Posted: September 19th, 2022

Four pages in which you analyze texts through close reading, and demonstrate an understanding of the texts’ historical, social, political, and cultural contexts (when relevant), in order to come up with an original thesis statement and a well-elaborated d

DynamoandVirginfromTheEducationofHenryAdams Gambero-Scotus Laurentin135-137 Huysmans TheStoryofGuadaluperevised Werfel JournetOurLadyofSorrows1

Four pages in which you analyze texts through close reading, and demonstrate an understanding of the texts’ historical, social, political, and cultural contexts (when relevant), in order to come up with an original thesis statement and a well-elaborated defense of your argument. The thesis should identify the question to be addressed, explain what is at stake and why it is important, and take a stand on the question. The specific topic is up to you, with the requirement that you focus on a particular aspect of Mary in modernity, have a clear thesis statement, and make a distinct, well organized, and well-demonstrated argument.


the dynamo and the virgin (1900)

Until the Great Exposition of 1900* closed its doors in November,

Adams haunted it, aching to absorb knowledge, and helpless to find it.

He would have liked to know how much of it could have been grasped

by the best-informed man in the world. While he was thus meditating

chaos, Langley came by, and showed it to him. At Langley’s behest, the

Exhibition dropped its superfluous rags and stripped itself to the skin,

for Langley knew what to study, and why, and how; while Adams

might as well have stood outside in the night, staring at the Milky Way.

Yet Langley said nothing new, and taught nothing that one might not

have learned from Lord Bacon,* three hundred years before; but

though one should have known the “Advancement of Science” as well

as one knew the “Comedy of Errors,”* the literary knowledge counted

for nothing until some teacher should show how to apply it. Bacon

took a vast deal of trouble in teaching King James I and his subjects,

American or other, towards the year 1620, that true science was the de-

velopment or economy of forces; yet an elderly American in 1900 knew

neither the formula nor the forces; or even so much as to say to himself

that his historical business in the Exposition concerned only the

economies or developments of force since 1893, when he began the

study at Chicago.

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it

accumulates in the form of inert facts. Adams had looked at most of the

accumulations of art in the storehouses called Art Museums; yet he

did not know how to look at the art exhibits of 1900. He had studied

Karl Marx and his doctrines of history with profound attention, yet he

could not apply them at Paris. Langley, with the ease of a great master

of experiment, threw out of the field every exhibit that did not reveal a

new application of force, and naturally threw out, to begin with, al-

most the whole art exhibit. Equally, he ignored almost the whole

industrial exhibit. He led his pupil directly to the forces. His chief in-

terest was in new motors to make his airship feasible, and he taught

Adams the astonishing complexities of the new Daimler* motor, and

of the automobile, which, since 1893, had become a nightmare at a

hundred kilometres an hour, almost as destructive as the electric tram

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which was only ten years older; and threatening to become as terrible

as the locomotive steam-engine itself, which was almost exactly

Adams’s own age.

Then he showed his scholar the great hall of dynamos,* and ex-

plained how little he knew about electricity or force of any kind, even

of his own special sun, which spouted heat in inconceivable volume,

but which, as far as he knew, might spout less or more, at any time, for

all the certainty he felt in it. To him, the dynamo itself was but an in-

genious channel for conveying somewhere the heat latent in a few tons

of poor coal hidden in a dirty engine-house carefully kept out of sight;

but to Adams the dynamo became a symbol of infinity. As he grew ac-

customed to the great gallery of machines, he began to feel the forty-

foot dynamos as a moral force, much as the early Christians felt the

Cross. The planet itself seemed less impressive, in its old-fashioned,

deliberate, annual or daily revolution, than this huge wheel, re-

volving within arm’s-length at some vertiginous speed, and barely

murmuring—scarcely humming an audible warning to stand a hair’s-

breadth further for respect of power—while it would not wake the

baby lying close against its frame. Before the end, one began to pray

to it; inherited instinct taught the natural expression of man before

silent and infinite force. Among the thousand symbols of ultimate

energy, the dynamo was not so human as some, but it was the most


Yet the dynamo, next to the steam-engine, was the most familiar of

exhibits. For Adams’s objects its value lay chiefly in its occult mechan-

ism. Between the dynamo in the gallery of machines and the engine-

house outside, the break of continuity amounted to abysmal fracture

for a historian’s objects. No more relation could he discover between

the steam and the electric current than between the Cross and the

cathedral. The forces were interchangeable if not reversible, but he

could see only an absolute fiat in electricity as in faith. Langley could

not help him. Indeed, Langley seemed to be worried by the same

trouble, for he constantly repeated that the new forces were anarchical,

and especially that he was not responsible for the new rays, that were

little short of parricidal in their wicked spirit towards science. His own

rays,* with which he had doubled the solar spectrum, were altogether

harmless and beneficent; but Radium denied its God—or, what was to

Langley the same thing, denied the truths of his Science. The force

was wholly new.

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A historian who asked only to learn enough to be as futile as Langley

or Kelvin,* made rapid progress under this teaching, and mixed him-

self up in the tangle of ideas until he achieved a sort of Paradise of

ignorance vastly consoling to his fatigued senses. He wrapped himself

in vibrations and rays which were new, and he would have hugged

Marconi* and Branly* had he met them, as he hugged the dynamo;

while he lost his arithmetic in trying to figure out the equation between

the discoveries and the economies of force. The economies, like the

discoveries, were absolute, supersensual, occult; incapable of expres-

sion in horse-power. What mathematical equivalent could he suggest

as the value of a Branly coherer? Frozen air, or the electric furnace, had

some scale of measurement, no doubt, if somebody could invent a

thermometer adequate to the purpose; but X-rays* had played no part

whatever in man’s consciousness, and the atom itself had figured only

as a fiction of thought. In these seven years man had translated himself

into a new universe which had no common scale of measurement with

the old. He had entered a supersensual world, in which he could meas-

ure nothing except by chance collisions of movements imperceptible

to his senses, perhaps even imperceptible to his instruments, but per-

ceptible to each other, and so to some known ray at the end of the scale.

Langley seemed prepared for anything, even for an indeterminable

number of universes interfused—physics stark mad in metaphysics.

Historians undertake to arrange sequences,—called stories, or

histories—assuming in silence a relation of cause and effect. These as-

sumptions, hidden in the depths of dusty libraries, have been astound-

ing, but commonly unconscious and childlike; so much so, that if any

captious critic were to drag them to light, historians would probably

reply, with one voice, that they had never supposed themselves re-

quired to know what they were talking about. Adams, for one, had

toiled in vain to find out what he meant. He had even published a

dozen volumes of American history for no other purpose than to sat-

isfy himself whether, by the severest process of stating, with the least

possible comment, such facts as seemed sure, in such order as seemed

rigorously consequent, he could fix for a familiar moment a necessary

sequence of human movement. The result had satisfied him as little as

at Harvard College. Where he saw sequence, other men saw something

quite different, and no one saw the same unit of measure. He cared

little about his experiments and less about his statesmen, who seemed

to him quite as ignorant as himself and, as a rule, no more honest; but

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he insisted on a relation of sequence, and if he could not reach it by one

method, he would try as many methods as science knew. Satisfied that

the sequence of men led to nothing and that the sequence of their soci-

ety could lead no further, while the mere sequence of time was arti-

ficial, and the sequence of thought was chaos, he turned at last to the

sequence of force; and thus it happened that, after ten years’ pursuit,

he found himself lying in the Gallery of Machines at the Great

Exposition of 1900, with his historical neck broken by the sudden ir-

ruption of forces totally new.

Since no one else showed much concern, an elderly person without

other cares had no need to betray alarm. The year 1900 was not the first

to upset schoolmasters. Copernicus* and Galileo* had broken many

professorial necks about 1600; Columbus had stood the world on its

head towards 1500; but the nearest approach to the revolution of 1900
was that of 310, when Constantine* set up the Cross. The rays that

Langley disowned, as well as those which he fathered, were occult,

supersensual, irrational; they were a revelation of mysterious energy

like that of the Cross; they were what, in terms of mediaeval science,

were called immediate modes of the divine substance.

The historian was thus reduced to his last resources. Clearly if he

was bound to reduce all these forces to a common value, this common

value could have no measure but that of their attraction on his own

mind. He must treat them as they had been felt; as convertible, re-

versible, interchangeable attractions on thought. He made up his mind

to venture it; he would risk translating rays into faith. Such a reversible

process would vastly amuse a chemist, but the chemist could not deny

that he, or some of his fellow physicists, could feel the force of both.

When Adams was a boy in Boston, the best chemist in the place had

probably never heard of Venus except by way of scandal,* or of the

Virgin except as idolatry; neither had he heard of dynamos or auto-

mobiles or radium; yet his mind was ready to feel the force of all,

though the rays were unborn and the women were dead.

Here opened another totally new education, which promised to be

by far the most hazardous of all. The knife-edge along which he must

crawl, like Sir Lancelot* in the twelfth century, divided two kingdoms

of force which had nothing in common but attraction. They were as

different as a magnet is from gravitation, supposing one knew what a

magnet was, or gravitation, or love. The force of the Virgin was still felt

at Lourdes,* and seemed to be as potent as X-rays; but in America

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neither Venus nor Virgin ever had value as force—at most as senti-

ment. No American had ever been truly afraid of either.

This problem in dynamics gravely perplexed an American his-

torian. The Woman had once been supreme; in France she still seemed

potent, not merely as a sentiment, but as a force. Why was she un-

known in America? For evidently America was ashamed of her, and

she was ashamed of herself, otherwise they would not have strewn fig-

leaves so profusely all over her. When she was a true force, she was

ignorant of fig-leaves, but the monthly-magazine-made American

female had not a feature that would have been recognized by Adam.

The trait was notorious, and often humorous, but anyone brought up

among Puritans knew that sex was sin. In any previous age, sex was

strength. Neither art nor beauty was needed. Everyone, even among

Puritans, knew that neither Diana of the Ephesians* nor any of the

Oriental goddesses was worshipped for her beauty. She was goddess

because of her force; she was the animated dynamo; she was reproduc-

tion—the greatest and most mysterious of all energies; all she needed

was to be fecund. Singularly enough, not one of Adams’s many schools

of education had ever drawn his attention to the opening lines of

Lucretius, though they were perhaps the finest in all Latin literature,

where the poet invoked Venus exactly as Dante invoked the Virgin:—

“Quae quoniam rerum naturam sola gubernas.”*

The Venus of Epicurean philosophy survived in the Virgin of the


“Donna, sei tanto grande, e tanto vali,

Che qual vuol grazia, e a te non ricorre,

Sua disianza vuol volar senz’ ali.”*

All this was to American thought as though it had never existed. The

true American knew something of the facts, but nothing of the feel-

ings; he read the letter, but he never felt the law. Before this historical

chasm, a mind like that of Adams felt itself helpless; he turned from

the Virgin to the Dynamo as though he were a Branly coherer. On one

side, at the Louvre and at Chartres,* as he knew by the record of work

actually done and still before his eyes, was the highest energy ever

known to man, the creator of four-fifths of his noblest art, exercising

vastly more attraction over the human mind than all the steam-engines

and dynamos ever dreamed of; and yet this energy was unknown to the

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American mind. An American Virgin would never dare command; an

American Venus would never dare exist.

The question, which to any plain American of the nineteenth cen-

tury seemed as remote as it did to Adams, drew him almost violently to

study, once it was posed; and on this point Langleys were as useless as

though they were Herbert Spencers* or dynamos. The idea survived

only as art. There one turned as naturally as though the artist were

himself a woman. Adams began to ponder, asking himself whether he

knew of any American artist who had ever insisted on the power of sex,

as every classic had always done; but he could think only of Walt

Whitman;* Bret Harte, as far as the magazines would let him venture;

and one or two painters, for the flesh-tones. All the rest had used sex

for sentiment, never for force; to them, Eve was a tender flower, and

Herodias an unfeminine horror. American art, like the American lan-

guage and American education, was as far as possible sexless.* Society

regarded this victory over sex as its greatest triumph, and the historian

readily admitted it, since the moral issue, for the moment, did not

concern one who was studying the relations of unmoral force. He

cared nothing for the sex of the dynamo until he could measure its


Vaguely seeking a clue, he wandered through the art exhibit, and, in

his stroll, stopped almost every day before St. Gaudens’s General

Sherman,* which had been given the central post of honor. St.

Gaudens himself was in Paris, putting on the work his usual intermin-

able last touches, and listening to the usual contradictory suggestions

of brother sculptors. Of all the American artists who gave to American

art whatever life it breathed in the seventies, St. Gaudens was perhaps

the most sympathetic, but certainly the most inarticulate. General

Grant or Don Cameron had scarcely less instinct of rhetoric than he.

All the others—the Hunts, Richardson, John La Farge, Stanford

White—were exuberant; only St. Gaudens could never discuss or di-

late on an emotion, or suggest artistic arguments for giving to his work

the forms that he felt. He never laid down the law, or affected the

despot, or became brutalized like Whistler by the brutalities of his

world. He required no incense; he was no egoist; his simplicity of

thought was excessive; he could not imitate, or give any form but his

own to the creations of his hand. No one felt more strongly than he the

strength of other men, but the idea that they could affect him never

stirred an image in his mind.

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This summer his health was poor and his spirits were low. For such

a temper, Adams was not the best companion, since his own gaiety was

not folle,* but he risked going now and then to the studio on Mont

Parnasse to draw him out for a stroll in the Bois de Boulogne, or dinner

as pleased his moods, and in return St. Gaudens sometimes let Adams

go about in his company.

Once St. Gaudens took him down to Amiens, with a party of

Frenchmen, to see the cathedral. Not until they found themselves ac-

tually studying the sculpture of the western portal, did it dawn on

Adams’s mind that, for his purposes, St. Gaudens on that spot had

more interest to him than the cathedral itself. Great men before great

monuments express great truths, provided they are not taken too

solemnly. Adams never tired of quoting the supreme phrase of his idol

Gibbon, before the Gothic cathedrals: “I darted a contemptuous look

on the stately monuments of superstition.”* Even in the footnotes of

his history, Gibbon had never inserted a bit of humor more human

than this, and one would have paid largely for a photograph of the fat

little historian, on the background of Notre Dame of Amiens, trying to

persuade his readers—perhaps himself—that he was darting a con-

temptuous look on the stately monument, for which he felt in fact the

respect which every man of his vast study and active mind always feels

before objects worthy of it; but besides the humor, one felt also the re-

lation. Gibbon ignored the Virgin, because in 1789 religious monu-

ments were out of fashion. In 1900 his remark sounded fresh and

simple as the green fields to ears that had heard a hundred years of

other remarks, mostly no more fresh and certainly less simple.

Without malice, one might find it more instructive than a whole lec-

ture of Ruskin. One sees what one brings, and at that moment Gibbon

brought the French Revolution. Ruskin brought reaction against the

Revolution. St. Gaudens had passed beyond all. He liked the stately

monuments much more than he liked Gibbon or Ruskin; he loved

their dignity; their unity; their scale; their lines; their lights and

shadows; their decorative sculpture; but he was even less conscious

than they of the force that created it all—the Virgin, the Woman—by

whose genius “the stately monuments of superstition” were built,

through which she was expressed. He would have seen more meaning

in Isis* with the cow’s horns, at Edfoo, who expressed the same

thought. The art remained, but the energy was lost even upon the


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Yet in mind and person St. Gaudens was a survival of the 1500’s; he

bore the stamp of the Renaissance, and should have carried an image of

the Virgin round his neck, or stuck in his hat, like Louis XI.* In mere

time he was a lost soul that had strayed by chance into the twentieth

century, and forgotten where it came from. He writhed and cursed at

his ignorance, much as Adams did at his own, but in the opposite sense.

St. Gaudens was a child of Benvenuto Cellini,* smothered in an

American cradle. Adams was a quintessence of Boston, devoured by

curiosity to think like Benvenuto. St. Gaudens’s art was starved from

birth, and Adams’s instinct was blighted from babyhood. Each had but

half of a nature, and when they came together before the Virgin of

Amiens they ought both to have felt in her the force that made them

one; but it was not so. To Adams she became more than ever a channel

of force; to St. Gaudens she remained as before a channel of taste.

