Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe – December 12, 2022

Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12 every year. The day has been declared a national holiday in Mexico. Devotees honor the day when Virgin Mary made an appearance to a young man on this day in 1531. Even though it is a national holiday, most companies and organizations organize masses and feasts for their employees. On this day, people from all parts of Mexico make their way to Mexico’s religious center at the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe, located in Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo. This is a northern neighborhood of Mexico City where they celebrate the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe with a mass ceremony and a fair in her honor. 

History of Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe

Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is a story of miracles and faith that marks an important shift in the history of Mexico. The Spaniards, after they conquered Mexico, wanted to convert the indigenous Indians to Catholicism. But the Spaniards encountered many difficulties because the Mexican had their own faith and spirituality in which they strongly believed. However, indigenous people started to become fascinated with Catholicism when the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego came to the fore. 

Juan Diego was a young indigenous Indian who was walking toward the Hill of Tepeyac on December 12, 1531, when he was stopped by an appearance of the Virgin Mary. According to Diego, the Virgin Mary was a young woman with black hair and dark skin who looked more like the women in his community. She ordered Diego to go to the Bishop and ask him to build a church at the Hill of Tepeyac. Diego then ran to the Bishop to tell him what the Virgin Mary had told him. The Bishop did not believe Diego at first and disregarded his request to build a church at the Hill of Tepeyac. 

The Virgin Mary appeared in front of Diego again and told him to collect flowers from the top of the hill. Since it was December, Diego knew that there would not be any flowers at the rocky hill. Upon reaching the top of the hill, he was surprised to see that it was covered in beautiful, colorful flowers! He remembered what he was asked to do and collected the flowers in his coat. With the flowers in hand, he went to see the Bishop again. Diego gave the coat full of flowers to the Bishop, and here the Bishop discovered the image of the Virgin Mary was miraculously traced on the coat. Seeing both the unseasonal flowers and the image of the Virgin, the Bishop realized Diego had told him the truth. The Bishop commanded that the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe be built on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City.

Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe timeline

Circa 4 B.C.
The Birth of Jesus

Jesus is born in Bethlehem.

Circa 30 A.D.
The Death of Jesus

Jesus is crucified.

1099
The Fall of Jerusalem

Crusaders invade and conquer Jerusalem.

1870
The First Vatican Council

The Dogma of Papal infallibility is proclaimed.

Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe FAQs

How is Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe celebrated?

In Mexico, celebrations occur all across the country. At churches everywhere, thousands attend Mass, and children wear blessed traditional costumes. Then, the pilgrims descend upon the basilica to see the image of Mary, which many believe to be authentic. 

What does the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe represent?

This celebration commemorates the appearance of Mary to the Mexican peasant Juan Diego in 1531. Feast day is an important holiday in Mexico. 

Is the Virgin Mary the same as the Virgin of Guadalupe?

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Spanish Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, also called the Virgin of Guadalupe, in Roman Catholicism, the Virgin Mary in her appearance before St. Juan Diego in a vision in 1531. The name also refers to the Marian apparition itself.

How To Celebrate Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe

  1. Visit Mexico City

    Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated with much gusto in Mexico City and other towns in the country. Visit Mexico City to revel in the festivities.

  2. Celebrate with Mexican food

    If you can’t visit Mexico City, bring Mexico City to you. Enjoy a hearty Mexican meal on Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

  3. Attend a parade

    If you can find a festival or parade nearby, make sure to attend it. Music, costumes, dances, and feasts are the best way to celebrate.

5 Important Facts About Mexico

  1. Mexican children don’t get presents on Christmas

    Kids in Mexico receive their Christmas presents on January 6, not December 25.

  2. The oldest city in North America

    Mexico City was actually founded in 1521.

  3. Home of the world’s smallest volcano

    The Cuexcomate Volcano sits just outside the city of Puebla and is only 43 feet tall.

  4. Mexico is LGBTQ+ friendly

    Same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption are both legal for the inhabitants of Mexico.

  5. Mexico has 10-12% of the world’s biodiversity

    This makes it the 4th most biodiverse country in the world.

Why We Love Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe

  1. It’s an important day in Mexican history

    Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is an important day in Mexican history. It is often remembered as an event when indigenous people started believing in Catholicism.

  2. Mexican culture is celebrated

    This is also a great day to celebrate Mexican culture. Learn more about their beliefs, food, and more.

  3. A day to have fun

    The Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated with feasts and parades. This makes it a great day to get together and have fun.

Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe dates

YearDateDay
2022December 12Monday
2023December 12Tuesday
2024December 12Thursday
2025December 12Friday
2026December 12Saturday

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