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Our Lady of Guadalupe: Tonantzin or the Virgin Mary? Ronald A. Barnett ©

It was on December 9, 1531, when Juan Diego, a humble Indian peasant, was crossing the hill of Tepeyac just north of present day Mexico City that — it is said— a beautiful shining woman miraculously appeared to him. Declaring herself to be the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, she called Juan her son. He reported his vision to Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, who demanded additional evidence of the divine apparition. On December 12 then, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac, where the Virgin told him to gather roses where none had grown previously. Then, when the Indian delivered the roses to the Bishop, the image of the Virgin Mary miraculously appeared on his cloak. read more

A Huichol creation story Ronald A. Barnett ©

Tawexikia the sun centers this nierika or Huichol votive yarn painting. The blue deer accopanies the sun.
© Kinich Ramirez, 2006
A Huichol friend of mine, Juan Bautista Carillo, came up with the idea of a trilingual edition (Huichol, Spanish, English) of traditional Huichol narratives,

The original version entitled Historia El Tau-Sol (Huichol and Spanish for "sun", which I translated using both the Huichol and the Spanish versions, came to about 3368 words. Therefore I shall give a condensed version of the main outline followed by an attempt to explain its meaning and significance.

This is not an account of the creation of human beings but of their main means of sustenance, namely fire and the sun. Accordingly this particular Huichol narrative begins with the creation of the first hearth fire... read more

A brief history of the Jews in Mexico Mel Goldberg

Mexico today has a Jewish community of between 40,000 to 50,000 with about 37,000 living in Mexico city. The majority of them, Mexican citizens who practice Judaism, are descendents of people who, from 1881 to 1939, found refuge here. Because Mexican economic prosperity allowed religious tolerance, Jews enjoyed the same rights as any other Mexican citizen. read more

Curious coming to Mexico's Mormon Colonia Juarez Marvin West

The Mexican Romneys are descendants of great-grandpa Miles Park Romney and three or four wives who moved south in 1886, out of reach of new U.S. laws prohibiting polygamy.

Miles and other Mormon pioneers made something out of almost nothing and the small towns are is still there in the Chihuahua desert, not far from the Piedras Verdes River, on the flat ground near the Sierra Madre Occidental.

Colonia Juarez is 15 or 20 kilometers southwest of Casas Grandes. read more

Was the Aztec's Nahuatl literature a Spanish invention? Translation and evangelism Ronald A. Barnett ©

In ancient Mexico, the spoken word or the oral tradition was greatly reinforced by the use of painted books in which native history and religion were preserved and handed down through successive generations. The Maya had the most advanced system of writing in the Americas at the time Europeans began to arrive, but the Mixtec and Aztec peoples also had a very efficient system of written communication. read more

Did you know? The first Archbishop of Oaxaca: a miraculous birth and re-birth Tony Burton

In 1887, Eulogio Gregorio Clemente Gillow y Zavalza (1841-1922) was appointed Bishop of Antequera (Oaxaca). Four years later, he became the first Archbishop of Antequera. Named after a town in Spain, A... read more

Did you know? Mexico's first tourists Tony Burton

Father Alonso Ponce and Friar Antonio de Ciudad Real were probably Mexico's first ever tourists. Father Alonso Ponce de León arrived in Veracruz in September 1584 and spent the next five years travel... read more

Mesoamerican Religion: Symbolism of the Gods Part One Ronald A. Barnett

Our main sources of information on pre-Hispanic religion in Mesoamerica include archaeological monuments and Classic murals, as well as Landa's Relación and ethnological reports of surviving religious... read more

Religion In Latin America: A Documentary History Reviewed by James Tipton

Religion in Latin America: A Documentary History   By Lee M. Penyak and Walter J. Petry Orbis Books, 2006   Available from Amazon Books: Paperback Reviewed by James Tipton © Ja... read more

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene Reviewed by Allan Cogan

The story is based on an actual event in Mexican history when, in 1926, then President Calles began a persecution of the Roman Catholic Church by burning churches and killing priests and, in general, creating a Godless country. The reason for the persecution was what the government called the Church's greed and debauchery. The campaign was more successful in some states than in others. Tabasco was the most rabid persecutor and the Governor, Tomas Garrido Canabal, actually drove every priest out of the state. Canabal was determined to show that a well-run society was possible without allowing any place for religion. Churches were destroyed and the stones used to pave roads. To protect the populace he also outlawed alcohol and jazz. The importation of saxophones was banned. One follower was so devoted to the cause he carried a business card which explained that he was the personal enemy of God. In some cases a citizen could be severely penalized for saying "Adios" simply because it referred to God. read more

The Catholic Church in Mexico: Triumphs and traumas Shep Lenchek

It is a tribute to the sincerity and strength of the faith of the Mexican people, that Catholicism, is still the dominant religion in this land south of the Rio Grande. Time after time, the Catholic Ch... read more

Jews in Mexico. a struggle for survival: Part Three Shep Lenchek

Survivors. The very word has connotations of persecution, repression, hardship and escape. It also describes people with courage, stamina, the ability to adapt and almost always a moral strength and c... read more

Jews in Mexico, a struggle for survival: Part Two Shep Lenchek

The vast majority of the approximately 50,000 Mexican citizens who practice Judaism via organized congregations are descendents of people who, from 1881 to 1939, found life-saving refuge in this countr... read more

Jews in Mexico, a struggle for survival: Part One Shep Lenchek

The survival of Judaism in Mexico is a tale of tenacity and tolerance. The story begins in Spain with the "Conversos", Jews who had converted to Christianity, always under duress. It starts in 600 AD,... read more
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