Basilica de Guadalupe: Visit One of the Most Revered Sites for Catholics


Basilica de Guadalupe is a Catholic Church and a sacred shrine in Mexico. The place is a famous pilgrimage site for Christians and one of the most popular tourist attractions. Also known by the name of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the church is visited by a number of Catholics each year, especially in December as the Feast day of Basilica falls in this month. Since the beginning of the 18th century, the place has remained one of the most revered shrines for Catholic pilgrims.

The church is located in Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo in Mexico. The legend behind it says that an Indian convert and an Aztex peasant , Juan Diego, saw Virgin’s twin apparitions at this place, so Basilica was erected at this place in mid 16th century.

Importance of Basilica

Basilica de Guadalupe is scared to Catholics as it houses the original image of Virgin Mary who is said to appear to a peasant named Juan Diego. The peasant told the bishop that in his vision, he was asked by Virgin to build a temple for her. On asking about the proof, Diego went back and brought a bunch of flowers in his apron. When he opened the apron, there was an image of Virgin. To honor the divine orders, a basilica was built in 1530. But it was completed only in 1709.

Templo Expiatorio, Old Basilica de Guadalupe
Templo Expiatorio, Old Basilica de Guadalupe: Image Attribution: By Minaram – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Old Basilica Construction

Construction of la Basilica de Guadalupe was done by the architect named Pedro. The statue of Diego in marble was placed where there was an image of the goddess. The cloak of the peasant was also placed inside. This Old Basilica was built on water and the structure grew weak over time. Hence it was decided to build a new one, with the old one closed for years but reopened again.

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Image Attribution: By Photograph by Mike Peel (, CC BY-SA 4.0

The New Basilica

A New Basilica was built between 1974 and 1976 built by Pedro Ramirez Vazquez and the image of Virgin of Guadalupe was placed in it. The New Basilica is circular in shape with diameter. In order to prevent the new structure from sinking, pylon was used. Basilica de Guadalupe Mexico City is constructed in such a way that the image of Virgin is seen from all the angles.

New Basilica de Guadalupe
New Basilica de Guadalupe: Image Attribution: By Juan Carlos Fonseca Mata – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

The place can accommodate more than 10,000 people at a time. In addition to this, there is vast space for 40,000 in the portion built in front of the Basilica. Here, a number of masses take place take place on a daily basis in the basilica. The confessions take place between six in the morning till six in the evening.

The choir has two chapels of St Joseph and Santisimo. The upper floor has nine chapels. The new Basilica is build near to the original one. There are a number of other sacred buildings and chapels nearby. They include Indian’s Chapel, Pocito Chapel, and Capuchin’s Temple etc. A number of religious ceremonies take place in the Basilica de Guadalupe as well as in other chapels. The place is also the ground for matrimonies and communions.

Lady de Guadalupe
Lady de Guadalupe

Basilica de Guadalupe Mexico is an important place of reverence for Christians. It is considered extremely sacred by the followers. In fact, its religious importance comes just after the Vatican. Every year, millions of devotees do pilgrimages to the Basilica. Since ancient times, people from Latin America and nearby countries flocked to Basilica and offered prayers.

The Old Basilica has now become a museum and it opens between 10 am to 6 pm whereas the new building is open from 9 am to 6 pm. It would day a half-day excursion to complete the visit to Basilica de Guadalupe and the churches nearby. To the south of the shrine is another famous place called Museo de Los Ferrocarrileros and is merely at a walking distance.

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