This day was truly a dream come true and one definitely ON my bucket list for sure. Ever since I ve been a snowbird in Mexico I ve been aware of how important this patroness of Mexico is to all the Mexicans. I ve seen her image on clothing, in official and unofficial shrines, nichos, tile work, murals. I personally own a baseball cap, a rebozo with the full scene, a large clay tile detail of her face and a box with a photo of a wall mural in Ajijic on it. I have read the oft told story of Juan Diego and how the apparation of Our Lady appeared to him asking him to go to the bishop to ask that a church be built on the spot she appeared. The collection of the Castille red roses previously unknown to the area is also well known and depicted in innumerable renderings.
I also knew that this Basilica was THE most visited church in all of Mexico. The guides told us that it is expected that everyone who possibly can make a trip at least once a year to this shrine. So to actually join the hordes and hordes of locals ON Christmas Day was an experience beyond compare! I even took a couple of Hi Mom shots, something that I rarely do to record the occasion for posterifty. Being there on December 25th will surely go down in my memory banks as a highlight of my travelling life.
And did I make a prayer request to Our Lady? Most certainly. I arrived at the basilica with my sincere prayer request on a paper with a small safety pin attached ready to pin it to a prayer request velvet somewhere on the site. I also had a small votive candle and made a donation of 200 pesos to the woman taking donations and giving out various badges with spiritual personas on them. Two years ago, on my last day in Ajijic, I went to the mural wall that featured Guadalupe with my tall votive candle. I lit it and placed it with the others in the shrine and prayed that I would be able to sell my house and return to Ajijic the following winter. Well, to make a long story short, with the additional intervention of St. Joseph, patron saint of real estate I was able to sell 401 Braid in three months less a day to pave my way for a move to the West Coast to Nanaimo…at last! Mil Gracias, St. Joseph y Nuestra Senor de Guadalupe!
This time I have another prayer request, equally as sincere and for now a personal heartfelt request that is between Guadalupe and myself.
More text and pictures including some selfies to follow…Stay tuned!