7.9a.6 Luis Laso de la Vega’s Huei tlamahuiçoltica Omonexiti in ilhuicac Tlatoca Çihuapilli Santa Maria Totlaçonantzin
According to the story, Juan Diego’s vision happened in 1531, but the story was not written down until 1648. This book, written by Luis Laso de la Vega, told the story in both Nahuatl and Spanish. The book helped spread the cult (the worship) of the Mexican Virgin of Guadalupe beyond the local Nahua and Spanish communities in and around Mexico City to all of New Spain. Laso de la Vega used the Nahuatl word Totlaçonantzin (“our precious mother”) as a title for the Virgin. Europeans called her “the heavenly queen,” “the mother of God,” and “our lady.” Where did the Nahua get the title “our precious mother”? Vocabulary Totlaçonantzin: our precious mother Altepetl: region
There is not much evidence for the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe at Tepeyacac before the middle of the seventeenth century. There are reports of the existence of a chapel for her on this site. Most historians think that this story and image circulated locally among the Spanish and Nahua population before it was recorded by Laso de la Vega and others in the mid-seventeenth century. Students should notice that this book is a primary source, but not of the events it describes, which would have happened more than a century before. The book is a primary source for the development of the story and cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the mid-seventeenth century. Students should also recognize that the Nahua were calling the Virgin by the same name that they had used for the pre-conquest mother goddess, Tonantzin.
BY A GREAT
OUR PRECIOUS MOTHER OF GUADALUPE
HERE NEAR THE GREAT ALTEPETL OF MEXICO,
AT A PLACE CALLED TEPEYACAC