Last Friday, December 8th, was the day of Immaculate Conception (Holy Day of Obligation). And this Tuesday, December 12th, will be the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I wanted to give some background information on these origins and days, as well as some artworks that are associated with these beliefs.
December 8th is the feast day of Immaculate Conception. This day celebrates the Christian belief that Mary was born free from all original sin. It is also a day to appreciate the holiness of Mary, and how she helped bring Christ to the world.
Murillo, Immaculate Conception of Soult, 1678.
This artwork was created by a Spanish Baroque painter, Bartolome Esteban Murillo. This piece shows Mary floating on clouds, being surrounded by angels. Compared to his usually refined artwork, this work contains some hazy qualities (especially towards the back). Mary is wearing her usual clothes (white and blue), and there is a halo on her head. The angels look upon Mary in two ways: some of them look at her like she’s a relic or very holy figure, and others act playfully around her/look at her as though she is their mother.
December 12th is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On December 9th, 1531 (ten years after the Spanish conquest of Mexico), Juan Diego was on his way to a catechetical instruction when Mary appeared to him (Marian apparition) on the Tepeyac Hill. She told him that she wanted a shrine for her to be built in that location. When Diego told Bishop Zumarraga, the Bishop refused to believe this and he wanted a sign. Three days later, Diego saw Mary again and she told him to take roses into a woven cloak and show it to the Bishop. When the Bishop saw this cloak, he saw the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The shrine was built in 1709, and it is valued by people all over the world.
These are some amazing artworks I found based on Our Lady of Guadalupe:
If anyone is interested, here is more information about Our Lady of Guadalupe!