In 1531, Mary taking the features and attire of an Indian appeared before Juan Diego on Mount Tepeyac, Mexico, and instructed him to tell the bishop to construct a shrine on the spot. She healed Diego's uncle and left her image imprinted on his cloak — the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Latin Americans have interiorized this sacred drama, and it still reverberates in their lives.

This book, by Virgil Elizondo, a theologian and popular speaker, unspools the many meanings of this religious symbol. He sees it as "a major moment in God's saving plan for humanity." Guadalupe is the "mestizo" mother of a new humanity who breaks down walls and brings people together. Her emphasis is upon mysticism rather than doctrine, compassion instead of competition, and justice for all instead of just for the rich. Best of all, Elizondo sees Guadalupe as a sign that religious synthesis can yield reconciliation and unity.