For a symbol of power, St. Gaudens instinctively preferred the

horse, as was plain in his horse and Victory of the Sherman monu-

ment. Doubtless Sherman also felt it so. The attitude was so American

that, for at least forty years, Adams had never realized that any other

could be in sound taste. How many years had he taken to admit a no-

tion of what Michael Angelo and Rubens were driving at? He could

not say; but he knew that only since 1895 had he begun to feel the

Virgin or Venus as force, and not everywhere even so. At Chartres—

perhaps at Lourdes—possibly at Cnidos* if one could still find there

the divinely naked Aphrodite of Praxiteles—but otherwise one must

look for force to the goddesses of Indian mythology. The idea died out

long ago in the German and English stock. St. Gaudens at Amiens was

hardly less sensitive to the force of the female energy than Matthew

Arnold at the Grande Chartreuse.* Neither of them felt goddesses as

power—only as reflected emotion, human expression, beauty, purity,

taste, scarcely even as sympathy. They felt a railway train as power; yet

they, and all other artists, constantly complained that the power em-

bodied in a railway train could never be embodied in art. All the steam

in the world could not, like the Virgin, build Chartres.

Yet in mechanics, whatever the mechanicians might think, both en-

ergies acted as interchangeable forces on man, and by action on man all

known force may be measured. Indeed, few men of science measured

force in any other way. After once admitting that a straight line was the

shortest distance between two points, no serious mathematician cared

to deny anything that suited his convenience, and rejected no symbol,

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unproved or unproveable, that helped him to accomplish work. The

symbol was force, as a compass-needle or a triangle was force, as the

mechanist might prove by losing it, and nothing could be gained by ig-

noring their value. Symbol or energy, the Virgin had acted as the great-

est force the Western world ever felt, and had drawn man’s activities to

herself more strongly than any other power, natural or supernatural,

had ever done; the historian’s business was to follow the track of the

energy; to find where it came from and where it went to; its complex

source and shifting channels; its values, equivalents, conversions. It

could scarcely be more complex than radium; it could hardly be de-

flected, diverted, polarized, absorbed more perplexingly than other

radiant matter. Adams knew nothing about any of them, but as a math-

ematical problem of influence on human progress, though all were oc-

cult, all reacted on his mind, and he rather inclined to think the Virgin

easiest to handle.

The pursuit turned out to be long and tortuous, leading at last into

the vast forests of scholastic science. From Zeno* to Descartes, hand in

hand with Thomas Aquinas,* Montaigne,* and Pascal,* one stumbled

as stupidly as though one were still a German student of 1860. Only

with the instinct of despair could one force one’s self into this old

thicket of ignorance after having been repulsed at a score of entrances

more promising and more popular. Thus far, no path had led any-

where, unless perhaps to an exceedingly modest living. Forty-five

years of study had proved to be quite futile for the pursuit of power;

one controlled no more force in 1900 than in 1850, although the

amount of force controlled by society had enormously increased. The

secret of education still hid itself somewhere behind ignorance, and

one fumbled over it as feebly as ever. In such labyrinths, the staff is a

force almost more necessary than the legs; the pen becomes a sort of

blind-man’s dog, to keep him from falling into the gutters. The pen

works for itself, and acts like a hand, modelling the plastic material

over and over again to the form that suits it best. The form is never ar-

bitrary, but is a sort of growth like crystallization, as any artist knows

too well; for often the pencil or pen runs into side-paths and shape-

lessness, loses its relations, stops or is bogged. Then it has to return on

its trail, and recover, if it can, its line of force. The result of a year’s

work depends more on what is struck out than on what is left in; on the

sequence of the main lines of thought, than on their play or variety.

Compelled once more to lean heavily on this support, Adams covered

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more thousands of pages* with figures as formal as though they were

algebra, laboriously striking out, altering, burning, experimenting,

until the year had expired, the Exposition had long been closed, and

winter drawing to its end, before he sailed from Cherbourg, on January

19, 1901, for home.

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(d. 1308)

The famous Franciscan philosopher and theologian John Duns Scotus
has passed into history under the title “Doctor of the Immaculate
Conception”, and deservedly so. For, by opposing the teaching of the
majority of the theologians of his time, he opened the way to a
positive understanding of this Marian privilege. Five and a half centu­
ries later, Mary’s Immaculate Conception was solemnly defined as a
revealed truth and dogma of the faith by the extraordinary Magis-
terium of the Church.

Outline of His Life and Times

It is certain that our author was born in Scotland around 1265. After
completing his initial studies, he entered the Franciscan order at a very
young age, about the year 1280. He received priestly ordination in 1291,
and, in 1303, after gaining his bachelors in theology, he obtained a
teaching post in Paris, as commentator on the books of Peter Lombard s
Sententiae. Very soon, however, he was obliged to leave the city. This
happened because, in June 1303, he had refused to subscribe to an appeal
to the Council that had arisen against Pope Boniface VIII at the initiative
of Philip the Fair, King of France, a proud adversary of the pontiff. The
following year, Scotus returned to Paris to work toward a doctorate,
which he obtained in 1305.1 He subsequently taught at Oxford, Canter­
bury, again at Paris, and finally at Cologne, where he died in 1308.

Although Duns Scotus died at a rather young age, he left behind an
impressive reputation for knowledge and holiness. He was named Doctor
subtilis and recognized as the greatest representative of the Franciscan

1 See H. S. Denifle, Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis, vol. 2 (Paris, 1891), p. 117.


244 The Age of Scholasticism

theological school, which took up the Scotist system as its own doctrinal

The first critical edition of Duns Scotus’ writings appeared in 1639 in
Lyons, edited by the Irish Franciscan theologian and historian Luke
Wadding, and was reprinted in twenty-six volumes between 1891 and
1895 in Paris by Louis Vives. Not all of the works published in this
edition, however, are authentic. Some are definitely spurious, while
others are the notes of students who followed the master’s lectures, to
which he subsequently gave his approval. Given this situation, the work
of the Scotist Commission is highly commendable. The Commission
was established at the Pontifical Atheneum Antonianum in Rome and
has been publishing a new critical edition of Scotus’ works since 1950.
To date, volumes 1-7 and 16-19 have been published as the Editio

Scotus’ Marian Doctrine2

Marian doctrine occupies a place of great importance in the theological
system of John Duns Scotus. He expounds it especially in his commen-

Studies of the Marian doctrine of John Duns Scotus are extremely numerous. We
cite those that appear most helpful, namely, those that are up-to-date and most suited for
deepening our knowledge of this great Franciscans teaching on the Mother of God:
C. Balic, Joanms Duns Scoti, doctoris mariani, theologiae marianae elementa (Sibenik, 1933);

idem, De debito peccatt originalis in B. VM. Investigations de doctrina quam tenuitJoannes Duns
Scotus (Rome, 1941); idem, Ioannes Duns Scotus, Doctor Immaculatae Conceptionis, vol. 1,
Textus auctons, Bibliotheca Immaculatae Conceptionis 5 (Rome, 1954); idem, “II reale
contribute di Giovanni Scoto nella questione dell’Immacolata Concezione”, Antonianum
29 (1954): 457-96; idem, “Ioannes Duns Scotus et historia Immaculatae Conceptionis”
Antonianum 30 (1955): 386-440, 486-88; idem, “De regula mariologica Joannis Duns
Scoti”, EuntesDocete 9 (1954): 110-33; B. Innocenti, “II concetto teologico di maternita
divina in Giovanm Duns Scoto”, Studi Francescani 3 (1931): 404-30; I. Uribesago, “La
coredencion mariana a la luz de la cristologia de Escoto”, EstMar 9 (1944); 219-37; G.
Roschim, ‘Duns Scoto e l’Immacolata”, in Mar 17 (1955); 183-258; idem, “Questioni
su Duns Scoto e l’Immacolata”, EphMar 7 (1957): 372-407; L. Babbini, Ancora su Duns
Scoto, dottore dell’Immacolata: Valutazione delle tre repliche del rev. Padre G. Roschini (Genoa,
1958); J. F. Bonnefoy, Le Ven.Jean Duns Scot, docteur de I’Immaculee Conception: Son milieu
sa doctrine, son influence (Rome, i960); G. Roschini, Duns Scoto e l’Immacolata secondo il
Padre J. Fr. Bonnefoy (Rome, 1961); K. Koser, “Die Immaculatalehre des Joannes Duns
Scotus”, Franziskanishe Studien 36 (1954); 337-84; R. Rosini, “II volto dell’Immacolata
“el Penslero di Giovanni Duns Scoto”, in CongrRom 5:1-29; R. Zavalloni and

John Duns Scotus (d. 1308) 245

tary on the Sententiae of Peter Lombard, in particular the In 3 Senten-
tiarum, d. 3, q. I3 and d. 4-4 He lays particular stress on three mariological
principles: Mary’s divine motherhood, her perpetual virginity, and her
freedom from original sin.

Mary’s Motherhood

Basing his exposition on the authority of St. John Damascene, our author
explains that Mary is the true Mother of God. For she did not give birth
to a mere human being whose nature was later joined to divinity, as
Nestorius claimed, but to a human nature that, from the first instant of its
existence, had been assumed by the Word of God so as to form one single
being in which the Person of the Word supplies the personhood that
belongs to a human nature. For this reason it is said that the Person of the
incarnate Son of God subsists in two natures; and Scotus demonstrates
this by the fact that the Word immediately assumed a complete human
nature, for which his Divine Person supplies the absence of human
personhood.5 He receives his original existence from the divine nature of
the Word, while he receives a second existence, that is to say, his existence
as man, from his human nature, which is secondary.6

In the mystery of the Incarnation, the Virgin truly cooperated in the
conception of the incarnate Word. She furnished the Word with a
human nature, thus fulfilling the role he had granted her, becoming a
mother in the fullest possible sense of the word. Scotus strongly empha­
sizes the role played by the Mother of the Lord in the Incarnation, which
guarantees a fully human dimension to the bodily conception of the Son
of God. In addition, Scotus’ thesis introduces a genuinely new element
in comparison to the scientific theories of his time, which, being an­
chored in the teaching of Aristotle,7 assigned the woman a purely passive
role in procreation. These theories held that only the man had an active

E. Mariani, eds., La dottrina mariologica di Giovanni Duns Scoto, Spicilegium Pontifici
Atenaei Antoniani 28 (Rome, 1987) (the second part contains the Marian texts of Duns

Scotus, ed. E. Mariani).
3 Ed. Vives, 14:159-76.
4 Ibid., 14:180-203.
5 See In 3 Sententiamm, d. 2, q. 2, n. 5; ed. Vives, 14:131.
6 Ibid., d. 6, q. 3, n. 2; ed. Vives, 14:326.
7 See De animalium generatione 1, 21.

246 The Age of Scholasticism

role, while the woman was limited to offering the matter needed for the
formation of her offsprings body. Scotus, by contrast, followed a thesis
already formulated by Galen, according to which both parents have an
active role in the generative process. Scotus’ explanation takes as its point
of departure a purely natural point of view:

Every active cause that has the power to bring about any effect, if not
preceded by something else totally causing that effect in the very instant it
is produced, can act on behalf of its own production. If this was the case
with all other mothers, then it was the case with Mary; namely, as a non-
principal active cause. The Holy Spirit gave her, at the same time, the
potential to receive and to bear, not however that he gave her that
fruitfulness in a miraculous way, by which she cooperated; no, she had it
naturally, because she was not sterile, and because of this capacity she
could have cooperated naturally to bring forth a son, should a natural
father have begotten one by her.8

But Scotus points out that the woman’s generative capacity is not the
principal and independent cause of conception; by nature, it is subordi­
nate to the man’s generative capacity, and therefore it cannot function
without having been activated by the involvement of a man. In the
generation of the incarnate Word, the action of the principal natural
cause (a man) was replaced by the mysterious and miraculous action of
the Holy Spirit, who activated the Blessed Virgin’s capacity for fruitful­
ness, which she possessed by nature, acting in her case as the principal
cause and conferring an unmistakably supernatural character.

On the other hand, the action of the Holy Spirit did not in any way
diminish Mary’s role in the generation of the Son. Duns Scotus points
out that Mary was able to cooperate fully by means of her own personal
causal action, since the intervention of the Holy Spirit, who acted with
the causality proper to divine omnipotence, could not pose any obstacle
to the exercise of her maternal function. The Holy Spirit only supplied,
to an outstanding degree, the causality of a human father.9

8 In 3 Sententiarum, d. 4, q. unica, n. 10; ed. Vives, 14:194. Scotus adds, “Only that
mother had the obediential potency to be the Mother of the Word. For she was the
Mother of the Word by the fact that the Word subsisted in that [human] nature which he
had united to himself” (ibid.).

9 See ibid., nn. 8—10; ed. Vives, 14:192—94.

John Duns Scotus (d. 1308) 247

Nevertheless, since there was no involvement of a human father in the
generation of the incarnate Word, it seems obvious that Mary’s active
role acquired an exceptionally important quality, being the unique in­
stance of its kind. Consequently, Mary, as a unique mother, acquired a
maternal, and thus a uniquely personal, relation to her Son, who, by
virtue of his divine nature, was already subject to an eternal and un­
created relation to his heavenly Father. Given the absolutely central
position of the incarnate Word in the economy of salvation, it is clear
that Mary’s divine motherhood acquires a fundamental importance and
represents a function that is considered fundamental with respect to all
the other prerogatives and functions of the Virgin Mother.

Mary’s Virginity

Scotus’ treatment of Mary’s perpetual virginity is somewhat inconsistent.
His analysis of this theme considers its three components: before, dur­
ing, and after the birth of Christ. Accepting an opinion already shared by
some Fathers of the Church and later theologians, he says that the Virgin
took a vow of virginity in absolute terms, not reserving the option to
renounce the vow, in case she should come to know that God had
arranged things differently:

In every vow, however absolute, it seems that this condition is included: if
God pleases. Because no one should offer anything to God whether God
wills it or no, and no one acts righdy when he intends to offer something
to God in this way. Therefore a vow remains absolute, even with this
condition understood.10

The absolute character of Mary’s vow is seen to be asserted by the
Virgin’s words to Gabriel: “How can this be since I do not know man? ”
(Lk 1:34). Scotus explains:

If she had simply not known man, without intending never to know
one, there would be no problem because, if she had subsequently known
a man, provided she was not sterile, she would have conceived. And
so it was a question about the more-than-marvelous way [she would
conceive], because she had most firmly decided, or vowed, that she
would never be known by man, and to make this understood the angel

10 In 4 Sententiarum, d. 30, q. 2; ed. Vives, 19:278.

248 The Age of Scholasticism

explained when he answered her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon
you” (Lk 1:35).”

Scotus thinks that the Blessed Virgin, without having been aware of it
beforehand, made a vow that fully coincided with certain details of
God’s plan for the Incarnation of his Son.

The Virgin Is Preserved from Original Sin

The third main point of Scotus’ Mariology concerns the mystery of the
Immaculate Conception, which the Scottish theologian defended with
conviction. As we have said, this is the most interesting and original
chapter of his Marian doctrine, its proudest hour. We will focus our
attention primarily on this theme, which best allows us to evaluate the
historical and theological importance of Duns Scotus’ Marian doctrine.
In terms of strict historical order, he was not the first author to teach the
mystery of the Immaculate Conception. We have already mentioned
Eadmer, and we could add Robert Grosseteste and William of Ware, as
authors who had already declared in favor of this truth of the faith.
These are all ecclesiastical figures from in or around England, as was
Duns Scotus himself, and this confirms that a certain mentality existed in
that region of Christendom that tended to accept the Immaculate
Conception. This may also be deduced from the fact that England was
the first country in the West in which the celebration of the liturgical
feast of Mary’s Conception was introduced. First observed around the
middle of the eleventh century, then suppressed after the Norman
conquest of 1066, it was restored around 1127.12 But it was Scotus who
fully developed the doctrine of Mary’s preservation from original sin and
bolstered it with vigorous probative argumentation, thus outlining a true
theological proof of the doctrine.

