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The old and new basilicas of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City

While looking through my photos from last year, I noticed one from our Mexico City pilgrimage that never ended up on the blog. There are two basilicas of Our Lady of Guadalupe shown here. The old basilica, on the left with the golden dome, while still beautiful outside and inside, has suffered such extensive damage from earthquakes and an unstable foundation that it can no longer handle the throngs of pilgrims who visit this important holy site. The current basilica, on the right with its contemporary design and sloping green roof, is much larger. It now houses the tilma of St. Juan Diego, as well as a massive and very busy gift shop. There are also dozens of confessionals, and the nave of the church can hold thousands at a time for its Masses nearly every hour.

There are several additional chapels on the site, marking the several apparitions of Our Lady in this area. This photo was taken on a walking path up to one of those chapels, on a hill just to the north of the basilicas. I think we were walking down from the chapel when I took the photo.

Check out the smog! That’s the center of Mexico City in the background. It’s one of the world’s most populous metropolises, so a bit of air pollution on a weekday is hardly a surprise.