Midnight hour, December 12th: this moment seals the celebrations that honor the Guadalupe Virgin, the patroness saint of Mexico who was canonized by Pope John Paul II by the time he had visited the country back in 1999. When the bells chime, major Mexican artists gather around thousands of worshippers in order to sing Las Mañanitassong, at the Guadalupe Basilica, the second most visited catholic center in the world, behind the Saint Peter Basilica, in Rome.
In 2018, over 10 million of pilgrims from Mexico and around followed the processions. They made it to the capital carrying their own virginal images which were carried to adorn the Sanctuary and also to thank for all achievements during the year. Most of them walk for days until they reach the top of Mount Tepeyac, where is based the Basilica which honors the Saint, in Mexico City.
According to the Mexican oral tradition and to Vatican historical documents, the Virgin appeared to San Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, who was a Mexican native, back in 1531, in four occasions. During the last one, she was also seen by his uncle. Although many worshippers believe that the name “Guadalupe” is Mexican, this word has an Arabic root, meaning “The wolves’ river”. The saint is associated with multiple miracles related to health, work and wealth.