It must be recognized that this sort of theological proof lacks a
consistent proof based on Scripture and that appeal to the tradition of
the Fathers of the Church appears rather weak. Yet, Scotus let himself be

11 Ibid.
12 See A. W. Burridge, “L’lmmaculee Conception dans la theologie mariale de

l’Angleterre du Moyen-Age”, Revue d’Histoire Ecclesiastique 32 (1936): 570—97; A. M.
Cecchin, “L’Immacolata nella liturgia occidentale anteriore al secolo XIII”, Mar 5
(1943): 58-114.

John Duns Scotus (d. 1308) 249

led by his intuition as a believer, thus managing to outline a doctrine that
contains all the fundamental elements of the dogma. He formulates a
second principle, according to which it is legitimate to attribute to the
Blessed Virgin what seems to be more excellent, as long as this is not
opposed to the witness of Scripture and to the teaching authority of the
Church,13 and he applies this principle to the mystery of the Immaculate

Using his considerable logical ability, Scotus was able to overrule the
objections traditionally raised against the Virgin’s immunity from origi­
nal sin. In essence, these objections may be reduced to two: the unavoid­
able transmission of original guilt to all the descendants of Adam and the
universal scope of the redemption wrought by Christ, because of which
no human being can obtain salvation without having been redeemed by
the incarnate Word.

Duns Scotus was able to demonstrate how the truth of these two
conditions does not necessarily create any obstacle to the Marian privi­
lege of the Immaculate Conception. He admits that, if only the law of
nature had been at work in Mary, she too would have had to contract
original guilt. In her case, however, there was an exceptional preservative
intervention on God’s part, based on the foreseen merits Christ the
Redeemer acquired by his redemptive work. In this connection, Scotus

As a consequence of common generation, Mary would have had to
contract original sin had she not been preserved by the grace of the

These words clearly show our author’s reasoning. Mary’s exceptional
condition was caused, not by the introduction of a change into human
nature, but by an external supernatural intervention. Further, her ex­
emption from original sin does not in any way mean that the redemption
was useless. Instead, her privilege shows how redemption was wrought
in the Blessed Virgin in a unique way. Instead of being liberated from a

13 See In III Sententiarum, d. 3, q. 1, n. 5; ed. Vives, 14:165. Scotus employs a variant of
the famous axiom: Potuit, decuit, ergo fecit, which, often erroneously attributed to Scotus,
was already present, in substance, in earlier theological tradition; the precise form is the
work of the Scotists. See R. Rossini, Mariologia del beato Giovanni Duns Scoto (Castel-

petroso, 1994), p. 80, n. 16.
14 Balic, Joannes Duns Scotus, Doctor Immaculatae Conceptionis, 1:16.

250 The Age of Scholasticism

sin she had contracted, she was preserved from contracting it, by virtue
of the foreseen merits of Christ the Redeemer. In her case, then, there
was a preservative redemption. It would be wrong to say that the Mother
of the Lord had no need of redemption; to the contrary, it must be
recognized that a different form of redemption was applied in her case.
Scotus writes:

Just as others needed Christ, so that through his merits they might receive
the forgiveness of sin already contracted, so she needed the Mediator to
preserve her from sin.15

Purification and liberation from sin are not the only means to re­
demption; it can also be accomplished by preventing sin from being
transmitted to a person. Thus the universality of redemption is not called
into question, because Christ is the Mediator and Redeemer of all
human beings, including his Mother. In her case, Christ is Mediator and
Redeemer in a more perfect and outstanding way. Duns Scotus demon­
strates this by articulating, at this point, his theory of the most perfect

The most perfect Mediator merits the removal of every punishment from
the one whom he reconciles, but the original fault is a greater punishment
than even the loss of the vision of God . . . because, of all punishments
that might befall the intellectual nature, sin is the greatest. Therefore, if
Christ reconciled in the most perfect way possible, he merited to remove
that most heavy punishment from [at least] someone—and this could only
be his Mother.16

To his great credit, John Duns Scotus gave the dogma of Mary’s
exemption from the sin of Adam such a defined form as to make it an
integral part of the mystery of redemption. Mary’s preservative redemp­
tion is viewed as a necessity, postulated on the basis of the most perfect
nature of Christ’s mediative and redemptive work for the salvation of the
human race.

15 Ibid.
16 In 3 Sententiarum, d. 3, q. 1, n. 6; ed. Vives, 14:161.

John Duns Scotus (d. 1308) 251



[Mary] did not contract original sin because of the excellence of her
Son, inasmuch as he is Redeemer, Reconciler, and Mediator. For the
most perfect mediator would perform the most perfect act of mediation
on behalf of any person for whom he mediated. But Christ is the most
perfect Mediator. Therefore, Christ showed the most perfect possible
degree of mediating with respect to any creature or person whose
Mediator he was. But for no other person did he exhibit a more
excellent degree of mediation than he did for Mary. . . . But this would
not have happened if he had not merited that she should be preserved
from original sin.

I prove this with three arguments. First, in reference to God, to whom
Christ reconciles others; second, in reference to evil, from which he
liberates others; third, in reference to the debt of the person whom he
reconciles to God.

First. No one placates another in the highest or most perfect way for
an offense that someone might commit except by preventing him from
being offended. For, if he placates someone who has already been
offended, so that the offended party remits [punishment], he does not
placate perfectly. . . . Therefore, Christ does not perfectly placate the
Trinity for the guilt to be contracted by the sons of Adam if he does not
prevent the Trinity from being offended by at least someone, so that
consequently the soul of some one descendant of Adam would not have
this guilt.

Second. The most perfect Mediator merits the removal of all punish­
ment from the one whom he reconciles. But the original fault is a
greater punishment than even the loss of the vision of God . . . because,
of all punishments that might befall the intellectual nature, sin is the
greatest. Therefore, if Christ reconciled in the most perfect way possible,
he merited to remove that most heavy punishment from [at least] some­
one—and this could only be his Mother.

Further, it seems that Christ restored and reconciled us from original
sin more directly than from actual sin, because the necessity of the
Incarnation, Passion, and so forth, is commonly attributed to original

252 The Age of Scholasticism

sin, but it is commonly supposed that he was a perfect Mediator with
respect to [at least] one person; for example, Mary, given that he pre­
served her from all actual sin. Therefore, he acted similarly on her behalf
and preserved her from original sin. . . .

Third. A person who has been reconciled is not indebted in the
greatest possible way to his mediator unless he has received the greatest
possible good from him. But that innocence, which is the preservation
from contracting or needing to contract guilt, can be had by means of a
mediator. Therefore, no person would be indebted in the highest pos­
sible way to Christ as his Mediator if Christ had not preserved someone
from original sin.

—John Duns Scotus, In 3 Sententiarum, d. 3, q. 1;
ed. Mariani, pp. 181-84



The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Thought of
Medieval Latin Theologians

Translated by Thomas Buffer


UCLA Latin American Studies
Volume 84

The Story of

Luis Laso de la Vega’s
Huei tlamahuigoltica

of 1649

edited and translated by

Lisa Sousa
Stafford Poole, C.M.

James Lockhart

Stanford University Press

UCLA Latin American Center Publications
University of California, Los Angeles

Stanford University Press
Stanford, California

© 1998 by the Board of Trustees of the
Leland Stanford Junior University

Printed in the United States of America

CIP data appear at the end of the book


Introduction 1
The structure of the Huei tlamahuigoltica and its
affinities with the work of Miguel Sanchez 5

The unity of the texts 18
Loanwords and other language contact phenomena 22
Diacritics, orthography, and spacing 28
Aspects of usage in the texts 36
Some final thoughts on the question of authorship 43

The Huei tlamahuigoltica 48
Front matter 48
Author’s preface 54
The Nican mopohua 60
The Nican motecpana 92
The Nican tlantica 116
Final prayer 126

Appendix 1: Comparison of an episode in the Huei tlamahuigoltica
and in Miguel Sanchez’s Imagen de la Virgen, 1648, in the
original languages

Appendix 2: Translations of excerpts from Miguel Sanchez’s


Table 1 Incidence of miracle stories in three sources
Table 2 Loanwords in the texts
Table 3 Loan phrases, saints’names










Acattopa quimottititzino ge magehualtzintli itoca
Iuan Diego; Auh gatepan monexiti in itlagolxiptlatzin
yn ixpan yancuican Obispo D. Fray Iuan de
Sumarraga. Ihuan in ixquich tlamahuigolli ye

Ye iuh matlacxihuitl in opehualoc in atl in tepetl Mexico,1 yn ye
omoman in mitl, in chimalli, in ye nohuian ontlamatcamani in
ahuacan, in tepehuacan; in macagan ye opeuh, ye xotla, ye
cueponi in tlaneltoquiliztii, in iximachocatzin in ipalnemohuani
nelli TeotI DIOS. In huel iquac in ipan Xihuitl mill y quinientos,
y treinta y vno, quin iuh iquezquilhuioc in metztli Diziembre
mochiuh oncatca ge magehualtzintli, icnotlapaltzintli itoca catca
Iuan Diego, iuh mitoa ompa chane catca in Quauhtitlan, auh in
ica Teoyotl oc moch ompa pohuia in Tlatilolco, auh Sabado catca
huel oc yohuatzinco, quihualtepotztocaya in Teoyotl, yhuan in
inetititlaniz; auh in agico in inahuac tepetzintli in itocayocan
Tepeyacac2 ye tlatlalchipahua, concac in icpac tepetzintli cuicoa,
yuhquin nepapan tlagototome cuica, cacahuani3 in intozqui, iuh-
quin quinananquilia Tepetl, huel genca teyolquima, tehuel-

1Mexico: tor Mexico.
2Tepeyacac: this proper name consists of tepetl, “mountain,” yacatl,

“nose,” and the relational word -c, “at.” The term would generally be ex­
pected to mean a settlement on the ridge or brow of a hill. Since yacatl (the
nose going first) often implies antecedence, here the word may also refer to
the fact that the hill is the first and most prominent of a series of three.

3Cacahuani. This looks like a verb of the type that appears in three re­
lated forms: a basic one in -ni; an intransitive frequentative in -car, and a

60 The Huei tlamahuigoltica






First she revealed herself to a humble commoner named
Juan Diego, and afterwards her precious image appeared in
the presence of the first bishop, don fray Juan de
Zumarraga. And [here are related] all the miracles she has

IT HAD been ten years since the altepetl of Mexico had been
conquered and the weapons of war had been laid down, and
peace reigned in the altepetls all around; likewise the faith, the
recognition of the giver of life, the true deity, God, had begun to
flower and bloom. Right in the year of 1531, just a few days
into the month of December, there was a humble commoner, a
poor ordinary person, whose name was Juan Diego. They say
his home was in Cuauhtitlan, but in spiritual matters everything
still belonged to Tlatelolco. It was Saturday, still very early in
the morning, and he was on his way to attend to divine things
and to his errands. When he came close to the hill at the place
called Tepeyacac,2 it was getting light. He heard singing on top
of the hill, like the songs of various precious birds. Their voices
were [swelling and fading?],3 and it was as if the hill kept on

transitive frequentative in -tza. A verb cahuani (cahuani) does indeed exist.
DK (p. 21) shows it meaning “to catch fire” in a dialect of modern Nahuad.
Arthur J. O. Anderson (personal communication) knew it in the Sahagun
corpus meaning “to flare, burst forth.” These meanings are not what one
expects from the context. If we search for a frequentative cognate of cahuani,
we indeed find one: cacahuaca, which Molina defines as “gorgear a menu-
do las aves” (VM, Span./Nahuatl, f. 66); Gorjear is a general term which
can mean any kind of bird sound. The related form icahuaca (icahuaca)

The Nican mopohua 61


The Huei tlamahuigoltica

lamachti in incuic, quigenpanahuia in coyoltototl, in tzinitzcan,1

ihuan yn oc gequin tlagdtotome ic cuica: quimotztimoquetz in
Iuan Diego quimolhui2 cuix nolhuil, cuix nomagehual in ye nic-
caqui? ago gan nictemiqui? ago gan niccochitlehua, canin ye nica,
canin ye ninotta, cuix ye oncan in in quitotehuaque huehuetque
tachtohuan,3 tococolhuan in xochitlalpan4 in tonacatlalpan? cuix
ye oncan in in ilhuicatlalpan?

ompa onitzticaya in icpac tepetzintli in tonatiuh iquigayanpa in
ompa hualquiztia in ilhuicatlagocuicatl. auh in o yuh geuhtiquiz
in cuicatl in omocactimoman in yee5 quicaqui hualnotzalo in
icpac tepetzintli, quilhuia Iuantzin Iuan Diegotzin; niman ga yee5

motlapaloa inic ompa yaz in canin notzalo, aquen mochihua yn
iyollo, manoge itla ic migahuia, yege huel paqui mohuellamach-
tia, quitlecahuita6 in tepetzintli, ompa itzta6 in capa hualnotzaloc,

auh in ye agitiuh in icpac tepetzintli, in ye oquimottili ge gihua-
pilli oncan moquetzinoticac,7 quihualmonochili inic onyaz in
inahuactzinco; auh in o yuh acito in ixpantzinco, cenca quimo-
mahuigalhui in quenin huellagenpanahuia inic genquizcamahuiz-
ticatzintli, in itlaquentzin iuhquin tonatiuh ic motonameyotia inic

has the same definition without the frequentative sense (VM, ibid.). As an
impersonal (tlacahuaca), it refers to the murmuring or other noise of a
crowd, or the cries of massed enemies (VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 115v).
Perhaps one is justified in drawing the conclusion that the family of words
refers primarily to massed or inchoate sound. It surely often appears in con­
nection with birds. What we seem to have here is not a true frequentative,
but a normal reduplication, with glottal stop (the original does not spe­
cifically so indicate). The sense of this type of reduplication is broadly
distributive; here it would refer to the action stopping and starting again
various times. Thus though Velazquez’s solution was morphologically
unsound (basing the form on transitive cahua), his notion that the meaning
was that the voices were alternately fading and intensifying (HT, p. 97, n.
32) may well be on the mark. We subscribe, provisionally, to the idea that
whatever the quality of sound meant, it was ebbing and flowing, which in
addition is consonant with the passage’s sense of echo.

‘According to Sahagun (1981, 3:256), the bell bird (coyoltototl or pi-
ranga) is “like the thrushes mentioned previously, except that they have red
necks, breasts, and wings and the feathers are the same as the tail. Some of
them have yellow breasts and white wingtips and they sing very well. That
is why they are called coyoltotol, which means a bird that sings like a bell.”
With regard to the tzinitzcan, he writes “there is a bird in this land that is

The Nican mopohua 63

answering them. Their song was very agreeable and pleasing
indeed, entirely surpassing how the bell bird, the trogon,1 and
the other precious birds sing. Juan Diego stopped to look, say­
ing to himself, “Am I so fortunate or deserving as to hear this?
Am I just dreaming it? Am I imagining it in sleepwalking?
Where am I? Where do I find myself? Is it in the land of the
flowers,4 the land of plentiful crops, the place of which our
ancient forefathers used to speak? Is this the land of heaven?”

He stood looking toward the top of the hill to the east, from
where the heavenly, precious song was coming. When the song
had subsided and silence fell, he heard himself being called from
the top of the hill. A woman said to him, “Dear Juan, dear Juan
Diego.” Thereupon he stepped forward to go where he was
summoned. His heart was not troubled, nor was he startled by
anything; rather he was very happy and felt fine as he went
climbing the hill, heading toward where he was summoned.

