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Our Lady of Guadalupe
« on: November 03, 2007, 02:19:02 PM »
Stafford Poole’s Our Lady of Guadalupe was rather an interesting piece of work in that in focused in one of the major factors that influenced the creation of a Mexican national identity. Stafford Poole also talks about how the inception of Coriollismo was supplemented by the use of the Lady of Guadalupe as an identifying factor; one that strengthened their discourse against the privileged peninsulares within New Spain. The author also successfully relates how the Lady of Guadalupe was later utilized during the war for independence when insurrectionist leaders such as Hidalgo lead his armies under the banner of the darked skinned Lady of Guadalupe, which was noted to have been effective in mobilizing the native peoples to join their cause. Likewise, Stafford Poole also explains that the Spanish military forces utilized the same tactic in employing an image of the Blessed St. Mary for their cause, specifically dressing the image of the Lady of Remedios in Spanish military uniform.
   
The exuberance and religiosity of New Spain was illustrated throughout the reading as a primary force in controlling the native peoples as well as legitimizing the rule the Kingdom of Spain had over its dominions in the new world. And from analyzing the historical background of Spain, one can’t help but notice the intolerant, crusading spirit of the people conquistadores and the Franciscan, Dominican and Jesuit missionaries that would tame the indigenous natives.
   
What I personally find intriguing is the varying stories when it comes to the story of the Lady of Guadalupe, particularly with the varying age changes of Juan Diego when he first met the Lady of Guadalupe and the differences in account of his marriage to Maria Lucia. Another point that I realized while reading the passage was that Juan Diego and his uncle were practically forgotten years after the appearances of the Lady of Guadalupe; which relates to the racism within the hierarchical system in New Spain. That and the fact that the Creoles of New Spain were utilizing the Lady of Guadalupe as a force to increase their position in country, despite the fact that the image of the Mother Mary appeared to a native and not to a Spaniard. Stafford Poole does note that the fact that the Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego reaffirmed the humanity of the native people and solidified her role as the patroness of those who were desolate, powerless, and in dire need. Some questions that arose while reading this book was that why didn’t Bishop Zumarraga name the Lady in native Nahua language, especially when the Lady spoke in Nahua to Juan Diego? The passage also talks about the lack of attention on Juan Diego after his death; however, Poole does mention that he was later a target of interest in the 17th century. Do present day Mexicans hold him in some kind of religious regard at all? Lastly, is the Lady of Guadalupe revered at all in Kingdom of Spain or is it primarily an American phenomenon?


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