Virgin of Guadalupe tattoos? That, I thought was the last thing that would ever remind me of the beautiful Mexican culture. I was wrong!
If you are at all engaged in Mexican culture then you may have come across an image of a woman standing on a crescent moon, light beaming from her body and looking very grave yet chaste. You may have even seen this image as a tattoo. This is the Virgin of Guadalupe and she is essentially the Mexican incarnation of the Blessed Virgin Mary who gave birth to Christ.
The Story of The Virgin of Guadalupe
The legend of The Virgin Guadalupe, is one that holds a very special place in Mexican culture. The story asserts that the Virgin appeared to Juan Diego an indigenous peasant. She commissioned the man to build a church but had one very strange request: that he first gather some roses. The story took place in winter so the man was confused. He didn’t know where he would find roses growing in the frozen landscape. Still, he took the request on faith and sure enough, he found pristine roses growing from a frozen hill.
The man was amazed and took the roses to a priest who declared it a miracle but there was a further miracle: the roses had left a holy imprint of the virgin in the man’s poncho which he used to carry the roses. bThat image would become the design for all tattoos of The Virgin of Guadalupe.
Virgin of Guadalupe Tattoos
Surprisingly there has not been much variation as far as the designs of the Virgin of Guadalupe tattoos. Guadalupe tattoos will almost always be about the same shape; that of a standing woman. She will almost always be depicted in the same manner; her hands held together in prayer while she casts a glance soberly downward. She will also always have the same sacred light radiating from her body.
In fact the only common variation of the Virgin of Guadalupe tattoos is the bordering. Some opt to surround the virgin with a canopy of other Mexican patron saints. Some choose to envelop their Guadalupe tattoos in the sacred roses from the legend. Some people even set the Virgin of Guadalupe to a depiction of the Mexican landscape.
The Cultural Symbol
Tattoos are not the only pieces of art that bear the likeness of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The symbol has become extremely important in Mexican culture both as a religious figure and a cultural one. It can be seen emblazoned on flags, in churches and even banners calling for political action. The Virgin of Guadalupe has donned street art and graffiti as well.
The Virgin of Guadalupe represents hope, a reminder to be virtuous and even a feminine deity figure as many Mexicans pray to her in times of need. Virgin Guadalupe tattoos have even become a popular design for gangsters who see acceptance in the forgiving eyes of the saint. They emblazon her likeness onto her body as a reminder that she will forgive all and act as their advocate to the Holy Father.
Whether she is represented as a tattoo, embroidered onto a t-shirt or sculpted to life by an artist, the Virgin of Guadalupe is inevitably a tie to the Mexican culture. It spans religion, culture and art to become one of the most potent and revered symbols in existence in the modern world.