When he reached the top of the hill, he saw a lady standing
there; she called to him to go over next to her. When he came
before her, he greatly marveled at how she completely surpassed
everything in her total splendor. Her clothes were like the sun in
the way they gleamed and shone. Her resplendence struck the

called tzinitzcan or teutzinitzcan; this bird has black feathers and lives on the
water; the precious feathers that it has grow on its breast and in its wingpits
and under the wings; they are a mixture of resplendent black and green.
Simeon gives a similar description, “a bird the size of a dove, whose very
bright black plumage was used as an ornament and in different crafts” (DS,
p. 662). Burkhart (1993, p. 3) identifies it with the Mexican trogon. See
also Sahagun 1950-82, part 12 (Book 11).

zQuimdlhui: the o is neither long nor followed by a glottalstop.
3Tachtohuan: standard tachtonhuan, “our great-grandfathers.”
*Xochitlalpan, a preconquest Nahuatl expression for heaven or a place of

bliss. See Burkhart 1989, p. 76.
sYee and yee. In both instances, an extra e has been added, apparently

through simple error, to ye; in the first case the first of the two e’s bears a
grave accent, in the second case the second one. Both times the intention
seems to be ye, “already,” rather than ye, third person independent pronoun.

6-Ta is a variant of preterit progressive -tia (-tiya). Both forms occur in
the present text.

1Moquetzindticac. This could have been written moquetztzindticac, repre­
senting all the elements of the constituent roots, but in fact it was more
common, even in the strictest orthographies, to write only one tz where two
met, reflecting Nahuatl speech patterns.

64 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

pepetlaca; auh in tetl, in texcalli inic itech moquetza, inic quimina
in itlanexyotzin yuhqui in tla9dchalchihuitl, maquiztli; inic neci
yuhquin ayauhcogamalocuecueyoca in tlalli; auh in mizquitl, yn
nopalli, ihuan oc cequi nepapan xiuhtotontin oncan mochichi-
huani yuhquin quetzalitztli, yuhqui in teoxihuitl in iatlapallo ic
neci; auh in iquauhyo, in ihuitzyo, in iahuayo yuhqui in coztic
teocuitlatl ic pepetlaca.
Ixpatzinco mopechtecac, quicac in iyotzin, in itlatoltzin in huel
9enca tehuellamachti, in huel tecpiltic yuhqui in quimo§o-
9onahuilia,1 quimotlatla50tilia, quimolhuili, tla xiccaqui noxo-
coyouh Iuantzin campa in timohuica? auh in yehuatl quimonan-
quilili Notecuiyoe, £ihuapille Nochpochtzine2 ca ompa nona?iz
mochantzinco3 Mexico Tlatilolco, nocontepotztoca in teoyotl, in
techmomaquilia, in techmomachtilia in ixiptlahuan in tlacatl in
Totecuiyo, in toteopixcahuan.
Niman ye ic quimononochilia, quimixpatilia4 in itla90tlanequi-
liztzin, quimolhuilia,

Ma xicmati, ma huel yuh ye in moyollo noxocoyouh ca ne-
huatl in ni9equizca9emicacichpochtli Sancta Maria in ninan-
tzin in huel nelli Teotl Dios in ipalnemohuani, in teyocoyani,
in Tloque Nahuaque, in Ilhuicahua in Tlalticpaque, huel nic-
nequi, cenca niquelehuia inic nican nechquechilizque noteo-
caltzin in oncan nicnextiz, nicpantla9az, nictemacaz in ix-
quich notetla90tlaliz, noteicnoyttaliz, in notepalehuiliz, in no-
temanahuiliz canel nehuatl in namoicnohuacanantzin in te-
huatl ihuan in ixquichtin inic nican tlalpan an9epantlaca,
ihuan in oc 9equin nepapan tlaca notetla90tlacahuan in notech
motzatzilia, in nechtemoa5 in notech motemachilia,6 ca on-

lQuimoQdgonahuilia. According to Molina (VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 23v),
this verb is coconahuilia.

2Nochpochtzine. Meaning literally “my daughter,” as we have been
forced to translate it, this is nevertheless, in the context, an expression of
great respect

3Mochantzinco: to refer to a distant place as the home of the interlocutor
was another device of polite speech in older Nahuatl.

4Quimixpatilia: for quimixpantilia (probably a case of a missing tilde
over the first a).

5Nechtemoa: the e is neither long nor followed by glottal stop.
6Motemachilia. Temachia is a common transitive verb meaning, gen­

erally, “to trust, have confidence in,” and sometimes “to have need of’ (VM,
Nahuatl/Span., f. 96; Span./Nahuatl, f. 88v). The “trust” sense is entirely

The Nican mopohua 65

stones and boulders by which she stood so that they seemed like
precious emeralds and jeweled bracelets. The ground sparkled
like a rainbow, and the mesquite, the prickly pear cactus, and
other various kinds of weeds that grow there seemed like green
obsidian, and their foliage like fine turquoise. Their stalks, their
thorns and spines gleamed like gold.

He prostrated himself before her and heard her very pleasing
and courtly message, as if inviting and flattering him, saying to
him, “Do listen, my youngest child, dear Juan, where is it that
you are you going?” He answered her, “My patron, noble lady,
my daughter,21 am going to your home3 of Mexico-Tlatelolco. I
am pursuing the divine matters that the representatives of the
lord our Lord, our friars, give and teach us.”

Thereupon she conversed with him, revealing to him her pre­
cious wish. She said to him,

Know, rest assured, my youngest child, that I am the eter­
nally consummate virgin Saint Mary, mother of the very true
deity, God, the giver of life, the creator of people, the ever
present, the lord of heaven and earth. I greatly wish and
desire that they build my temple for me here, where I will
manifest, make known, and give to people all my love,
compassion, aid, and protection. For I am the compassionate
mother of you and of all you people here in this land, and of
the other various peoples who love me, who cry out to me,
who seek me, who trust in me.6 There I will listen to their
weeping and their sorrows in order to remedy and heal all

appropriate in the present context, giving us excellent reason to think that
temachia is indeed intended, but here, since the reflexive mo- and the ap­
plicative -lio cancel each other out as the reverential, it is construed as in­
transitive, or as a verb machia with the indefinite personal object te-, which
comes to the same thing. Such characteristics of the verb are nowhere at­
tested, and though this is no simple error, for the writer of the present text
apparently repeats the construction elsewhere (at n. 1, pp. 118-19), it is
quite implausible. Temachia shows every sign of being derived from the
transitive verb mati, “to know”. -Machia (apparently a shortened version of
the applicative machilia) therefore automatically requires two objects, one
being the incorporated te-, leaving another to be accounted for by some
specific object prefix.

66 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

can niquincaquiliz in inchoquiz, in intlaocol inic nicyectiliz,
nicpatiz in ixquich nepapan innetoliniliz, intonehuiz, inchi-
chinaquiliz. Auh inic huel neltiz in nicnemilia1 inin note-
icnoyttaliz ma xiauh in ompa in itecpachan in Mexico
Obispo, auh tiquilhuiz in quenin nehua nimitztitlani inic
ticyxpantiz in quenin huel ?enca nicelehuia inic ma nican
nechcalti, nechquechili in ipan in tlalmantli noteocal; huel
moch ticpohuiliz in ixquich in otiquittac, oticmahuifo, ihuan
in tlein oticcac; auh ma yuh ye in moyollo ca huel nictlafoca-
matiz, auh ca niquixtlahuaz, ca ic nimitzcuiltonoz, nimitztla-
machtiz, yhua miec oncan ticmafehuaz ic nicquepcayotiz2 yn
mociahuiliz in motlatequipanohz inic ticnemilitiuh1 in tlein ic
nimitztitlani: o2 ca ye oticcac noxocoyouh yn niiyo in notlatol
ma ximohuicatiuh4 ma ixquich motlapal xicmochihuili.

Auh niman ic ixpantzinco onmopechtecac quimolhuili note-
cuiyoe, £ihuapille ca ye niyauh in nicneltiliz, in miyotzin, in
motlatoltzin, ma oc nimitznotlalcahuili in nimocnoma?ehual.
Niman ic hualtemoc inic quineltihtiuh in inetitlaniz connamiquico
m cuepotli huallamelahua Mexico.

In oacico itic altepetl, niman ic tlamelauh in iTecpanchan-
tzinco Obispo in huel yancuican hualmohuicac Teopixcatlato-
huani5 itocatzin catca, D. Fray Iuan de Sumarraga S. Francisco
Teopixqui. Auh in oacito niman ic moyeyecoa inic quimottiliz,
quintlatlauhtia in itetlayecolticahuan, in itlannencahuan inic con-
ittotihue,6 ye achi huecauhtica in connotzaco, in ye omotla-
nahuatili in Tlatohuani Obispo inic calaquiz. Auh in oncalac
niman ixpantzinco motlanquaquetz, mopechtecac, niman ye ic
quimixpantilia quimopohuiliha yn iyotzin yn itlatoltzin ilhuicac

‘The verb nemilia has very different glosses in different forms- to
consider to look into, to maintain, to resolve (VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 67;

>^,p. 165). Glosses in available dictionaries do not seem to exhaust the
m®aninS- h lhat it goes back to nemi’s ancient sense of

motion and can refer either to revolving something in the mind or to putting
something into motion in a variety of contexts. The first of the present two
examples (in nicnemilia), which we have translated “which I am contem-
plating, may mean ‘which I am implementing.” The second example (tic-
nemihtiuh), here translated “you go to put into motion,” clearly refers to the
plane of action. In nicnemilia, the i bearing a grave accent is neither long
nor followed by a glottal stop.

The Nican mopohua 67

their various afflictions, miseries, and torments. And in
order that this my act of compassion which I am contemplat­
ing1 may come to pass, go to the bishop’s palace in Mexico
and tell him how I am sending you to put before him how I
very much wish that he build me a house, that he erect a
temple for me on the level ground here. You are to relate
every single thing that you have seen and beheld, and what
you have heard. And rest assured that I will be very grateful
for it, and I will reward it, for I will enrich you and make
you content for it. You will attain many things as my
repayment for your efforts and labors with which you go to
put in motion1 what I send you for. And so, my youngest
child, you have heard my message. Get on your way, make
every effort.
Thereupon he prostrated himself before her, saying to her,

“My patron, O Lady, now I am going to carry out your mes­
sage. Let me, your humble subject, take leave of you for a
while.” Thereupon he came back down in order to go carry out
his errand, coming to take the causeway that comes directly to
WHEN HE got inside the altepetl, he went straight to the palace of
the bishop, whose name was don fray Juan de Zumarraga, a
friar of Saint Francis and the very first priestly ruler5 to come.
As soon as he arrived, he attempted to see him; he implored his
servants and dependents to go tell him. After a rather long time
they came to tell him that the lord bishop had given orders for
him to enter. When he came in, he knelt and bowed low before
him. Then he put before him and told him the heavenly Lady’s
message, his errand. He also told him everything that he had

2Nicquepcayotiz: standard niccuepcayotiz. The text has q for c in the root
cuepa “to return” two other times, in addition to many instances of the
standard spelling.

3t) ca: the o is long and is not followed by glottal stop.
*Ximohuicatiuh: Following Carochi (AC, f. 28v), this form, which

involves the singular optative of a purposive-motion suffix, should be xi-
mohuica or ximohuicati. See also pp. 86-87, n. 4.

sTeopixcatlatohuani, “priestly ruler”; i.e., bishop.
6Conittotihue: the plural of the modal form of yauh standardly ends in i

(/), but e is found in some varieties of modern Nahuatl and presumably has
existed for centuries.

68 The Huei tlamahidgoltica

£ihuapilli, in inetitlaniz: no ihuan quimolhuilia in ixquich oqui-
mahuiqo, in oquittac, in oquicac. Auh in oquicac in mochi itlatol,
inetitlaniz iuhquin amo qenca monelchiuhtzino, quimonanquilili,
quimolhuili nopiltze ma oc ?eppa tihuallaz, oc ihuian nimitz-
caquiz, huel oc itzinecan niquittaz, nicnemiliz in tlein ic otihualla
in motlanequiliz, in motlaelehuiliz. Hualquiz tlaocoxtihuitz, inic
amo nimam1 oneiric in inetitlaniz.

Niman hualmoquep2 iz§a ye iquac ipan femilhuitl, niman
onca huallamelauh in icpac tepetzintli, auh ipantzinco a?ito in
ilhuicac £ihuapilli izfan ye oncan in canin acattopa quimottili,
quimochialitica; auh in o iuh quimottili ixpantzinco mopechtecac
motlalchitlaz quimolhuili,

notecuiyoe, tlacatle, £ihuapille, noxocoyohue, Nochpoch-
tzine ca onihuia in ompa otinechmotitlanili, ca onicneltilito in
miiyotzin in motlatoltzin magihui in ohuihuitica3 in onicalac
in ompa iyeyan teopixcaTlatohuani, ca oniquittac, ca o4 ix-
pan nictlali in miiyotzin, in motlatoltzin in yuh otinechmona-
nahuatili, onechpaccaceli, auh oquiyeccac; yece inic onech-
nanquili, yuhquin amo iyollo omacic, amo monelchihua,5

onechilhui oc ceppa tihuallaz, oc ihuiyan nimitzcaquiz, huel
oc itzinecan niquittaz in tlein ic otihualla motlayelehuiliz,6

motlanequiliz. Huel itech oniquittac in yuh onechnanquili ca
momati in moteocaltzin ticmonequiltia mitzmochihuililizq
nican a?o ?an nehuatl nicyoyocoya, aca^omo motencopa-
tzinco; ca 9enca nimitznotlatlauhtilia notecuiyoe, ^ihuapille
Nochpochtzine mano90 aca7 9eme in tla9opipiltin in ixi-
macho, in ixtilo, in mahuiztilo itech xicmocahuih in quitquiz,
yn quihuicaz in miiyotzin, yn motlatoltzin, inic neltocoz,
canel8 nicnotlapaltzintli, ca nimecapalli, ca nicacaxtli, ca ni-
cuitlapilli, ca natlapalli, ca nitconi ca9 nimamaloni, camo no-

lNimam: standard niman.
2Hualmoquep: standard hualmocuep; see pp. 66-67, n. 2.
3Ohuihuitica: This seems to be based on a confusion of ohui, “difficult,

dangerous,” and ihuihui (ihulhui), “with much difficulty, at great cost” (AC,
f. 121 v). It is more than one individual’s error, however, for Carochi in­
forms us that once in a while someone would say ohuihuicayotica instead of
ihuihuicayotica, although he did not approve of it. The more standard form
ohuitica appears below.

4(): the o is long and not followed by a glottal stop.
5Neither -yollo maci nor nelchihua, nino, have known dictionary glosses

corresponding to their use in the present text, in which they appear as

The Nican mopohua 69

beheld, what he had seen and heard. But when he had heard his
whole statement and message, he did not seem to be completely
convinced. He answered him, telling him, “My child, do come
again, and I will hear you at length. First I will thoroughly look
into and consider what you have come about, your wish and
desire.” He came back out grieving, because his errand was not
then carried out.
HE CAME BACK right away, on the very same day. He came
straight to the top of the hill and found the heavenly Lady in the
same place where he first saw her, waiting for him. When he
saw her, he bowed low before her and threw himself to the
ground, saying to her:

My patron, O personage, Lady, my youngest child, my
daughter, I went to where you sent me, I went to carry out
your instructions. Although it was difficult3 for me to enter
the quarters of the priestly ruler, I did see him, and I put
before him your message as you ordered me to. He received
me kindly and heard it out, but when he answered me, he
did not seem to be satisfied or convinced.5 He told me, “You
are to come again, and I will hear you at leisure. First I will
thoroughly look into what you have come about, your wish
and desire.” I could easily see from how he answered me
that he thought that perhaps I was just making it up that you
want them to build your temple there for you and that per­
haps it is not by your order. I greatly implore you, my
patron, noble Lady, my daughter, entrust one of the high
nobles, who are recognized, respected, and honored, to car­
ry and take your message, so that he will be believed. For81
am a poor ordinary man, I carry burdens with the tumpline
and carrying frame, I am one of the common people, one

synonyms (here in tandem) where the context strongly demands the meaning
to be satisfied with or convinced of the truth of something. The literal
meaning of the roots lends support to the implications of the context: -yollo
maci, “for one’s heart to reach itself, be complete”; reflexive nelchihua, “to
make oneself true.”

