Donation of a Portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Trinidad – a Symbol of Unity and Faith
January 3rd, 2024
In an act of profound cultural and religious significance, the Embassy of Mexico in Trinidad and Tobago donated an oil painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Port of Spain. The event, which took place on 12th December, symbolises the bonds of friendship and unity between Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago and contributes to strengthening the relationship between the two peoples.
His Grace, Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon, who decided that the image should be placed in the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Paramin—a significant place of worship and the only religious site in this country dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe—highlighted in his homily at this celebration that the donation signifies a grand gesture of brotherhood between Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago. The presence of an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe represents the devotion of the Mexican people and the strength of their faith, which sets an example for the entire hemisphere.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, venerated as the patron saint of Mexico and Empress of the Americas, is a central figure in the Latin American and Caribbean Catholic Church. Her main centre of worship, the Basilica of Santa Maria de Guadalupe in Mexico City, attracts some 20 million pilgrims annually, especially on 12 December, the day dedicated to the commemoration of her apparition. The Virgin appeared in 1531 to the indigenous Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac, asking him to build a temple in her honour, an event that marked the beginning of her devotion and the attribution of numerous miracles.
The significance of this donation to Trinidad and Tobago lies not only in its artistic and cultural value, but also in its symbolism of love, hope and unity. The Virgin of Guadalupe, as a religious and cultural heritage of Mexico, now also becomes a bridge of friendship and faith between the peoples of Mexico and the Caribbean, reinforcing the idea that the Virgin Mary, in her appearance as Guadalupe, is the mother protector of all Catholics in the hemisphere.
Eight years away from the 500th anniversary of her apparitions, this gesture of friendship from the Embassy takes on even greater significance as the Catholic community of Trinidad and Tobago prepares for a solemn commemoration.
The donated image represents the Mexican Virgin, painted by expert Peruvian hands in the city of Cusco and from now on it will be preserved on this Caribbean island, thus uniting the continent in devotion.