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Temple of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Icon of the Vallarta faith

On March 12, 1883, the construction of the first chapel of the Las Peñas ranch began. It would ultimately be the forerunner of the current temple of Our Lady Santa María de Guadalupe, one of the most important icons of this tourist destination.

We will begin by narrating about what is considered one of the most important buildings in Puerto Vallarta and that has given part of its personality to the city: the Temple of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In his valuable book “Historical Panorama of Puerto Vallarta and the Bay of Banderas”Mr. Carlos Munguía Fregoso, Chronicler of the City, says the following:

In 1895, the construction of the Las Peñas church was authorized, on land donated by the Union in Cuale. The priest of San Sebastián was empowered to bless and place the first stone, “under the concept that through a formal donation the land for the said church, sacristy and Father's house will be secured.” This was the beginning of what is now the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Currently, the temple of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in addition to being the main site of local religious fervor, means the most important icon of this tourist destination.

Templo de nuestra señora de Guadalupe

The War of the Cristeros in Vallarta

On April 11, 1927, the first Cristero uprising broke out in Puerto Vallarta. It was led by Benigno Verduzco and Father Francisco Ayala. We turn again to the aforementioned book by Mr. Carlos Munguía, who illustrates us in this regard, in this way:

“The reforms to the Constitution of 1917 were not rigorously applied at first. The President of the Republic, Venustiano Carranza, elaborated two bills to modify articles 3 and 130, but they were not taken into account by Congress.

Upon assuming the presidency of the Republic on December 1, 1924, General Plutarco Elías Calles tried to apply the anti-religious laws strictly. He even dictated some persecutions. The consequences did not make us wait. The clergy, echoing the already existing discontent, ordered the suspension of services throughout the country in protest. Catholics banded together to form the League for the Defense of Religious Liberty. The Popular Union of Jalisco and Catholic Action of Mexican Youth joined. Not finding a peaceful solution to the problem, the armed revolution began: The War of the Cristeros. The rebellion quickly spread through Jalisco and the surrounding states under the leadership of Anacleto González Flores, Jesús Degollado and Enrique Goroztieta, whom they named as the first head of the Liberation Army. In Puerto Vallarta, the Cristero rebellion found its champion in Father Francisco Ayala, who, when the conflict broke out, felt his fighting spirit for a just cause reborn in him.”

Thus, the Temple of Our Lady of Guadalupe is and will continue to be the greatest religious icon in Puerto Vallarta.

Templo de nuestra señora de Guadalupe 

Juan Manuel Gómez Encarnación
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