6Motlayelehuiliz: standard motlaelehuiliz, as it is in the text several
lines above (though inserted intervocalic glides are rife in Nahuatl speech
and in older Nahuatl writing).

1Aca: for acd.
8The following phrases are standard Nahuatl metaphors for commoners.
9Ca: the a is short and not followed by a glottal stop.

70 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

nenemian, camo nonequetzayan in ompa tinechmihualia
Nochpochtzine, Noxocoyohue, TIacatle, phuapille, ma xi-
nechmotlapopolhuili nictequipachoz in mixtzin, in moyollo-
tzin, ipan niyaz, ipan nihuetziz in mo9omaltzin, in moqualan-
tzin TIacatle Notecuiyoe.

Quimonanquilili iz^enquizcamahuizichpochtzintli
tla xiccaqui noxocoyouh ma huel iuh ye in moyollo camo
tlagotin in notetlayecolticahuan in notititlanhuan, in huel
intech niccahuaz in quitquizq in niiyo, in notlatol, in
quineltilizque in notlanequiliz; yece huel iuh monequi inic
huel tehuatl ic tinemiz, ipan titlatoz, huel momatica neltiz
mochihuaz, in noijializ, in notlanequiliz; auh huel nimitz-
tlatlauhtia noxocoyouh, yhuan nimitztlaquauhnahuatia ca
huel oc 9eppa tiaz in moztla tiquittatiuh in Obispo auh
nopampa xicnemachti, huel yuh xiccaquiti in no^ializ, in
notlanequiliz, inic quineltiliz in quichihuaz noteocal niqui-
tlanilia, yhuan huel oc ceppa xiquilhui in quenin huel nehuatl
nigemicacichpochtli Sancta Maria in ninantzin Teotl Dios in
ompa nimitztitlani.

Auh in Iuan Diego quimonanquilili, quimolhuili
notecuiyoe, £ihuapille, Nochpochtzine macamo nictequi-
pacho in mixtzin, in moyollotzin ca huel no^enyollocacopa
nonyaz noconneltilitiuh in miiyotzin in motlatoltzin ca niman
amo nicnocacahualtia, mano^e nictecococamati in otli ca
nonyaz ca noconchihuatiuh in motlanequiliztzin, 9an huel ye
in iujocamo1 niyeccacoz;2 intla noce ye onicacoc aca9omo
nineltocoz, ca tel moztla ye teotlac in ye oncalaqui tonatiuh,
niccuepaquiuh in miiyotzin in motlatoltzin in tlein ic nech-
nanquiliz in Teopixcatlatohuani, ca ye nimitznotlalcahuilia
noxocoyohue, Nochpochtzine tlacatle, fihuapille, ma oc

Niman ic ya in ichan mo9ehuito.
Auh in imoztlayoc Domingo huel oc yohuatzinco tlatlayohua-

toc ompa hualquiz in ichan huallamelauh in Tlatilolco, quimat-
tihuitz in Teoyotl, ihuan inic tepohualoz:3 niman ye inic quittaz
ieopixcatlatohuani; auh a9o ye ipan matlactli hora in one9en-
cahualoc inic omocac Missa, ihuan otepohualoc ic hualxin in

^Agoctimo: apparently an error for acagomo as just below.
Niyeccacoz. the o is long but is not followed by glottal stop.
Tepohualoz: the e is long but is not followed by glottal stop. The

The Nican mopohua 71

who is governed. Where you are sending me is not my usual
place, my daughter, my youngest child, O personage, O
Lady. Pardon me if I cause you concern, if I incur or bring
upon myself your frown or your wrath, O personage, O my
The revered consummate Virgin answered him,

Do listen, my youngest child. Be assured that my servants
and messengers to whom I entrust it to carry my message
and realize my wishes are not high ranking people. Rather it
is highly necessary that you yourself be involved and take
care of it. It is very much by your hand that my will and
wish are to be carried out and accomplished. I strongly
implore you, my youngest child, and I give you strict orders
that tomorrow you be sure to go see the bishop once again.
Instruct him on my behalf, make him fully understand my
will and wish, so that he will carry out the building of my
temple that I am asking him for. And be sure to tell him
again how it is really myself, the ever Virgin Saint Mary, the
mother of God the deity, who is sending you there.
Juan Diego answered her, saying to her,

My patron, O Lady, my daughter, let me not cause you
concern, for with all my heart I will go there and carry out
your message. I will not abandon it under any circum­
stances; although I find the road painful, I will go to do your
will. The only thing is that I may not be heard out, or when I
have been heard I may not be believed. However, to­
morrow, late in the afternoon, when the sun is going down,
I will come returning whatever answer the priestly ruler
should give me to your message. Now, my youngest child,
my daughter, O personage, O Lady, I am taking leave of
you; meanwhile, take your rest.

Thereupon he went home to rest.
ON THE FOLLOWING day, Sunday, while it was still very early
in the morning and dark everywhere, he left his home and came
directly to Tlatelolco to learn divine things and to be counted,3

and also to see the priestly ruler. It was perhaps ten o’clock
when they were finished with hearing mass and taking the

literal meaning is “for people to be counted”; in the early period the friars
are said to have kept detailed records of attendance at mass and instructions.

72 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

ichquich1 ma?ehualli; auh in yehuatl Iuan Diego niman ic ya in
itecpanchantzinco in Tlatohuani Obispo, auh in oacito ixquich
itlapal quichiuh inic quimottiliz, auh huel ohuxtica in oc 9eppa
quimottili, icxitlantzinco motlanquaquetz, choca, tlaocoya inic
quimononochilia, inic quimixpantililia in iiyotzin, in itlatoltzin in
ilhuicac £ihuapilli, inic a§o ̂ anen2 neltocoz in inetitlaniz in itla-
nequiliztzin genquizcaichpochtli, inic quimochihuililizque, inic
quimoquechililizque in iteocaltzin in canin omotlatenehuili in
canin quimonequiltia. Auh in Tlatohuani Obispo huel miactla-
mantli3 inic quitlatlani, quitlatemoli, inic huel iyollo maciz, cam-
pa in quimottili, quenamecatzintli huel moch quimopohuilili in
Tlatohuani Obispo. Auh ma?ihui in huel moch quimomelahuilili
in yuhcatzintli, ihuan in ixquich oquittac, oquimahuigo in ca huel
yuh neci ca yehuatzin iz9enquizcaIchpochtzintli in itlafomahuiz-
nanzin4 in toTemaquixticatzin toTecuiyo Iesu Christo; yece amo
niman ic omonelchiuh quitto ca amo 9an ica itlatol, itlaitlaniliz
mochihuaz moneltiliz in tlein quitlani, ca huel oc itla inezca
monequi inic huel neltocoz in quenin huel yehuatzin quimo-
titlanilia in ilhuicac Qhuapilli. Auh in o yuh quicac in Iuan Diego
quimolhuili in Obispo tlacatle, tlatohuanie ma xicmottili catle-
huatl yez in inezca ticmitlanililia, ca niman niyaz nicnitlanililitiuh
in ilhuicac cihuapilli onechhualmotitlanili. Auh in oquittac in
Obispo ca huel monelchihua ca niman atle ic meleltia,5

motzotzona niman ic quihua.

Auh in ye huitz niman ic quimonahuatili quezqui in ichan tlaca,
in huel intech motlacanequi, quihualtepotztocazque, huel quipi-
piazque campa in yauh, ihuan aquin conitta, connotza.6 Tel iuh
mochiuh7 auh in Iuan Diego niman ic huallamelauh, quitocac in
cuepotli, auh in quihualtepotztocaya oncan atlauhtli qui9a i-
nahuac tepeyacac quauhpantitlan quipoloco, manel oc nohuian
tlatemoque aoccan quittaque, 9an yuh hualmoquepque,8 amo

lIchquich: for ixquich.
2Qanen: presumably the same as gannen, “in vain” (VM, Nahuatl/

Span., f. 14v); here it seems to amount to a simple negative.
2Miactlamantli: miac is an older variant of miec, “much,” seen several

times in the text.
4Itlagdmahuiznanzin: for itlagdmahuiznantzin.
sMeleltia: standard melleltia. Among the meanings of elleltia, nino, is

The Nican mopokua 73

count, and all the commoners dispersed again. Thereupon Juan
Diego went to the palace of the lord bishop; when he got there,
he made every effort to see him, but it was with great difficulty
that he saw him again. He knelt down at his feet, and he wept
and grieved as he told and put before him the message of the
heavenly Lady, because he wondered if perhaps the consummate
Virgin’s message and will that they were to build and erect a
temple for her where she designated and wanted it would not2 be
believed. The lord bishop asked and interrogated him about very
many things in order to be satisfied about where he saw her and
what she was like, and he told it absolutely all to the lord
bishop. Although he told him the exact truth about how she was
and all that he had seen and beheld, and that she really seemed to
be the consummate Virgin, the precious, revered mother of our
redeemer, our lord Jesus Christ, still he was not immediately
convinced. He said that it was not by his [Juan Diego s] word
and request alone that what he asked for would be done and
carried out. Some additional sign was still very much needed so
that it could be believed that it was really the heavenly Lady
herself who sent him. When Juan Diego heard that, he said to
the bishop, “O personage, O ruler, consider what kind of sign it
is to be that you request of her, and then I will go ask it of the
heavenly Lady who sent me here.” And when the bishop saw
that he was entirely convinced, that he had absolutely no second
thoughts5 or doubts, he thereupon sent him off.

And when he was on his way, thereupon he [the bishop]
ordered some of the people of his household in whom he had
full confidence to follow after him and keep close watch where
he went, whom he saw, and whom he talked to. But it so hap­
pened7 that thereupon Juan Diego came straight along the cause­
way, and those who came following him lost sight of him at the
place where the ravine comes out near Tepeyacac, next to the

“to repent of something” (VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 28v).
6Connotzd: the a is short and not followed by a glottal stop.
nTel iuh mochiuh. The translation “but it so happened [that]” is quite

straightforward. Yet tel, like French mais, does not always imply a sharp
contrast with what precedes. An alternate translation might be “And so it
was done; but …”

%Hualmoquepque: standard hualmocuepque\ see pp. 66-67, n. 2.

74 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

?aniyo inic omoxixiuhtlatito, no ihuan ic oquimelelti,1 oquin-
qualancacuiti:2 yuh quinonotzato in Tlatohuani Obispo, quitla-
huellalilique3 inic amo quineltocaz, quilhuiq inic 9an conmoz-
tlacahuilia, 9an quipipiqui in tlein quihualmolhuilia, anc>9e 9an
oquitemic, 9an oquicochitleuh in tlein quimolhuilia in tlein qui-
mitlanililia; auh huel yuh quimolhuique intla oc ceppa huallaz,
mocuepaz, oncan quitzitzquizque, ihuan chicahuac quitlatzacuil-
tizque inic aocmo 9eppa iztlacatiz, tequamanaz.4

In imoztlayoc Lunes in iquac quihuicazquia in Iuan Diego in
itla5 inezca inic neltocoz, aocmo ohualmocuep: yeica in iquac
a9ito in ichan 9e itla6 catca itoca Iuan Bernardino o itech modali
in cocoliztli, huel tlanauhtoc, oc quiticinochilito, oc ipan tlato,7

yece aocmo inman ye huel otlanauh: auh in ye yohuac quitla-
tlauhti in iTla in oc yohuatzinco, oc tlatlayohuatoc hualqui9az,
quimonochiliquiuh in oncan Tlatilolco 9eme in teopixque inic
mohuicaz, quimoyolcuitilitiuh, ihuan quimo9encahuilitiuh, yeica
ca huel yuh ca in iyollo ca ye inman, ca ye oncan inic miquiz ca
aoc mehuaz aocmo patiz.

Auh in Martes huel oc tlatlayohuatoc in ompa hualquiz ichan
in Iuan Diego in quimonochiliz teopixqui in ompa Tlatilolco, auh
in ye a9itihuitz inahuac tepetzintli tepeyacac in icxitlan quiztica
otli tonatiuh icalaquianpa in oncan yeppa qu^ani, quito inda 9an
nicmelahua odi manen nechhualmottiliti iz9ihuapilli ca yeppa

1Omoxixiuhtlatito,… oquimelelti: the second word would standardly
be written oquimellelti. Xiuhtlatia, nino, is once defined by Molina as “to
get vexed over delay” (VM, Span./Nahuatl, f. 53v); a meaning of elleltia is
‘to hinder” (VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 28v).

2Oquinqualancacuiti: The normal form would be oquinqualancuiti. Mo­
lina gives the verb as qualancuitia, and in a series of related entries the in-
corporated element qualanca- predictably functions adverbially, not consti­
tuting an object as it does here.

3Quitlahuellalilique: this form appears at first glance to contain the root
tlahuel-, “bad, evil, wild,” which would fit the context well, indicating that
the dejpendents put Juan Diego in a bad light with the bishop. Closer
analysis, however, shows that the tla- here must be an object prefix, so that
the basic verb is huellalia, “to correct or amend” (VM, Nahuatl/Span., f.

The Nican mopohua 7 5

wooden bridge. Though they kept searching everywhere, no­
where did they see him; they returned empty handed. Not only
did they go away vexed because of the loss of time, but it frus­
trated them1 and made them angry. They went to tell the lord
bishop about it, preparing him3 not to believe him; they told him
that he was only lying to him, only making up what he came to
tell him, or that perhaps he only dreamed or saw in sleep walk­
ing what he told him and asked of him. They insisted that if he
should come again, should return, they would seize him on the
spot and punish him severely, so that he would never lie and
disturb people4 again.
ON THE FOLLOWING day, Monday, Juan Diego did not return
when he was supposed to take some sign in order to be be­
lieved, because when he reached the home of an uncle of his,
whose name was Juan Bernardino, a sickness had come upon
him and he lay gravely ill. First he went to summon a physician
for him, who looked after him for a while,7 but it was too late;
he was already mortally ill. When night had come his uncle
asked him that while it was still very early in the morning and
dark everywhere, he should come to Tlatelolco to summon one
of the friars to go hear his confession and prepare him, because
he was fully convinced that it was now time for him to die and
that he would not rise again or recover.
IT WAS TUESDAY, still very dark everywhere, when Juan Diego
left his home to summon a friar in Tlatelolco. When he came by
the hill of Tepeyacac, at the foot of which the road that he took
previously passes to the west, he said, “if I just go straight along
the road, I am afraid that the Lady may see me, for before you

156). One could extrapolate, with the present word in its context, “they
fixed it for him,” or as we have hazarded, “prepared him.” Despite the mor­
phology, however, it is probable that Laso de la Vega’s intention, following
Miguel Sanchez (IVM, p. 85), was indeed “they made him look bad so that
he would not be believed.” See introduction, p. 12.

4Tequamanaz: probably for tequdmanaz (tequadmanaz).
5Itla: for itla.
6Itla: probably for itla (although according to Carochi “his uncle” is itla

with a final long vowel and no glottal stop [AC, f. 2v]).
1Oc ipan tlato; instead of “who looked after him a while,” an alternate

translation would make this phrase parallel to the one immediately preceding
it, “[Juan Diego] first saw to it [getting a doctor for his uncle].”

