a parade.

Image

Image

Image

The people sang songs to praise to her and live bands played. People from the town passed out water and sweet tea in plastic bags, candy was passed on huge trays and fried cheese and potato pastries were also given out. When we hung back behind the crowd, a man grabbed some pastries and handed them to us (before he ate one himself) smiled and said “Welcome!”, embodying two of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s most cherished virtues: kindness and understanding.

Missionaries who first came to Mexico with the conquistadors had little success in the beginning. After nearly a generation, only a few hundred Native Mexicans had converted to the Christian faith. Whether they simply did not understand what the missionaries had to offer or whether they resented these people who made them slaves, Christianity was not popular among the native people.

In 1531, it is said that miracles began to happen. Jesus’ own mother appeared to humble Juan Diego. The signs — of the roses, of the uncle miraculously cured of a deadly illness, and especially of her beautiful image on Juan’s mantle — convinced the people there was something to be considered in Christianity. Within a short time, six million Native Mexicans had themselves baptized as Christians.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 3.10.21 PM

In Mexico, Mary appeared to Juan Diego not as a European Madonna but as a beautiful Aztec princess speaking to him in his own Aztec language. (see photo above of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s beautiful image which appeared on Juan’s Diego’s mantle)  Mary appeared in such a way so that the culture in which the people of Mexico lived their lives was respected.

Here in the town where I live, Crucita, Ecuador, Our Lady of Guadalupe is cherished as the Parton Saint of this town. She watches over every fishing boat and fisherman, keeping them safe.

Image

PS: Would you like more ACCURATE, AUTHENTIC and UP TO DATE INFORMATION about ECUADOR?

WORDS TO THRIVE BY FOR WORLD TRAVELERS: FOOTPRINTS IN ECUADOR by Mary Anne Dorward

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 2.37.38 pm

Note: All photos in “Footprints in Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” have been taken by Mary Anne Dorward. All photos and writing on this blog are protected under the U.S. Trademark: Words To Thrive By.  Please do not copy or reproduce any part of these blogs without express permission from Mary Anne Dorward. For more information or to schedule and inspirational speech or interview, please contact Mary Anne at ma@maryannedorward.com.)

Advertisements

One thought on “CELEBRATIONS IN ECUADOR: Our Lady of Guadalupe

  1. Pingback: ECUADOR FRIDAY PHOTOS: SUNSET- Crucita, Ecuador | Footprints In Ecuador

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s