Published: July 27th 2010July 24th 2010
Around 90% of the Mexican population is Catholic, making it the second largest Roman Catholic country in the world after Brazil. To experience the importance of the religion in Mexico you only have to go to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe just outside Mexico city. This shrine has become the most visited Catholic shrine in the world and the second most visited church in the world, after St. Peter's in the Vatican.
We had a guide who explained the importance of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and about the story of how the image appeared miraculously on the cloak of Juan Diego. I was brought up in a non-religious family so any experience of devote religion always intrigues me, watching people queuing up to touch and bless a replica of Our Lady of Guadalupe was fascinating. I consider myself a religious skeptic and can’t help but think the miracle of Guadalupe happened just at a time when the Spanish were trying to convert the millions of indigenous people. Also the miraculous image has been subject to scientific analysis in recent years and results show it’s consistent with other paintings from that era. Saying that, belief and
science are too different things and from what I’ve seen the belief is still very strong.
When we visited the Catedral Metropolitana in the heart of the city, we sat and took in the sights whilst listening to the amazing sounds of the organ being played. 30 minutes of haunting tunes in such an impressive setting was, for me a moment I shall treasure. We have visited a few spectacular churches already in Mexico and I’m sure we’ll see many more.
Our next stop is Oaxaca, an overnight bus trip from Mexico city, 7 hours south of Mexico city. We have luckily timed this to coincide with the Guelaguetza festival so we are pretty excited!
we only realised this when we saw riot police on the local tv......gulp!
There are more photos below