76 The Huei tlamahmsoltica

nechmotzicalhuiz inic nichuiquiliz tlanezcayotl in teopixcatlato-
huani in yuh onechmonanahuatili; ma oc techcahua in tonete-
quipachol, ma oc nicnonochilitihuetzi in teopixqui motolinia in
notlatzin amo ga quimochialitoc. Niman ic contlacolhui in tepetl
itzallan ontlecoc ye nepa centlapal Tonatiuh yquigayanpa quigato
inic igiuhca agitiuh Mexico inic amo quimotzicalhuiz in ilhuicac
£ihuapilli in momati ca in ompa ic otlacolo ca ahuel quimottiliz,
in huel nohuiampa motztilitica: Quittac quenin hualmotemohui
icpac in tepetzintli ompa hualmotztilitoc in ompa yeppa con-
mottiliani,1 conmonamiquilico in inacaztlan tepetl, conmoyaca-
tzacuililico, quimolhuili. Auh noxocoyouh, campa in tiyauh?
campa in titztiuh? Auh in yehuatl cuix achi ic mellelma? cuix
noge pinahuac? cuix noge ic migahui, momauhti? ixpantzinco
mopechtecac, quimotlapaJhui, quimolhuili,

nochpochtzine, noxocoyohue, £ihuapille ma ximopaquiltitie
quen otimixtonalti? cuix ticmohuelmachitia in motlagonaca-
yotzin noTecuiyoe, nopiltzintzine; nictequipachoz in mixtzin
in moyolldtzin, ma xicmomachiltitzino nochpochtzine, ca
huellanauhtoc ge momagehualtzin noTla huei cocoliztli in
itech omotlali ca yeppa ic momiquiliz, auh oc nonigiuhtiuh in
mochantzinco Mexico noconnonochiliz geme in itlagohuan
toTecuiyo in toTeopixcahua, conmoyolcuitilitiuh, ihua con-
mogencahuilitiuh, canel ye inic otitlacatque, in ticchiaco in
tomiquiztequiuh. Auh intla onoconneltilito, ca niman nican
oc ceppa nihualnocuepaz, inic nonyaz noconitquiz, in mii-
yotzin in motlatoltzin Tlacatle, Nochpochtzine, ma xinech-
motlapopolhuili, ma oc ixquich ica xinechmopaccaiyohuilti
camo ic nimitznoquelhuia,2 noxocoyohue, nopiltzintzine, ca
niman moztla niquiztihuetziquiuh.

Auh in o yuh quimocaquiti itlatol in Iuan Diego quimonanquilili
in icnohuacagenquizcaichpochtzintli:

Ma xiccaqui3 ma huel yuh ye in moyollo noxocoyouh

‘An equally grammatical solution, since the third person singular sub­
jects and objects are not specified, would be “Watching from the top of the
hill where she had seen him before, she saw him coming down.” Note,
however, that at the corresponding place (IVM, p. 87) Miguel Sanchez has
“descending from the hill where she was waiting for him, she came into his
path to meet him.”

2Camo ic nimitznoquelhuia. Just how the object prefix relates to the

The Nican mopohua 77

know it she will detain me in order that I should carry the sign to
the priestly ruler as she instructed me. May our affliction leave
us first; let me first hurry to summon the friar. My uncle is in
need and he can’t just lie waiting for him.” Thereupon he went
around the hill, climbing through an opening and coming out on
the other side to the east, so that he would quickly reach Mexico
and the heavenly Lady would not detain him. He believed that if
he went around there, she who sees absolutely everywhere
would not be able to see him. He saw her coming down from
the hill where’she was watching, where he had seen her before.1

She came to meet and intercept him on the hillside, saying to
him, “Well, my youngest child, where are you going? Where are
you headed?” And wasn’t he a bit bothered by it? Or ashamed?
Or startled and frightened by it? He prostrated himself before
her, greeted her, and said to her,

My daughter, my youngest child, Lady, may you be content.
How did you feel on awakening? Is your precious body in
good health, my patron, my very noble lady? I am going to
cause you concern. You must know, my daughter, that a
poor subject of yours, my uncle, lies very gravely ill. A
great illness has come upon him, of which he will soon die.
And first I am hurrying to your home of Mexico to summon
one of those beloved of our Lord, our friars, to go hear his
confession and prepare him, for what we were bom for is to
come to await our duty of death. When I have earned this
out, then I will return here again so that I may go to carry
your message, O personage, my daughter. Please forgive me
and meanwhile have patience with me. I am not doing it on
purpose,2 my youngest child, my very noble Lady. I will
come by quickly tomorrow.
When she had heard Juan Diego’s words, the compassionate,

consummate Virgin answered him,
Understand, rest very much assured, my youngest child,

meaning is not clear; it is not elucidated in Molina’s entry under “adrede
dezir o hazer algo” (VM, Span./Nahuatl, f. 5). Possibly the sense is not “I
am not doing it on purpose,” but “I am not fooling you.” See VM, Na-
huatl/Span., f. 14, under “ganic tequeloani,” and f. 89, under “quequeloa” and

3Xiccaqui: the final i is neither long nor followed by glottal stop.

78 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

macatle tlein mitzmauhti, mitztequipacho, macamo quen
mochihua in mix in moyollo, macamo xiquimacaci in coco-
liztli, mano?e oc itla cocoliztli cococ teopouhqui, cuix amo
nican nica nimoNantzin? cuix amo no^ehuallotitlan, necauh-
yotitlan in tica? cuix amo nehuatl in nimopaccayeliz? cuix
amo nocuixanco, nomamalhuazco in tica? cuix oc itla in mo-
tech monequi?1 macamo oc itla mitztequipacho, mitzamana,
macamo mitztequipacho in icocoliz mollatzin camo ic miquiz
in axcan itech ca; ma huel yuh ye in moyollo ca ye opatic:

(Auh ca niman huel iquac patic in iTlatzin in iuh ^atepan
Auh in Iuan Diego in o yuh quicac in iiyotzin, in itlatoltzin in
ilhuicac £ihuapilli, huel cenca ic omoyollali, huel ic pachiuh in
iyollo. Auh quimotlatlauhtili inic ma ?a ye quimotitlanili inic
quittatiuh in Tlatohuani Obispo in quitquiliz itla inezca, in
ineltica, inic quineltocaz. Auh in ilhuicac £ihuapilli niman ic
quimonahuatili, inic ontlecoz in icpac tepetzintli, in oncan canin
yeppa conmottihaya; quimolhuili xitleco noxocoyouh in icpac in
tepetzintli, auh in canin otinechittac, ihuan onimitznanahuati
oncan tiquittaz onoc nepapan xochitl, xictetequi, xicnechico,
xic^entiali, niman xichualtemohui, nican nixpan xichualhuica.
Auh in Iuan Diego niman ic quitlecahui in tepetzintli, auh in
oacito icpac, 9enca quimahui^o in ixquich onoc, xotlatoc, cue-
pontoc in nepapan Caxtillan tla^oxochitl, in ayamo imochiuhyan;
canel huel iquac in motlapaltilia izcetl: huel 5enca ahuiaxtoc,
iuhqui in tla9oepyollotli inic yohualahuachyotoc; niman ic peuh
hi quitetequi, huel moch quinechico, quicuixanten. Auh in oncan
icpac tepetzintli ca niman atle xochitl in imochiuhyan, ca texcalla,
netzolla, huihuitztla, nopalla, mizquitla; auh intla xiuhtotontin
mochichihuani in iquac in ipan metztli Diziembre ca moch
quiqua,2 quipdpolohua iz9etl. Auh ca niman ic hualtemoc, qui-
hualmotquilili in ilhuicac ^ihuapilli in nepapan xochitl oqui-

auh in o yuh quimottili imaticatzinco conmocuili; niman ye oc
9eppa icuexanco3 quihualmotemili, quimolhuih,

1 Monequi: the i is neither long nor followed by glottal stop.
Quiqua: the a is neither long nor followed by glottal stop.

The Nican mopohua 79

that nothing whatever should frighten you or worry you. Do
not be concerned, do not fear the illness, or any other illness
or calamity. Am I, your mother, not here? Are you not under
my protective shade, my shadow? Am I not your happiness?
Are you not in the security of my lapfold, in my carrying
gear? Do you need something more? Do not let anything
worry you or upset you further. Do not let your uncle’s
illness worry you, for he will not die of what he now has.
Rest assured, for he has already recovered.
(And at that very moment his uncle recovered, as was learned

When Juan Diego heard the heavenly lady’s message, he was

greatly consoled and reassured by it. He implored her to send
him to go see the lord bishop, taking him some sign or proof, so
that he would believe him. Thereupon the heavenly Lady
directed him to go up to the top of the hill where he had seen her
before. She said to him, “Go up, my youngest child, to the top
of the hill, and where you saw me and I spoke to you, you will
see various kinds of flowers growing. Pick them, gather them,
collect them, and then bring them back down here, bring them to

Then Juan Diego climbed the hill. When he reached the top,
he was greatly astonished at all the different kinds of precious
Spanish flowers that were growing there, blossoming and
blooming, although their blooming time had not yet come, for it
was right then that the frost was strong. They were very
fragrant, and the night dew on them was like precious pearls. He
thereupon began to pick them; he gathered every one and put
them in his lapfold. But the top of the hill was absolutely no
place for any flowers to grow, for it was a place of crags,
thorns, brambles, cactus, and mesquite, and if some little grassy
weeds should grow there at that time, in the month of December,
the frost would devour and destroy them all. Then he came back
down, bringing to the heavenly Lady the various kinds of
flowers that he had gone to pick.

When she saw him, she took them in her arms; then she put
them back in the folds of his cloak, saying to him,

3Icuexanco: -cuexanco is an older variant of the form -cuixanco which is
mainly used in the text.

80 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

noxocoyouh inin nepapan xochitl yehuatl in tlaneltiliz,1 in
nezcayotl in tichuiquiliz in Obispo, nopampa tiquilhuiz ma ic
quitta in notlanequiliz, ihua ic quineltiliz in notlanequiliz, in
noqializ. Auh in tehuatl in tinotitlan ca huel motech netlaca-
neconi; auh huel nimitztlaquauhnahuatia ?an huel icel ixpan
Obispo tic?ohuaz in motilma, ihuan ticnextiliz in tlein tic-
huica: auh huel moch ticpohuiliz, tiquilhuiz in quenin oni-
mitznahuati inic titlecoz in icpac tepetzintli in tictetequitiuh
Xochitl, ihua in ixquich otiquittac, oticmahuigo, inic huel
ticyolloyehuaz2 in TeopixcaTlatohuani; inic niman ipan tlatoz
inic mochihuaz, moquetzaz in noTeocal oniquitlanih.

Auh in ocomonanahuatili in ilhuicac £ihuapilli quihualtocac in
cuepotli Mexico huallamelahua, ye pactihuitz, ye yuh yetihuitz in
iyollo ca yecqui§aquiuh, quiyecitquiz, huel quimocuitlahuitihuitz
in tlein icuixanco yetihuitz in manen itia quimacauh, quimo-
tlamachtitihuitz in i&huiaca in nepapan tla9dxochitl.

In oa?ico itecpanchan Obispo connamiquito in icalpixcauh,
ihuan oc cequin itlannencahuan in tlatocaTeopixqui, auh quin-
tlatlauhti inic ma quimolhuilican in quenin quimottiliznequi;3 ye-
ce ayac ceme quinec, amo conmocaccaneque,4 a90 ye inic huel
oc yohuatzinco; auh anoce inic ye quiximati, 9a quintequipachoa
inic imixtlan pilcatinemi,5 yhuan ye oquinnonotzque in inic-
nihua6 in quipoloto in iquac quitepotztocaque.

Huel huecauhtica in otlatolchixticatca, auh in oquittaq ye huel
huecauhtica in oncan icac motololtiticac, tlatenmatticac in a9o
notzaloz, ihuan in iuhquin ma itia quihualitqui quicuixanoticac;
niman ye ic itech onacique inic quittilizque tlein quihuicatz inic
myollo pachihuiz. Auh in oquittac in Iuan Diego ca niman ahuel
quintlatiliz in tlein quihuicatz, ca ic quitolinizque, quitotopehuaz-
que no9e ic quimictizque tepiton quihualnexti, ca xochitl; auh in
yuh quittaque, ca moch Caxtillan nepapan xochitl, ihuan in camo

^Tlaneltiliz: for tlaneltiliztli: compare nezcayotl.
Ticyolloyehuaz: yolldyehua is a variant of yolehua.

^ Quiwottiliznequi: the final i is neither long nor followed by glottal

AConmocacaneque: for standard conmocaccanecque; perhaps the diacritic

The Nican mopohua 81

My youngest child, these various kinds of flowers are the
proof and the sign that you are to take to the bishop. You are
to tell him on my behalf that thereby he should see my will
and carry out my wish and my will, and that you, my
messenger, are very trustworthy. I give you very strict or­
ders to unfold your cloak only before the bishop and show
him what you are carrying. You are to recount absolutely
everything to him and tell him how I instructed you to climb
to the top of the hill to pick the flowers, and everything that
you saw and beheld, so that you may really inspire the
priestly ruler to see to it immediately that my temple which I
requested of him is built and raised.
When the heavenly Lady had given him the various instruc­

tions, he came following the causeway that leads directly here to
Mexico. Now he came content, confident that it would turn out
well, that he would carry it off. As he came he exercised great
care with what he had in his lapfold, lest he drop anything, and
he enjoyed the fragrance of the various kinds of precious
WHEN HE CAME to the bishop’s palace, the majordomo and
other dependents of the priestly ruler went out to meet him, and
he asked them to tell him that he wished to see him. But none of
them wanted to; they pretended not to hear him, perhaps because
it was still very early in the morning or perhaps because they
now recognized him, that he would just annoy them with his
hanging around in front of them; their friends who lost him
when they were following after him had already cautioned them.

He was waiting for a reply for a very long time. When they
saw that he had stood there for a very long time with his head
down, that he was doing nothing in case he was called, and it
seemed as if he came carrying something that he was keeping in
his lapfold, they approached him to see what he came carrying,
to satisfy their curiosity. And when Juan Diego saw that he
could by no means hide from them what he came carrying and
that because of it they would pester him, shove him, or maybe

was intended for the final e, which is followed by glottal stop. Conceivably
the diacritic represents the weakening of the first of two [k]’s to glottal stop.
The same thing may have happened at n. 4, pp. 98-99.

5Pilcatinemi: the final i is neither long nor followed by glottal stop.
6Inicnihuan: for imicnihmn.

The Huei tlamahuigoltica

imochiuhyan in iquac, huel cenca quimahuifdque; ihuan in quen-
m huel cenca f eltic inic cueponqui, inic ahuiyac, inic mahuiztic:
auh quelehuique1 inic quezquitetl conanazq, quiquixtilizque; auh
uel expa mochiuhq inic motlapaloque concuizquia; niman ahuel

mochiuhq, yeica in iquac quiquitzquizquia2 aocmo huel xochitl
in quittaya fan iuhqui ma tlacuilolli, noce tlamachtli, noce tla-
tzontli in itech quittaya Tilmatli.

Niman ic quimolhuilito in Tlatohuani Obispo, in tlein oquittaque
ihuan m quenin quimottiliznequi in mafehualtzintli ye izquipa
huallalauh,3 ihuan in ye huel huecauh in ye icofo4 onca tlatla-
toicnixtoCi mic quimottiliznequi. Auh in Tlatohuani Obispo in o
yuh quimocaquiti niman ipan ya in iyollotzin ca yehuatl in inelti-
ca mic lyollotzm maf iz, inic quimoneltililiz in tlein ic nemi5 tlaca-
tzmth: niman motlanahuatili inic niman calaquiz, quimottihz;

auh in ocalac ixpantzinco mopechtecac in iuh yeppa quichihuani;
auh oc ceppa quimotlapohuililifi in ixquich oquittac, in oquima-
nuif o, ihuan m inetitlaniz: quimolhuili

Notecuiyoe Tlatohuanie ca ye onicchiuh, ca ye onicneltili in
yuh otinechmonahuatili, ca huel yuh onicnolhuilito in tlacatl
in noTecmyo in ilhuicac phuapilli Santa MARIA in Teotl
lJios ltlafonantzin, in ticmitlania in tlanezcayotl inic huel ti-
nechmoneltoquitiz, inic ticmochihuililiz in iTeocaltzin in
oncan mitzmitlanililia, ticmoquechiliz; auh ca huel yuh
onicnolhuili, in onimitznomaquili in notlatol inic nimitzhual-
nohuiquililiz in ltla inezca in ineltica in itlanequiliztzin inic
nomac oticmocahuili. Auh ca oquimohuelcaquiti in mii-
yotzm, m motlatoltzin; auh oquimopaccafelili in ticmitlania,

glot^T/op ̂ UlqUe’ thC ^ bea”ng gr3Ve accent is IonS> not followed by

l99®p[q5S8qnl]YuneTZqUia * equivalent t0 tzi’zcfuia’ see Lockhart

vrctehtmdhun10 ̂ m inadvertent combination of hualla, the pretent, and huallauh, the present of the verb “to come.”
nmh/wf: a” apparently garbled form we have been unable to decipher; it
preceding repreSents another term meaning a long time, like the one just

The Nican mopohua 83

beat him, he showed them by a little glimpse that it was flowers.
When they saw that there were all different kinds of Spanish
flowers and that they were not in season at that time, they mar­
veled greatly at it and at how very fresh they were, like just
opened flowers, pleasant to smell, splendid. They wanted to
seize a few of them and take them from him. But all three times
when they tried to step forward to take them, they were entirely
unsuccessful, because when they were about to grasp2 them, it
was no longer real flowers that they saw but something seem­
ingly painted, embroidered, or sewn on the cloak.

