This article is about the Spanish statue.
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Extremadura)
The shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe was the most important Marian Shrine in the medieval kingdom of Castile . It is revered in the Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, in today's Cáceres Province of the Extremadura autonomous community of Spain.
The shrine housed a statue reputed to have been carved by Luke the Evangelist and given to Saint Leander, archbishop of Seville by Pope Gregory I. When Seville was taken by the Moors , a group of priests fled northward and buried the statue in the hills near the Guadalupe River in Extremadura.
At the beginning of the 14th Century, a shepherd claimed that the Virgin Mary had appeared to him and ordered him to ask priests to dig at the site of the apparition. Excavating priests rediscovered the hidden statue and built a small shrine around it which evolved into the great Guadalupe Monastery .
Pilgrims began arriving in 1326, and in 1340, King Alphonso XI took a personal interest in the shrine's development, attributing his victory over the Moors at the Battle of Rio Salado to the Virgin's intercession. Our Lady of Guadalupe, along with Santiago de Compostela and Nuestra Señhora del Pilar became rallying points for the Christian Spaniards in their Reconquista of Iberia.
In 1386, the shrine was commended to the Hieronymites, who turned the popular devotion to the figure into a genuine cult. Copies of the statue were venerated in satellite chapels probably including this one in Vila do Bispo, Algarve.
A theory that the name of the Mexican Lady of Guadalupe derives from the Extremadura figure is based on similarities between the apparition stories and the provenance of many Conquistadors, including Hernàn Cortes, from the Extremadura region.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of three Black Madonnas in Spain.