Mexico, land of the heavenly patron saint of Latin America

Mexico is where the most visited Marian shrine in the world is located: Our Lady of Guadalupe, the "Heavenly Patron Saint of all Latin America and the Philippines Islands."

The Marian piety of the Mexican people dates back to the time of the Spanish Conquest of the Americas. Initially, Franciscan missionaries evangelized this part of the American continent. Later, Dominicans, Augustinians, Jesuits, Carmelite friars and Mercedarians arrived. Afterwards, more recent Marian Congregations arrived such as the Congregation of the Mission, known as the Vincentians, who introduced the devotion to the Miraculous Medal in Latin America. Today, Marian devotion is so strong in Mexico, that there is no diocese or any important city that does not have at least one sanctuary dedicated to the Mother of God.

It is interesting to note that the Virgin is venerated in Mexico under at least 200 different names, some of which have become universally known. The most radiant of all these names and sanctuaries is, by far, that of Our Lady of Guadalupe, located on the hills overlooking Mexico City, capital of the country.

The influence of Marian devotion has permitted the evangelization of Mexico

Of course, it is possible to find other sanctuaries dedicated to the Virgin Mary in other parts of the country, which are also important places of pilgrimage. Among the most popular we find:

  • Our Lady of the Village, patron saint of the diocese of Queretaro: this pilgrimage lasts 8 days, during which time the bishop walks at the head of his diocese, to the foot of the Madonna of the Village;
  • Our Lady of Zapopam, (State de Jalisco), greatly venerated in the town of Guadalajara;
  • Our Lady of Saint John of the Lakes (State de Jalisco): pilgrims come here from all Mexico;
  • Our Lady of the Rosary of Talpa, diocese of Tepic, celebrated in all Mexico;
  • Our Lady of Ocotlàn, in Tlaxcala, patron saint of the archdiocese of Puebla;
  • Our Lady the Helpful, (State of Mexico City).

In actual fact, the influence of Marian devotion has been instrumental to the evangelization of the country. It is also largely because of their Marian piety that the Mexicans have remained loyal to their Catholic faith.