Thereupon they went to tell the lord bishop what they had
seen and how the humble commoner who had come several
times was wanting to see him and that now he had been waiting
there for a very long time4 for word about his wanting to see
him. When the lord bishop heard this, it came to him that it was
the proof that would convince him to carry out what the humble
person was after. Then he gave orders that he should enter
immediately and that he would see him.

And when he entered, he prostrated himself before him, as he
had done before, and again he told him all that he had seen and
beheld and his mission. He said to him:

My lord ruler, now I have done and carried out what you
ordered me. Indeed I went to tell the lady my patron, the
heavenly Lady, Saint Mary, the precious mother of God the
deity, that you asked for a sign so that you can believe me
and build her temple for her in the place where she asks you
to erect it. I assured her that I gave you my word that I
would bring back to you some sign and verification of her
wish, since you left it in my hands. She approved your mes­
sage, and she gladly accepted your request for some sign,
some verification of it, so that her will may be performed

5Nemi: the i is neither long nor followed by glottal stop.
6Quimotlapohuilili. This form is correct in itself, but by strictest

grammar it is not correct in context. The root verb pohua, “to tell,” etc.,
here has the indefinite object tla despite the fact that specific direct objects
follow outside the verb (in ixquich oquittac, “all he saw,” and others).
Nevertheless, the native-speaker Nahuatl of the time did occasionally seem
to specify objects after the indefinite object prefix, and with some verbs, for
some speakers, the tla- became so incorporated into the stem as no longer to
serve its normal function.

84 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

in itla inezca ineltica1 inic mochihuaz, moneltiliz in itlane-
quiliztzin: auh ye in in axcan oc yohuatzinco onechmo-
nahuatili inic oc ceppa nimitznottiliquiuh; auh onicnitlanilili
in itla inezca inic nineltocoz, in yuh onechmolhuili nech-
momaquiliz; auh ca gan niman oquimoneltilih,
auh onechmihuali in icpac tepetzintli in canin yeppa nocon-
nottiliani inic ompa nictetequitiuh in nepapan Caxtillan
xochitl: auh in onictequitd,2 onichualnohuiquilili in oncan
tlatzintlan; auh ca imaticatzinco conmocuili, oc ceppa no-
cuixanco oconhualmotemili inic nimitzhualnotquililiz, in huel
tehuatzin nimitznomaquihz magihui in ca huel nicmatia camo
imochiuhya xochitl in icpac tepetzintli, ca gan tetexcalla,
netzolla, huitztla tenopalla, mizquitla amo ic oninotzotzon,
amo ic nomeyolloac
in nacito in icpac tepetzintli in nitlachix ca ye xochitlalpan,
oncan cenquiztoc in ixquich nepapa tlagoxochitl in Caxtillan-
cayotl ahuachtonameydtoc inic niman onictetequito. Auh
onechmolhuili inic ipampa nimitznomaquiliz; auh ca ye yuh
nicneltilia inic oncan ticmottiliz in itla nezcayotl in ticmi-
tlanilia, inic ticmoneltililiz in itlanequiliztzin; ihuan inic neci
ca neltiliztli in notlatol, in nonetitlaniz: ca iz ca ma xicmo-

auh ca niman ic quihualgouh in iztac itilma ic oquicuixanoticaca
xochitl; auh in yuh hualtepeuh in ixquich nepapan Caxtillan
xochitl, niman oncan momachioti, neztiquiz in itlagdixiptlatzin
izgenquizcaichpochtli Santa MARIA Teotl Dios Inantzin in
yuhcatzintli axcan moyetztica in oncan axcan mopixtzinotica in
itlagochantzinco in iTeocaltzinco Tepeyacac motocayotia Gua­
Auh in o yuh quimottili in Tlatohuani Obispo, ihuan in ixquich-
tin oncan catca motlanquaquetzque genca quimahuigoq, quimo-
tztimoquetzque, tlaocoxque, moyoltoneuhque, yuhquin aco ya in
inyollo in intlalnamiquiliz: auh in tlatohuani Obispo choquiztica,
tlaocoyaliztica quimotlatlauhtili, quimitlanihli in itlapopolhuili-
loca, inic amo niman oquineltili, in itlanequiliztzin in iiyotzin in

1ineltica: the first i is long, not followed by glottal stop. The word in
question is (in the possessed form) nelticayotl, a patientive deverbal noun
from nelti, here in the sense “to be verified.”

The Nican mopohua 85

and carried out. Well, then, today, while it was still very
early in the morning, she instructed me to come to see you
again. I asked her for some sign of it so that I would be
believed, as she said that she would give me, and right then
she carried it out.

She sent me to the top of the hill where I had seen her
before to go cut various kinds of Spanish flowers. When I
had cut them, I brought them back to her down there below.
She took them in her arms, then put them back in the folds
of my cloak in order that I might bring them back to you and
give them to you in person. Although I fully realized that the
top of the hill is not a place where flowers grow, that it is
only a place of crags, thorns, brambles, cactus, and mes-
quite, I did not for that reason have any doubts.

When I reached the top of the hill and looked about, it
was a flower garden, full of all different kinds of fine flow­
ers in the Spanish style, glistening with dew, so that I
immediately went to pick them. And she told me that I was
to give them to you on her behalf. Thus I am carrying it out,
so that in them you may see what you request as a sign to
carry out her wish, and it will be seen that my message and
my errand are true. Here they are, please accept them.
Thereupon he spread out his white cloak, in the folds of

which he was carrying the flowers, and as all the different kinds
of Spanish flowers scattered to the ground, the precious image
of the consummate Virgin Saint Mary, mother of God the deity,
was imprinted and appeared on the cloak, just as it is today
where it is kept in her precious home, her temple of Tepeyacac,
called Guadalupe.

When the lord bishop and all who were there saw it, they
knelt down, they marveled greatly at it, they looked at it trans­
fixed, they grieved, their hearts were afflicted; it was as if their
spirits and their minds were transported upward. The lord bish­
op, with tears and sorrow, implored and asked her forgiveness
for not having immediately carried out her wish, her message.

2Onictequitd\ the final vowel is neither long nor followed by glottal

86 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

Auh in omoquetz, quihualton in iquechtlan ic ilpiticatca in itla-
quen in itilma Iuan Diego in itech omonexiti in oncan omo-
machiotitzino in ilhuicac £ihuapilli. Auh niman ic quimohuiquili,
ompa quimotlalilito in ineteochihuayan:
auh oc onca Ofemilhuiti in Iuan Diego in ichantzinco Obispo oc
quimotzicalhui, auh in imoztlayoc quilhui f aque1 inic ticteittitiz2

in canin itlanequihztzin ilhuicac £ihuapilli quimoquechililizque in
iTeocaltzin: niman ic tetlalhuiloc inic mochihuaz moquetzaz.

Auh in Iuan Diego in o yuh quiteittiti in canin quimonahuatili
ilhuicac £ihuapilli moquetzaz iTeocaltzin nima ic tenahuati in oc
onaciznequi in ichan inic conittatiuh in iTlatzin Iuan Bernardino
in huellanauhtoc in iquac quihualcauhtehuac 5eme quinotzazquia
Teopixque in onca Tlatilolco inic quiyolcuitizquia, quifencahuaz-
quia; in quimolhuili ilhuicac £ihuapilli in ye opatic.
Auh amo fan if el quicauhque yaz, ca quihuicaque in ompa in i-
chan; auh in o yuh afito quittaque in iTlatzin ye huel pactica
niman atle quicocoa, auh in yehuatl cenca quimahuif o in quenin
imach hualhuico, ihuan fenca mahuiztililo, quitlatlani in imach
tleica in yuhqui chihualo, in fenca mahuiztililo: auh in yehuatl
quilhui in quenin iquac ompa hualehuac in quinochilizquia teo-
pixqui in quiyolcuitiz, quifencahuaz; in oncan tepeyacac qui-
mottilitzino in ilhuicac £ihuapilli; auh quimotitlani in ompa Me­
xico in quittatiuh in tlatohuani Obispo inic onca quimocaltiliz in
tepeyacac. Auh quimolhuili in macamo motequipacho3 in ca ye
pactica; inic fenca moyollali:
quilhui in iTlatzin ca ye nelli ca nima iquac in quimopatili, yhua
huel quimottili izfanno huel ye iuhcatzintli in iuh quimot-
tititzinoaya in iMach; ihuan quimolhuili in quenin yehuatl oc
oquimotitlanili Mexico in quittaz Obispo. Auh ma no in iquac
yehuatl quittatiuh4 ma huel moch ic quixpatiz quinonotzaz in tlein
oquittac, ihuan in quenin tlamahuifoltica oquimopatili: auh ma
huel yuh quimotocayotiliz, ma huel yuh motocayotitzinoz iz-
fenquizcaichpochtzintli Santa M A R I A de Guadalupe in

1Qaque: A hortatory particle consisting of ga, “just,” and oque (oc e =
ye), the particle proper. Though not elsewhere attested in just this form, it
nts well into the family of variants of oque given by Molina under “Ea”
(VM, Span./ Nahuatl, f. 48), in more than one of which the o is elided after
a preceding a. Molina’s list: “tlacj. tlaoque. oque. maque. maoque.”

Ticteittitiz: the i with diacritic is neither long nor followed by glottal

The Nican mopohua 87

When he arose, he loosened the garment which was tied
around Juan Diego’s neck, his cloak, on which the heavenly
Lady had appeared, on which she had imprinted herself. There­
upon he took it to place it in his oratory.

Juan Diego stayed one more day in the bishop’s palace, he
detained him for a while. The following day he said to him, “Let
us go1 so that you may show people the place where it is the
heavenly Lady’s wish that they build a temple for her.” There­
upon orders were given for it to be built and erected.

After Juan Diego had shown where the heavenly Lady in­
structed that her temple be erected, he took his leave, because he
wanted to go home to see his uncle, Juan Bernardino, who lay
gravely ill when he left him behind to summon one of the friars
in Tlatelolco to hear his confession and prepare him, and who
the heavenly Lady told him had already recovered.

But they did not let him go alone. They accompanied him to
his home, and when he arrived they saw that his uncle was now
entirely healthy, that nothing whatever ailed him. And he was
greatly astonished at how his nephew came accompanied and
was rendered great honor, and he asked his nephew how it hap­
pened that he was thus greatly honored. He told him how when
he left to call the friar to hear his confession and prepare him, the
heavenly Lady appeared to him at Tepeyacac and sent him to
Mexico to go see the lord bishop so that he would build her a
house in Tepeyacac and how she told him not to worry, since he
was already well, by which he had been greatly consoled.

His uncle told him that it was the truth, that she cured him at
that very moment, and that he really saw her in exactly the same
way as she appeared to his nephew, and that she told him that
meanwhile she was sending him to Mexico to see the bishop. He
[the uncle] was then to go see him too, he was to put absolutely
everything before him, he was to inform him of what he had
seen and how she had healed him miraculously, and that he was
to give her precious image the very name of the consum-

stop. Possibly the word was confused with itoa, “to say” (often written ittoa
in die present text).

3Motequipachd: the final o is neither long nor followed by glottal stop.
4Quittatiuh. According to Carochi, this form should be quitta or quittati.

See pp. 66-67, n. 4.

88 The Huei tlamahuigoltica


Auh niman ic quihualhuicaque in Iuan Bernardino in ixpan Tla-
tohuani Obispo in quinonotzaco, in ixpan tlaneltilico. Auh ine-
huan in imach Iuan Diego quincalloti in ichan Obispo achi
quezquilhuitl in oc ixquich ica moquetzind1 iTeocaltzin tlatoca-
Cihuapilli in oncan Tepeyacac in canin quimottitili in Iuan Diego.
Auh in tlatohuani Obispo quiquani ompa in Iglesia Mayor in
itla§oIxiptlatzin in ilhuicac tla50^ihuapilli, quihualmoquixtili in
ompa itecpanchan, in ineteochihuayan moyetzticatca; inic mochi
tlacatl quittaz, quimahui?oz in itla?6Ixipdatzin.
Auh huel ?enmochi iz9emaltepetl olin, in quihualmottiliaya, in
quimahuigoaya in ida9oixiptlatzin, huallateomatia, quimodadauh-
tiliaya; 9enca quimahui9oaya in quenin teodamahui9oltica inic
omonexiti, inic nima ma aca2 dalticpac dacad oquimicuilhui in

In tilmatzintli ineolol catca in Iuan Diego in itech tlamahui-
9oltica monexiti in ixipdatzin ilhuicac £ihuapilli ca Ayatzintli achi
tilactic catca, ihuan tiayeciquitilli yeica ca in iquac in, in ma9e-
hualtzitzintin mochtin ayatl in intlaquen in inNeololtzin catca,
Can yehuantin in Pipiltin in Teteuctin, yhuan in yaotiacahuan in
yamanqui in ichcatilmatli ic mochichihuaya, ic mololoaya: in
ayad ca ye momati ichtli ic mochihua, in itech qui9a in med: auh
inin tla9oayatzintli in itech monexiti in 9enquizcaichpochtzintli
t09ihuapillatocatzin ca oz9otitica yamancaicpad inic itzontica, inic
9aliuhtica; auh inic quauhtic in ida9oixiptlayotzin in itech ompe-
hua in ixocpaltzin inic onaci iquayollotzinco quipia chiquacem-
iztitl3 ihuan 9e 9ihuaiztid;
in ida9oxayacatzin 9enquizca mahuiztic, tecpiltic achi yayactic, in
ida9odactzin inic monexitia mocnomatcatzintli, ielpantzinco mo-
manepanotzinoticac, oncan hualpeuhtica in ipitzahuayantzinco:
auh camopaltic in inelpiayatzin; 9aniyo in yeccampa icxitzin
tepiton iquac neci in icactzin nextic: in inechlchihualtzin tlaztale-

1Moquetzind: another case of tz for tztz, as at n. 7, pp. 62-63, and in­
volving the same roots.

2Nima ma aca. This phrase appears to need some word such as ayac, “no
one,” after nima in order to be complete. Niman and ma aca normally

The Nican mopohua 89

mate Virgin, Saint Mary of Guadalupe, that it was to bear that
very name.

Thereupon they brought Juan Bernardino before the lord
bishop to inform him and verify it in his presence. The bishop
lodged the two of them, him and his nephew Juan Diego, in his
palace for quite a few days until such time as the temple of the
Queen was erected at Tepeyacac where she appeared to Juan
Diego. The lord bishop moved the precious image of the heav­
enly precious Lady to the cathedral; he removed it from his
palace, where it had been in his oratory, so that everyone would
see and marvel at her precious image.

There was a movement in all the altepetls everywhere of
people coming to see and marvel at her precious image. They
came to show their devotion and pray to her; they marveled
greatly at how it was by a divine miracle that she had appeared,
that absolutely no earthly person2 had painted her precious
THE CLOAK on which the image of the heavenly Lady mirac­
ulously appeared was the garment of Juan Diego, a maguey
cloak that was rather thick and well woven, for at that time the
maguey cloak was the clothing and covering of all the humble
commoners. Only those who were nobles, lords, and prominent
warriors adorned and wrapped themselves in cloaks of soft
cotton. This type of cloak, as is well known, is made of fiber
that comes from the maguey. This precious cloak on which the
consummate Virgin, our Queen, appeared, is of two quarter-
lengths, sewn together and fastened with soft thread. Her
precious image is six spans3 and a woman s span high from the
bottom of her foot to the crown of her head.

