The Virgin of Guadalupe and Mexican Folk Art

In Mexico, December 12 is the Fiesta of  la Virgen de Guadalupe. Pilgrims from all over Mexico walk, ride buses, drive, ride bikes and even walk on their knees to arrive at the Basilica of Guadalupe that was built on the hill where Juan Diego saw the Virgin three times in the 1500’s. The tilma that was seen by Juan Diego is preserved in the Basilica and many, many people make pilgrimages to see it and to pray for help of all kinds. But it’s not just in Mexico City that people remember and celebrate her today–it’s everywhere in the country.

Guadalupe is a world-famous icon of the Virgin Mary. She is fondly known as the “Queen of Mexico.” Her image can be found everywhere in Mexico. She’s recognizable by the golden rays that surround her image and by the little cherub at her feet.

Here’s a photo of the original Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Mexico City Basilica de Guadalupe

Yes, it’s sinking! That’s partly why a new Basilica was built to the left of this photo. I like the old one better.

Basilica de Virgen de Guadalupe

Light a candle and leave it outside one of several chapels on the Tepeyac Hill.

Lux Mexican Religious Candle

We carry 5″ tall Lux Candles. Take off the tissue paper and the lid, light it and wait for the image to be illuminated by the flame (it will take a while).

Folk artists use her image in every imaginable way and express their love and admiration for her through their media.

Ocumicho Guadalupe Wall Plaque

This is  the Virgen de Guadalupe according to the Purepecha people of Michoacan. The whimsical Guadalupe wall plaque was made in Ocumicho.

Virgen de Guadalupe Wall Hanging Plate

Wooden bateas (carved trays) painted with the Virgin’s image come from Michoacan. These are decorative and are meant to be hung on the wall or set in a holder for display.

Reverse Glass Paintiing of the Virgen de Guadalupe

This is a reverse glass painting of la Virgen. The technique is an old-fashioned one but is being revived by a Mexico City artist, Manuel Bauman.

Wooden Retablo with Guadalupe & Saints, Mexico

This is a large and lovely retablo with many saints on wood and painted in Michoacan. Available in the shop or by email!

Tin Cross with Virgin of Guadalupe

This gorgeous tin cross decorated on the inside with Guadalupe and the symbolic roses comes from Oaxaca. Available in the shop or by email!

Guadalupe Earrings, Nickel Silver

Nickel Silver earrings with the image of the Virgin available here.

Decorative Boxes with Virgin of Guadalupe

And of course decorative boxes! These are especially lovely and very unique. They are from Mexico City. Available in the shop or by email.

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Religious Folk Art

Handcarved saints from Guatemala

Carved Wooden Saints

Because over 90% of  Mexico is Catholic, one finds lots of charming and beautiful hand-made religious folk art all over the country. The saints, above, are from Guatemala, another very Catholic country. Religion is a part of every day life in Mexico, from the home altar to crossing oneself in front of every church, to the pinning of milagros, to the omnipresent image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Catholicism is not native to Mexico–the Spanish brought it with them in the 1500’s. In indigenous towns and villages one still finds religious practices that harken back to the days before the conquest.

If you’d like more about each of the pieces, click on the photo!

Mexican Clay nativity set

Josefina Aguilar Nativity Set

Decorated religious bottles

Mexican Shrine in a Bottle

Wooden saint of Virgen de Guadalupe

Carved Wooden Virgin of Guadalupe

Wooden carved heart covered in milagros or charms

Hand Carved Wooden Hearts Covered in Milagros

Gerardo Ortega Nativity Set

13 Piece Painted Clay Nativity Set from Jalisco, Gerardo Ortega


Wood Carved Santos from Guatemala

Here are a few shots of some of the Guatemalan saints now at GUILD. They are all hand carved and hand painted. We have lots of choices in colors and saints (St. Francis, John the Baptist, Jesus, St. Dominic, St. Anthony and others…muchos!  These are about 15″ tall. We also have some that are 8″ tall.

If you can’t make it to GUILD or you are looking for one particular saint, let me know, and I can send you some photos of what’s available.
St. Dominic is online right here.