The Guadalupan Controversies in Mexico

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2006-10-18
  • Publisher: Stanford Univ Pr
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The tradition of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico is one of history's greatest examples of the fusion of religious devotion and national identity. For more than three centuries it has united a people who have often been divided. Given the universality of the devotion, not just in Mexico but throughout the Catholic world, it is surprising to know that from the beginning the story of the Virgin Mary's appearances to the neophyte Indian Juan Diego has been the object of bitter controversy. In the late nineteenth century this centered on the authenticity of the tradition, sparked in part by the famous letter of the great Mexican historian Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta to the archbishop of Mexico, in which he listed his arguments against the tradition. From 1980 until 2002 the controversy centered on the canonization of Juan Diego and the doubts about his historical existence. The Guadalupan Controversies in Mexico is the first comprehensive history of this interesting yet relatively unknown facet of Mexican social and religious history.

Author Biography

Reverend Stafford Poole, C.M., was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1956. He is now an independent scholar whose primary research interest is the Catholic church in colonial Mexico. His previous publications include The Story of Guadalupe: Luis Laso de la Vega's Huei tlamahuiçoltica of 1649 (Stanford University Press, 1998) and Juan de Ovando: Governing the Spanish Empire in the Reign of Philip II (2004).

Table of Contents

Preface ix
1. From the Beginning
2. The Controversy Is Ignited 26(32)
3. Coronation and Controversy 58(29)
4. The Visitation of Archbishop Averardi 87(20)
5. An Uneasy Calm 107(31)
6 The Beatification of Juan Diego 138(21)
7. History versus Juan Diego 159(32)
8. A Sign of Contradiction 191(14)
Appendix 1: Letter Concerning the Origin of the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico, Written by Don Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta to the Most Illustrious Señor Archbishop Don Pelagio Antonio de Labastida y Dávalos (October 1883) 205(34)
Appendix 2: Joint Letter to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, 9 March 1998 239(5)
Appendix 3: Joint Letter of 27 September 1999 244(5)
Notes 249(44)
Bibliography 293(18)
Index 311

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