Nuestra Señora de Zapopan
Location: Village of Tzapopa (later Zapopan),
province of Tonalán, State of Jalisco, close (about two miles) to the city of
Origin: When he defeated the Tochos Indians that had
rebelled against the Spanish power, Francisco de Bobadilla, a conquistador,
founded Tzapopa in the midst of Indian territory in 1541, twenty years after the
fall of Mexico. Franciscan friars soon came to evangelize the peopulation.
A statue of Mary Immaculate was brought by Fray Antonio of Segovia on that
occasion. The story says that this friar had offered his mediation in
order to prevent more bloodshed. He came before the Indians holding a
crucifix in one hand, and a small statue of Mary in the other. The Indians
watched celestial twinklings around that statue. That made them lay down
History: The shrine passed on to the diocesan
clergy in 1641. During the following years, after an official enquiry on
the miracles ascribed to the intercession of Our Lady of Zapopan, the local
ordinary transferred her feast from December 9 to December 18, one week--an
octave--before Christmas. He also changed her original name to Nuestra
Señora de la O or de la Expectacíon, but the original name has been kept by the
people. Our Lady of Zapopan has been venerated fervently not only in
Zapopan, but throughout the entire State of Jalisco. Countless miracles
have continued to happen. People used to transport her to Guadalajara
whenever this large city--now the second largest in Mexico--was in danger, as in
1721, in order to protect the city from plague. In 1734, she was
proclaimed Patroness against storms and lightning. Even now, the
statue stays in Guadalajara from June 13 to October 5. After Mexico became
independent in 1821, the Virgin of Zapopan was proclaimed Patroness of the State
of Jalisco and its army. She was canonically crowned on January 18, 1921.
Shrine: The current shrine (the first ones were adobe
constructions) was inaugurated by the bishop of Guadalajara on September 8,
1730. Since that time, it has been enriched and made more beautiful.
The statue of Mary [at right, click to enlarge] is made of light wood and is 34 centimeters
high. Mary wears a read carmine tunic and a blue mantel. There are
traces of an earlier golden color. Her feet stand on a crescent moon; and
her hands are clasped in prayer. The statue is usually placed in a silver
vase that covers her from her hips downward. The vase is placed on a
The statue is clothed with rich garments and adorned with an abundant wig and
an imperial crown surrounded by a halo made of gold and adorned with gems.
She is girded with a blue scarf like a general.
Below her hands there is a precious circular reliquary containing a golden
child Jesus (possibly a reference to the title de la O). The golden staff
hanging from her right arm--possibly a commander's baton--complements the
scepter she carries in her hands.
Our Lady of Zapopan
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, was last modified
Wednesday, 11/10/2004 15:11:46 EST
Michael P. Duricy
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