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MEXICO-EL ZOCALO AND THE METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL.

the legendthe Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary

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El Zocalo, the city centre is also built upon subsoil, and has sunk more than 12 meters in the last 100 years or so. So has the Catedral Metropolitana, as has El Palacio de Bellas Artes and other ancient buildings in Alameda Central.

Spanish built their buildings with solid stone, buildings not only as dewllings and monuments, but as Citadelas, fortresses. And not only in their colonies, but at home also. Go any where in Spain, the churches and cathedrals of Málaga, Sevilla, Burgos, León, Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, as well as in other cities, the structure is of massive stone.

On December 9, 1531, a native Mexican named Juan Diego rose before dawn to walk fifteen miles to daily Mass in what is now Mexico City. Juan lived a simple life as a weaver, farmer, and laborer. That morning, as Juan passed Tepeyac Hill, he heard music and saw a glowing cloud encircled by a rainbow. A woman's voice called him to the top of the hill. There he saw a beautiful young woman dressed like an Aztec princess. She said she was the Virgin Mary and asked Juan to tell the bishop to build a church on that site. She said, "I vividly desire that a church be built on this site, so that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help, and defense, for I am your most devoted mother, . . to hear your laments and to remedy all your miseries, pains, and sufferings.

The 400th anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe to Saint Juan Diego was held in Mexico in 1931. In celeberation of that event, the Church authorities decided to make a monumental painting of the brunette of Tepeyac to adorn the old greater Altar of the Cathedral of Mexico.

The image was placed in the center of the presbytery at the greater Altar of the Cathedral, which at the time was the famous Cypress made by Hidalga Lorenzo in 1851. The painting of the Image adorned the celebrations of the fourth centenary of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The celeberation over , the painting was got down, the frame was removed , the canvas was folded up and the painting put in storage. After that its existance was completely forgotten.

Sixty years later, in the decades of the 90s of the last century, during the placement of the lights and pillars to support and strengthen the structure of the Cathedral of Mexico, father Luis Avila, then the chief Sacristan of the Cathedral grounds, was surprised with a finding that was made during the excavation works, under the altar of the present Chapel of our Lady of Zapopan, in a warehouse full of mud, among debris, he found the incredible masterpiece, the Grand canvas of the Virgin of Guadalupe de Aguirre".

Currently this monumental image of La Guadallupana, painted on a large canvas, recovered in a providential way, can be appreciated on the wall facing the Altar of forgiveness; which is located just above the Puerta del Perdón.

El Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María in Mexico City, is one of the oldest and largest Roman Catholic cathedral in the Americas and is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico. It is also built of massive solid stone, as such buildings were constructed in Spain in sixteenth and seventeenth century. The construction started on the orders of King Felipe II in 1667 but it was not completed until the begining of the ninteenth century. In August 2013 was celeberated two hundred years of its completion.

The interior as well as exterior of the cathedral is beautiful. Near the main entrance is the image of the Lord of Poison (La imagen del Señor del Veneno) situated in the the Alter of Forgiveness ( el Altar del Perdón).

Also called "black Christ", in gratitude for favors received, the faithful offer candles, flowers, and other articles for distribution to the most needy in the community. The devotees who come to mass with images and crucifixes the Christ of black complexion and feet crossed and bound with twine, to ask for all kinds of favours, in particular healings. Legend say that this image of Christ miraculously saved the life of a devotee, who was poisoned, sucking the poison through its bound feet. As the result of this miracle of absorbing the poison, the image turned black.

Those who frequent the image believe that the Lord of Poison "absorbs" their sicknesses, infections and pain. On the 19 of October of each year, the Festival of the miraculous image of El Señor de Veneno (the Lord of the poison) is celeberated with a solemn mass, which is attended by thousands of faithful devotees.

The image of the Lord of the poison is made of pulp of sugarcane by way of a very ancient indigenous technique. The image of Christ, from the 18th century, was in the chapel of the Seminary of Porta Coeli in the city of Mexico, which after being closed to the public in 1935, the image was moved to the Cathedral of Mexico.

It would seem astonishing to even imagine how the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary of Mexico City is situated atop the former Aztec sacred precinct near the Templo Mayor on the northern side of the Plaza de la Constitutión, and was built upon the same site where had stood the ancient Aztec capital Tenochtitla.The Cathedral built upon a vision of Virgin Mary seen by a peasant in 1531.

Posted by The Islander 11:23 Archived in Mexico Tagged landscapes mountains beaches churches people monuments backpacking air-travel

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