History of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spain

An important Marian shrine in the medieval kingdom of Castile housed a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It is revered in the Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, which is in today's Cáceres province of the Extremadura of Spain.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of three Black Madonnas in Spain. The statue was canonically crowned on 12 October 1928 by Pope Pius XI with a crown designed and crafted by Father Felix Granda and crowned with the attendance of King Alfonso XIII of Spain.

It should not be confused with Our Lady of Guadalupe, enshrined in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico, yet is the origin of the Titile.

It is reported that St. Luke the Evangelist carved the statue.  Pope Gregory I then gave it to Saint Leander, then archbishop of Seville. Loocal legend attests that Seville was taken by the Moors in 712, and a group of priests buried the statue in the hills near the Guadalupe River in Extremadura. In the early 14th century, Gil Cordero, a humble man and cowboy was visited by the Virgin Mary while he was searching for a missing animal in the mountains.

Cordero claimed that in the apparition, the Virgin Mary directed him to ask priests to dig where she appeared. The priests rediscovered the statue which has been buried for 600 some years. In time a small shrine was built on the spot which became the great Guadalupe monastery.

The statue of Guadalupe is carved out of cedar and is just over two feet in height. It is a Black Madonna, in the style known as "Sedes Sapientiae" or "Throne of Wisdom", with the Christ Child seated on Mary's lap.

Since at least the late 14th century, The wooden statue has been clothed in gold brocaded robes since the second half of the 14th century, allowing only her face and hands to be seen.


Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us.