To extend what he calls “guadalup-anología” Jesús David Jaquez has written a work which he well describes when he says, “este libro no dice: inicia a decir. No narra: balbucea.” Without scholarly pretensions, the author is a creyente whose purpose in writing about “la Virgen Morena” is in no way to dispute the miracle or the legend, but rather to overcome “una triste ignorancia. . . de este gran hecho” which he detects among “gentes cultas, sedicentes católicos.” Railing against those who prefer taquitos and pulque outside the shrine at La Villa to prayer inside, Jaquez provides little for the professional historian unless it be a representative attack on “el frivolismo, el sensacionalismo y el afán de placer” in Mexican society. As a sample of his zeal for the Christian Madonna, Jaquez rejects any possible transfer of devotion from the cult of the precortesian goddess Tonantzin to that of Mary of Guadalupe on the grounds that “the cult of idols is material, sensual . . . and never spiritual.” The years which intervened between the destruction of the pagan temple at Tepeyac and Juan Diego’s experience there would surely have extinguished the “culto inespiritual” of Tonantzin. Besides, the graceful image of Guadalupe exhibits none of the physical characteristics of that “grosero monigote,” the idol of the Aztec goddess. No mention is made of Sahagún’s contrary opinion.

The student of Mexican religious history may find two appendices valuable. Jaquez reprints a Spanish translation of the Indian Antonio Valeriano’s Historia de la aparición. . ., supposedly composed before 1550 in Náhuatl and often considered the earliest relation of the legend. There follows a defense of the authenticity of Valeriano’s account written in 1945 by Marcos Gordoa, S.J. Had Jaquez been concerned with historical objectivity he might also have included portions of Francisco de la Maza’s El guadalupanismo mexicano (México y lo mexicano, 17; México, 1953) but such was clearly not his intent.