An Immaculate Deception

The colonialist roots of La Virgen de Guadalupe

A man crawls during the annual pilgrimage to Tepeyak. Photo by Eman Kazemi / Alamy Stock Photo

When Spanish forces under the command of Hernando Cortes first set foot on the eastern coast of Mexico on April 22, 1519, they christened the site of their landing Veracruz, “the true cross” (Cortes et al. 2001:4). Within five years of Cortes’ arrival, a group of Franciscan missionaries arrived in Mexico, tasked with converting the previously…