Puerto Vallarta’s Iconic Church… Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Photo of crown of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta,  Mexico. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

The crown of Puerto Vallarta’s iconic Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Juan Diego had a vision on December 9, 1531 according to the Catholic Church: the Virgin Mary, i.e. Our Lady of Guadalupe, met him on a hilltop near Mexico City and asked that a church be built on the site to honor her. To prove her identity, she cured Juan’s uncle of an incurable disease and had him take flowers bundled in his cloak to the local bishop. When Juan opened the cloak for the bishop, an image of the Virgin was embedded in it.

The Virgin got her church and Our Lady of Guadalupe has been big in Mexico ever since. Pope John Paul II declared her the Empress of Latin America in 1999. Juan Diego was canonized in 2002. He’s now a saint. As for the cloak, it is enshrined in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. It is the most visited shrine to the Virgin Mary in the world. Millions of people stop by to pray and ask for blessings.

Thus it isn’t surprising that the people of Puerto Vallarta decided to name their church after the Lady when they built it in the early 1900s. The beautiful structure has become an icon for the city of Puerto Vallarta. We were there in early December for Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Feast Day. The church was packed with events and people.

Parade to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A number of activities were planned around the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe including this parade. The painting in the middle depicts the image on Juan Diego’s cloak.

This young lady was part of the parade. She seemed to take her role quite seriously.

This shy young lady was part of the parade. She seemed to take her role quite seriously. But is that the beginning of a smile?

The parade turned the corner and made its way up to the church. (Photo by our daughter Natasha Cox.)

The parade turned the corner and made its way up to the church. (Photo by our daughter Natasha Cox.)

Bell ringer at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

The church bell-ringer did his job, calling the faithful to church.

Inside Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

The number of events made it difficult to get inside and photograph the church. The first time I stopped by, a hearse was parked outside. I thought, um no, not a good time. This photo was of a Quinceanera, I believe, a 15-year-old girl’s coming out celebration.

Following are several more photos of the church.

Peggy caught this photo. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Peggy shot this photo. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Looking up at the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Looking up at the Church of Our Lady Of Guadalupe.

Puerto Vallarta mural depicting Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.Photo by Curtis Mekemson

One of many depictions we found of the church in Puerto Vallarta murals.

The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at night. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

The church at night.

A view of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe through stree decorations in Puerto Vallarta. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Looking up at the church through street decorations.

View of the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico through the trees. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A final view of the church through the trees.

NEXT BLOG: The tropical sunsets of Banderas Bay and Puerto Vallarta.

15 comments on “Puerto Vallarta’s Iconic Church… Our Lady Of Guadalupe

  1. The crown on the church reminds me of Indian ivory carvings. I had a fan once, that was made of ivory – one of the old-fashioned ones that opened and closed. It’s one of those things you don’t think of for 50 years and suddenly wonder – where did that thing go?

    Ah, well. It’s gone but your photos are here, and they’re beautiful. There’s a church in Galveston that’s all arches and whitewash and mahogany – this one reminds me of it.

    What are the colored street decorations made of? Paper? Cloth? Are they hand cut? They look like the doilies we used to make. I think they must be common in Latin America. I seem to remember seeing them elsewhere.

    • The decorations are made of plastic, I believe Linda. They are quite common in Mexico, not to mention Mexican restaurants in the states. 🙂

      The crown of the church really makes it unusual. While the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe lacks the grandeur of major cathedrals, I felt it was one of the prettiest churches I have come across in my wanderings. –Curt

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