Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 27, 1955
NUMBER 37, PAGE 6,10b

Battle Of The Virgins

Luther W. Martin, St. James, Missouri

To the Israelites, God said; "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the wafer under the earth . . . ." (Exodus 20:4.)

To Christians, John was inspired to write; "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." (1 John 5:21.)

To Christians, Paul wrote; "Neither be ye idolators, as were some of them; (referring to the wayward children of Israel, LWM), as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." (1 Cor. 10:7.)

In spite of many inspired warnings given in the Bible to refrain from, and avoid, the veneration of images, idols and relics, several of the world's different religious sects practice idolatry in varying forms and degrees. Foremost among these groups is the Roman Catholic Church. In order to illustrate this charge, we will relate some history which involves occurrences in our neighboring nation to the South, Old Mexico.

The Virgin Of Guadalupe

Prior to the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the year 1521 A.D., the many native inhabitants, generally termed "Indians" today, were normally and naturally a worshipful race of people. Included in this classification were the Aztecs, Mayans, Totonacs, Lacandons, Chamulas and others. Almost immediately after the Spanish invaders arrived, a Roman Catholic 'Archbishop' by the name of Zumarraga ordered the destruction of all the 'heathen' Gods, temples, and idols. This rule by the 'iron hand' did not, however, erase the desire to worship, from the minds or hearts of the natives. Consequently, about ten years after the Conquest, an humble Aztec by the name of Juan Diego, reportedly received a vision or visit from what came to be known as the 'Virgin of Guadalupe.'

She first allegedly appeared to Juan, on December 9th, 1531, and made subsequent appearances on the 11th and 12th of December that year also. In the hearts of the natives, this 'Virgin' supplanted the Aztec goddess of earth and corn, called "Tonantzin," little mother or Indian virgin.

The Virgin of Guadalupe became such a firm and widespread obsession with the people of the region that she is now part and parcel of Roman Catholic tradition in that area.

In the year 1754, the Pope of Rome declared the 'Virgin' to be "Patroness and Protectress of New Spain." As recently as the year 1945, she was crowned with the title "The Queen of Wisdom and of the Americas."

In the Mexican Revolution for Independence in 1810, a "patriot-priest" by the name of Miguel Hidalgo, decided that his fortunes of war would be enhanced if he were to secure the 'aid' of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Therefore, Priest Hidalgo, emblazoned her image or likeness upon his banners in order to facilitate the defeat of his enemies.

The Virgin Of Los Remedios

The Virgin of Los Remedios first appeared to an Indian chieftain, known as a "Cacique," in the year 1540 A.D. This was some nineteen years after the 'Archbishop' had decreed that the natives should give up their various 'gods' and 'idols.' It seems that by this time, the natives were venerating a fifteen inch high image of the Madonna. Only, in some manner, it had disappeared. Therefore, according to Catholic tradition, its recovery was of such great importance, that a heavenly apparition made itself known at least three times to the Chieftain, in order to tell him where to locate the image.

When the Cacique located the lost idol, he took it to his abode and therein constructed an altar for it. This happy state of being did not long remain, for the elusive statue continued to vanish from its altar. This occurred three times . . .. the last instance, so one writer relates, was under very peculiar circumstances. The cautious Chieftain had 'locked' the image in a large chest, and then he slept on the lid of the chest. It was in the face of all these precautions that the idol disappeared. (Possibly her disciples stole her away while the Chieftain slept.) Anyway, as soon as the Cacique reported the disappearance of the image to the priests at Tacuba, they concluded that it was a miraculous happening, designed to inform them that what the 'Virgin' wanted was a more fitting abode, rather than the humble dwelling of a native Chieftain. As a result, they gathered together some wealth, from the natives, of course, and constructed a sanctuary.

Thereafter, this idol was frequently taken to Mexico City in order to participate in great parades and festivals in an effort to 'help' in combatting plagues, famines, and drouths.

The Virgins Wage War

Some seventy years had elapsed since the initial 'appearance' of the Virgin of Los Remedios, but she was still considered to be a 'remedy or refuge' in the Mexican Revolution for Independence in 1810. Thus, her image or likeness was carried upon the banners of the Royalists who fought in opposition to Patriot Priest Miguel Hidalgo, who utilized the 'help' of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Consequently, the opposing warriors were each supposedly aided by their respective 'Protectresses? (I'm surprised that Erie Stanley Gardner has not used the title, "Case of the Vanquished Virgins" for one of his detective yarns, LWM.)

More About The Virgins

The festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe begins annually upon December 11th, with crowds flocking to her shrine. Of course, they bring many offerings with them, and in addition, food stands are established, religious relics are sold and venerated, carnival type tent shows are set up and merry-go-rounds are operated. It's just like an American carnival and County Fair.

Early on the morning of December 12th, fireworks are detonated to announce the first 'Mass' of the day. Also, dancers perform and erect newly painted crosses on hill tops, and such like.

As for the Virgin of Los Remedios, to this day, the natives adore her and lavish her with a great amount of wealth. Such as her crown, her gown, and an elaborate camarin, (right behind the altar), in which she is housed. The festival to this 'Virgin' begins on September 1st, and continues through the 8th. It is attended by natives from far and near. The popular carnival attractions are featured to entertain the disciples; including religious dancers, popular art, food stands, merry-go-rounds and other amusements.


Personally, and from a Bible viewpoint, I cannot see where the Mexican natives are in any better spiritual condition now, than when they first had their gods and goddesses prior to 1521 A.D. At least, before 1521, their offerings to their 'heathen' gods remained within their own country. The 'overhead' was far less than it now is, what with having to help support all the Catholic Hierarchy. In fact, I'd conclude that Roman Catholicism is the worse of the two evils.