In the introduction to this outstanding tome on the beginning and then maturation of the Guadalupe devotion at San Antonio’s Church of San Fernando (which would become a cathedral when in 1874 the Diocese of San Antonio was established), Timothy Matovina, associate professor of theology and director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, expresses what this reviewer believes is the broad thesis of his study set within deeply thought-out historical boundaries. In discussing the origin of the devotion, Matovina writes, “Given the plentiful miraculous images of Christ, Mary, and the saints that dotted the sacred landscape of colonial Mexico, how did the Guadalupe cult rise above all others and grow from a merely local devotion into a regional, national, and then international phenomenon?” (p. 4). This question, which Matovina analyzes with intellectual vigor and spiritual depth,...

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