Well, look. Our Lady can withstand anything, including people who want to hijack her into their internecine fighting. She grew up that way, remember? Pregnant and not married. Bearing the Son of God. Yeah sure, said the people of her time and they were mightily insulted.
But, Guadalupe is the major girl gang leader in heaven. She can handle herself just fine. Remember, she is called La Conquista, the one who conquers the hearts of others. In other words, the mother of Christ is filled with love… and mercy toward others. She protects the torn hearted with her mantle. She soothes those falsely accused. She knows about these things firsthand, remember? She was accused. She and her Child needed protection too.
Earlier, Jazz, my coblogger at TMV, wrote a good article called Fauxrage In Mexico – Hillary Hates Catholics! about how some in media have spun a naive question Hillary asked at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City… into the Secretary of State being insensitive, disrespectful and so on… oh and don’t forget the WWGBD trope, that too.
I’d however, like to keep it to who Hillary insulted. The answer is no one attempting to live imitatio Christi… in some semblance, poorly or half-well, in imitation of Christ.
She asked who painted the ancient picture of Our Lady on the burlap-like cape, (called La tilma de san Juan Diego o icono de la virgen de Guadalupe,) that Don Diego wore in 1531 (post Conquest invasion in 1519) when she appeared to him on Tepyac Hill. The cloak is framed above the central altar in the basilica. The heavy gold frame certainly gives the cloak the appearance of being a painting.
But, the picture was not painted. It is similar to Veronica’s Veil, from the story in the New Testament: she who wiped the bloody face of the suffering Jesus as he dragged the heavy cross to Golgotha to be crucified. Her veil took on Christ’s image including his crown of thorns.
Similarly, the little enslaved Indian, Don Diego (as his conquerors had named him) received the impression of La Señora Guadalupe on his cloak.
So, I’d just like to add my rational two cents to the way the media played this out as Hillary being a person without manners, wit, or reverence. As a Catholic and as a Latina, I’d just say this and I hope you will find what I say is so, leaving the crud of political shivs out of it…
Most of us would not be offended at all by such a question from Hillary, or from anyone. Quite the contrary, most Latinos are not offended by people speaking Spanish poorly either. (There is a group of self-appointed keepers of the language, who are arch when people dont speak perfectly, but they are a minority.) When people don’t know some important or unimportant thing, whether they are inexperienced or naive… we feel sympathetic toward people who are trying, who are interested enough to ask. Deeply so.
We tell people who falter their ways through Spanish, ‘You are doing pretty good! Say some more!’ We’d repeat what they just mangled, in the way it ought to go, to try to set a gentle example. We’d answer their questions, encourage them and smile at them, not laugh at them or scorn them. It is true, there are ‘ugly Americans from the USA,’ but most are not that. Not at all.
Same with La nuestra Señora, we would be delighted to tell her story, the story of the miracle, and about San Juan Diego, the pitiful slave under the Spanish— yet it was this little peasant she chose to appear to.
Hillary asked who has painted this picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe? Father Monroy’s answer was perfect: God!
It must also be remembered that to us Latinos, to convey the stories of the saints to another soul is considered a great blessing on both of us. We’d be thrilled at the opportunity. It is not an affront to us that people ‘do not know’ everything about matters we hold precious and sacred. We are happy to teach them!
There are those Latinos who are not good people, that is true. We also have our share of the snotty and stuck up, that is true too… those who major in being easily insulted… attempting to put themselves in the path of being insulted whenever possible… so everything must always revolve around them and their upset… thereby thieving the energy of the people to be put to good use elsewhere.
It is true as well, that in the Catholic church at present, there are some few prelates who are more well known for pointing fingers at people and hoping to punish them, than in shepherding others’ souls tirelessly and patiently. But overall, the faith is based, not on a God of earthly politics, but the God of Love.
Thus, for people with hearts and souls even semi-intact, when ignorant or naive questions are asked, especially by a visitor, the visitor is honored with kind answers… and stories… actually the stories start to roll and you might have to tell us Basta already, for we might go on and on telling you way more than you’d like to hear or have time for. We are a storytelling people. Someone’s question is the spark that starts the story engine.
The deeper truth? We respond to those who are new, naive, awkward, ignorant, rookies at matters… mainly because we ourselves already know how little we know of this world. We come from a badly, brutally conquered people and were and are sometimes yet, little wanted except for our backs and our bones… and we are grateful all the way back to ancestral memory, when anyone now helps us by explaining the hidden, the not easily apprehended matters that seem so customary to people who are not us.
We are grateful that anyone reaches to not scorn us with invective, nor to brand us again with name-calling, but to help us… giving to us in generosity of mind, with kindness of soul, with heart in full welcome.
Hillary’s question may have offended some who play los juegos politicos. But she offended no one who tries to live in some proximity to la alma, the soul.