Santa Maria de Guadalupe is a portrait of a very popular shrine to the Virgin Mary. Every Catholic Church I have ever visited has a shrine, sometime even a chapel, to Mary. Sometimes the shrine is outside of the churches in a rose garden off to the side.
This statue held a prominent place upon a slightly raised daïs in one corner of the garden. Even though it’s in a corner of the garden, the path leading up to it made it obvious that this was the center and purpose of the gardens existence.
The statue is life-size and strangely made of concrete. I find it fascinating that the craftsmen were able to pour the concrete into molds that allowed the rays of glory coming out of her back to be directly connected with the statue in what appears to be one piece.
What is unclear about it’s construction is whether the actual markings upon the statue occurred in the mold when they poured the concrete, or sculpted into the statue by a craftsman itself at a later time.
I love the peaceful and meditative thought expression on her face. The sunlight drifts down and creates a mystifying shadow that portrays a serious level of calmness and serenity. Her folded hands in the gesture of prayer signify the grace and hope she is obviously praying for.
Another unique aspect of this statue is the devotion shown by her patrons. The rosary she has draped over her hands is not original to the statue and happened at a future time. I’ve seen rosaries in many styles and forms and I confidently claim that particular example cost a significant amount of money.
Speaking of money, the area around this church is poor, yet the coins placed in her arms and the number of dollars at her feet (not in the picture frame) was quite substantial and had been there for some time. Nothing was missing. Even the poorest people respected Santa Maria de Guadalupe enough to leave the statue in peace. Truly, this is a sign of devotion by the local Hispanic people to an idea of love, grace and hope for all.
Why not start your own artistic journey ? Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!