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Lucy wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have repeatedly read that La Virgen de Guadalupe is just a syncretized Aztec goddess named Tonantzin. Even a contemporary Franciscan friar said that idolatry was occurring on Tepeyac Hill because the natives were continuing to call her tonantzin instead of Mary or the Virgin.

He also stated that they were not going to other Marian churches but were making pilgrimages only to Tepeyac.

  • Are these allegations true?
  • Should Catholics regard Nuestra Virgen de Guadalupe suspiciously?


  { Are these allegations true and should Catholics regard Nuestra Virgen de Guadalupe dubiously? }

Mike replied:

Hi Lucy,

Thanks for the question.

What you say appears to mirror what I found on Wikipedia.

In all Marian apparition matters, the local bishop's decision takes precedence.

That being the case, the article indicates:

The next day Archbishop Montúfar opened an inquiry into the matter. The Franciscans repeated their position that the image encouraged idolatry and superstition, and four witnesses testified to Bustamante's claim that the image was painted by an Indian (one person testified that Bustamante had said it was painted "yesterday" and another said that Bustamanate had named the Indian Marcos as the painter. The Dominicans favored allowing the Aztecs to venerate the Virgin of Guadalupe, as supported by the Archbishop. He decided to end the Franciscan custody of the shrine[14] and had the tilma mounted and displayed within a much enlarged church.

In addition, the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego has been approved by the Church. As long as you read material that has been approved by the Church on this apparition, there should be no problem.

I would add one last comment. Although we should all honor our Blessed Mother and pray the Rosary: the weapon the Trinity has chosen to defeat Satan, we should never get so wrapped up in Marian apparitions that we are taken away from learning our faith and spiritually growing as Catholics in whatever ministry we believe the Lord Jesus is calling us to.

I hope this helps,


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Lucy replied:

Thank you so much!


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