Her precious face, which is perfectly wondrous, is courtly
and somewhat dark; her precious torso is such that she appears
to be a person of humility; she stands with her hands joined
together at the breast, beginning at her waist; her belt is purple,
only the tip of her right foot shows a bit; her shoe is gray. On

intensify negative statements, but do not constitute such in and of them­

ijztitl: jeme or span, the distance between the extended thumb and index

90 The Huei tlamahuiçoltica

hualtic inic neçi panipa;’ auh in içeçehuallopan iuhquin chichiltic,
inic nepapan xochitlàtlamàcho,? izquixochimimìnqui: auh no-
huiã teocuitlatene; auh inic motzitzquitica in iquechtlantzinco teo-
cuitlayahualli tlilhuahuanqui inic tenmalacachiuhtica, inepantlacà
Cruz. Auh oc no tlàtecpa hualneci oc no çe itlaquentzin yaman-
qui iztac huel imàquechtlantzinco hualàaçitica, tenchayahuac.
Auh in pani itlapachiuhcatzin ilhuicaxoxiuhqui, huel iquapan-
tzinco onhualehua, àtle ic quitlapachoa in ixayacatzin, huel
icxitlantzinco hualhuetzi achi nepantlà ic màpantzinotica: huel
nohuian teocuitlatene, achi patlactic inic tene, auh nohuian teo-
cuitlaçiçitlallo: auh in ye mochintin çiçitlaltin ompohualtin onchi-
Auh in itzontecontzin yc iyeccanpantzinco inic motololtiticac;
auh icpantzincoś mani” teocuitlacorona quaquahuitztic ipan in
itlapachiuhcatzin. Auh icxitlantzinco ca in metztli tlacpacpa in
itzticac in iquaquauh, huel inepantlà in moquetzinòticac, auh no
yuh neci huel no inepantlà in tonatiuh inic quimotoquiliticac in
itonameyo nohuiampa quimoyahualhuiticac, huel macuilpoalli in
iteocuitlapepetlaquillo, çequi huehueyac, cequi tepitoton, ihuan
cuecuetlanqui. Auh huel màtlactin omome in quiyahualoa in ixa-
yacatzin, ihuan in itzontecontzin, auh in ye mochi nenecoc ic
huetzi ompohualli onmàtlactli in itonameyotzin, in ipepe-
tlaquillotzin; auh in itlòtloc inic tlatlantica iten tilmàtli iztac
mextli? in quimoyahualhuiticac.
Auh inin ytlaçòixiptlatzin ihuan in ye mochi ca çe Angel in ipan
tlacçaticac, çan huel ipitzahuayan tlantica inic neçi; auh in icxi-
tlāpa àtle neçi yuhquin mixtitlan actica; inic ontlami in itë tilmàtli
itlapachiuhcatzin ilhuicac Çihuapilli, in icxitlampatzinco huel
yectli inic onhuehuetzi nohuian necoccampa quitzitzitzquiticac
Angel; auh in ineololol, in inechìchiuh chichiltic, auh teocuitlatl

Panipa: the reference may be to the outer garment as opposed io the in-
ner one mentioned below.

Xochitlàlamàcho: the last of the a’s is not followed by glottal stop.
The intention may have been xochitlàılàmacho (though the text never marks
glottal stops in consecutive syllables) or, more likely, xochiulàlamachò.

Izquixochimiminqui: for izquixochimiminqui. Izquil, “popcorn,” refers
to various white flowers in clusters (see DK, p. 123).

Onhualehua: onehua has among others the meaning “to fit correctly”
(VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 77). Unless the on- is connected with the verb
lexically, the simultaneouspresence of directional prefixes indicating oppo-
site directions is a rarity indeed. Yet onehua can also mean “to leave, de-

The Nican mopohua 91

the surface,’ her outfit appears to be rose colored, and in the
shadowy parts, it almost seems crimson, embroidered with
various kinds of flowers, darted with popcorn flowers;3 and it
has gold edges all around. It is fixed at her neck by a gold disk,
with a black outline going around its border; in the middle of it is
a cross. And also there appears on the inside another garment of
hers, soft and white; it reaches all the way to her wrists; the edge
is unraveled. On top, her sky blue veil rests snugly on her
head, not covering her face in any way. It falls all the way to
her feet, gathered together somewhat at the middle, with gold
edges all around, which are somewhat wide, and it is speckled
all over with gold stars; the stars total forty-six.

Her head is bent to her right, and on her head, on top of her
veil is a golden crown, [its peaks] narrower at the top, wider at
the botom. At her feet is the moon, its horns facing upward; she
stands right in the middle of it. She also appears to be right in
the middle of the sun, so that its rays follow her and surTOund
her on all sides; there are exactly one hundred golden rays, some
long, some very short, and they shine brightly. Exactly twelve
surround her face and head, and her rays or beams falling on
both sides total fifty. Near where the edge of the cloak ends is a
white cloud which surrounds it.

This precious image of hers and all the rest stand on an angel,
who appears to come to an end right at his waist. Toward his
feet nothing appears, as if he enters the cloud, because the edge
of the cloak ends there. Everywhere on both sides the angel is
holding the heavenly Lady’s veil, which falls gracefully to her
feet. His clothing, his adornment, is bright red, and the fasten-

part.” An alternate translation might be “[her veil] comes straight down
fromherhead,not covering…”

lyeccanpantzinco: for iyeccanpatzinco.
‘Icpantzinco: for icpactzinco.
‘Mani: the i is neither long nor followed by glotal stop.
$Huetzi: the i is neither long nor followed by a glottal stop, unless a

plural is intended. The rays are mainly (though not entirely) treated as gram-
matically singular here, and in any case the text rarely indicates the glottal
stop of verbal plurals.

9Mextli: standard mixtli.

92 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

in iquechtlan ic ?aliuhtica; auh in iAtlapal nepapan quetzalli, ne-
papan ihuitl go^ouhticac,1 quihuicaticac in imama Angel; auh inic
ne?i huel iuhqui in pacticac motlamachtiticac inic quimo-
napalhuitica in ilhuicac Tlatocagihuapilli. —




HVel quiyacati in iquac yancuican quimohuiquilique in ompa
tepeyacac in o yuh yecauh in iteocaltzin, in ixquich tlamahui^olli
quimochihuili. Ca in xquac in, ca huel mohueychiuh in tlayahua-
loliztli ic quimohuiquilique, 9enquizque in ixquichtin teopixque
catca ihuan in nepapan Caxtilteca in ye inmac catca altepetl; no
ihuan in ixquichtin Tlatoque Pipiltin Mexica; ihuan in oc §equin
nohuian altepehuacan tlaca, huel tla?encahualoc, inic yectlachi-
chihualoc in nohuian ipan Cuepotli inic hualquiztica Mexico inic
onaci Tepeyacac in onca omoquetz iTeocaltzin in ilhuicac gihua-
pilli. Huel miec inic oneahuiltiloc, inic papacoac, inic huiloac; in
cuepotli huel tentihuia, ihuan in necoccampa atezcatl ca huel oc
huecatlan catca amo ?an quexquich in ma9ehualli acalco huia
cequin micalitihuia, moyaonanamiquia. geme yehuan in tlamin-
que in moChichimecachichihuaya, achi huel contilini in itla-
huitol,2 auh amo inemachpan quiztiquiz in mitl niman quimin
9eme in oncan micaltinenca quinalquixti in iquech niman oncan
huetz: auh in oquittaque ca ye omomiquili niman quimohui-
quililique izcenquizcalchpochtli to9ihuapillatocatzin ixpantzinco
quitecato, in ihuayolque3 quimotzatzililia inic ma tlacahua yn
iyollotzin, ma quimozcalili, Auh in o yuh quihualcopinilique in
mitl, amo 9aniyo in quimozcalili, in quimoyolitili, no ihuan nima
patic in oncan ic nalquiz in mitl, 9a ixquich mocauhtiquiz in
inezca, inic calac, ihuan inic quiz in mitl: auh niman moquetz-

lQogouhticac. This form implies an unattested intransitive cognate of
transitive Qohua/gogohua (see VM, Nahuatl/Span., ff. 24v-25).

2Itlahultol: the i marked with a grave accent is long and not followed by
a glottal stop.

The Nican motecpana 93

ing at his neck is gold; his wings, of various kinds of rich
plumes and other feathers, are spread out, and the angel’s arms
are parallel to them. As it appears, he is very happy and enjoys
carrying the heavenly Queen in his arms.




THE VERY FIRST of the miracles that she worked was when they
took her to Tepeyacac for the first time after her temple was
finished. For at this time the procession in which they took her
was performed in the grand fashion. All the priests that there
were, and the various Spaniards in whose hands the city was,
and also all the Mexica rulers and nobles, came out together, as
well as the people from other altepetls all around. Great prepa­
rations were made so that things would be well adorned all along
the causeway which leaves Mexico as far as Tepeyacac, where
the temple of the heavenly Lady had been erected. There were
many things for amusement and celebration along the way. The
causeway was full of moving people, and since the water of the
lake was still very deep on both sides, numerous commoners
went by boat; some went along skirmishing, encountering one
another in battle. One of the archers who were dressed like
Chichimeca drew his bow quite taut, and without warning the
arrow flew off and hit one of those who were engaged in
skirmishing there; it passed through his neck, and he fell. When
they saw that he had died, they took him to the consummate
Virgin our Queen; they went and laid him before her. His
relatives cried out to her to deign to revive him. And after they
pulled the arrow out of him, she not only revived him and gave
him life, but he was also immediately healed where the arrow

3Ihuayolque: standard ihuanyolque, with the n used elsewhere in the text
(though this n was in fact often omitted, even by writers close to the
Spanish orthographic tradition).

94 The Huei tlamahuiqoltica

tehuac, cotlatocti inic quimopapaquiltiliaya in ilhuicac £ihuapilli;
auh huel mochi tlacatl 5enca tlamahuifo; ihuan quimoyectene-
huilique izqenquizcaichpochtli ilhuicac £ihuapilli Santa MARIA
de Guadalupe; in quenin ye quimoneltililitiuh in itlatoltzin in
quimolhuili in Iuan Diego, inic 9emicac quinmopalehuiliz, quin-
momanahuiliz in nican tlaca; ihuan in aquique itechtzinco motza-
tzilizque. Auh yuh mittoa inin tlacatzintli niman iquac oncan
mocauh in itla^ochanteinco in ilhuicac T^dqihuapilli oncan qui-
motlatlachpanilihaya in iteocaltzin, in ithuadtzin in iquiahuactzin.1

IN iquac huey cocoliztli manca in ipan xihuitl mill y quinientos y
quarenta y quatro, in huellalpoliuh in ipa huehuey Altepetl,
gefemiJhmtl motocaya macuilpohualli Tlacatl nel conpanahuiaya;
in o yuh quimottilique in itla9ohuan totecuiyo San Francisco Te-
opixque in amo 9ehui, in niman atle quimopachihuia, in ye ahuil2

o atoca, m ye motlalcanahuilia, in ye motlalpolhuia in ipalnemo-
ani tolecuiyo; niman ipan motlatoltique inic tlayahualoloz,

°fz m °™Pa Tepeyacac, in tla9dTeopixque quinmonechi-
alhuique huel miactin hi pipiltzitzintin, 9ihua, oquichtin in quin

ye chiquacenxiuhtia, in quin ye chiconxiuhtia momecahui-
tectaque inic ya tlayahualoliztli: oncan hualquiz in Tlatelolco

eopan, 9etuotlica quimotzatzililitaque in toTecuiyo inic ma
quimocnoyttili in iatzin, in itepetzin, ma ye ixquich in ^omaltzin,
m ?qUaffntZin’ ma huel icatzinco, ipapatzinco in itlacd-

lz?ScluizcaichPochtli, to9ihuapillatocatzin Santa
• Guadalupe Tepeyacac: huel yuh a9ito in iTeo-

paUiantzmco m ompa huel miec tlatlatlauhtiliztli quimochi-
ui ique in Teopixque. Auh quimonequilti in ipalnemohuani

or hou^l^’iT’ Ithualli.

Ahuil. probably for ahuel, “impossible.” Ahuel dtlatoca would be “it

The Nican motecpana 95

had passed through; all that remained were marks where the
arrow entered and came out. Right away he stood up and left,
the heavenly Lady sent him on his way, making him joyful.
Absolutely everyone marveled greatly and praised the consum­
mate Virgin, the heavenly Lady, Saint Mary of Guadalupe, for
the way she was now carrying out the pledge she made to Juan
Diego that she would always help and defend the local people
and all those who invoked her. It is said that from that moment
on this humble person remained at the precious home of the
heavenly precious Lady; there he used to sweep her temple and
home for her.
WHEN THERE WAS a great epidemic in the year 1544, with very
severe loss in the great altepetls, each day a hundred people were
being buried; in truth, it exceeded that. When our Lord’s
precious ones, the friars of Saint Francis, had seen that it was
not subsiding, that nothing at all was helping, that no progress
could be made,2 that our Lord the giver of life was reducing and
depopulating the land, they arranged a procession to go to
Tepeyacac. The precious friars gathered a great many children,
female and male, who had just reached the age of six or seven;
they went along flogging themselves.3 As to how the proces­
sion went, it came out of the church at Tlatelolco; all along the
way, they went crying to our Lord to have pity on his altepetl,
that there be an end to his ire and wrath, in the very name and
for the sake of his precious, revered mother, the consummate
Virgin, our Queen, Saint Mary of Guadalupe of Tepeyacac. As
soon as they arrived at her churchly home, the friars offered
very many prayers. And God the giver of life willed that through
the intercession and prayers of the compassionate personage, his

cannot go forward.” This interpretation suffers from unclanty as to what the
subject is, but it seems preferable to the other possibilities. Veldzquez (HT,
p. 106, n. 211) posits an intention ahuic, which would give “it goes from
side to side (stumbles, sways, or wanders). Conceivably, however, the
printed original is correct. There is in fact an ahuil- which can be prefixed to
verb and noun stems, adding, usually, the notion in vain. The expression
would then be written ahuildtlatoca, and the translation might be “it was
going badly.” The problem with the subject remains, and like Velazquez we
are reluctant to believe that ahuil- combines well with dtlatoca.

3Penitential processions involving children were common in fifteenth-
and sixteenth-century Spain. See Christian 1981, pp. 217-18.

96 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

Dios in ica itepantlatoltzin,1 in itlatlatlauhtiliztzin in icnohua-
catzintli, in itlagomahuiznantzin niman geuhta in cocoliztli, in
imoztlayoc,2 aocmo miac tlacatl in omotocac; yequene ga cana
ome, yei tlacatl inic gehuito cocoliztli.
IN OC ipeuhyan in quin iuh hualagico tlaneltoquiliztli, in nican
tlalpan in axcan motocayotia Nueua Espana; huel cenca miac inic
quinmotlagotili, inic quinmopalehuili, inic quinmomanahuili in
ilhuicac £ihuapilli genquizcaichpochtli Santa MARIA in nican
tlaca inic huel quimomacazque, in itech hualmopachozque in tla­
neltoquiliztli, inic quitelchiuhque, inic quiiyaque in tlateotoqui-
liztli, inic omotlapololtitinemico in tlalticpac, in tlayohuayan in
mixtecomac ic oquinnemiti in tlacatecolotl; ihuan inic geca i-
techtzinco motzatzilizq, tlaquauhtlamatizque;3 oquimonequilti in­
ic nican omentin tlaca4 oquinmottititzino in yancuican yhuan
oinmagehualtic in itlagoixiptlatzin iz9enquizcaichpochtzintli togi-
huapillatocatzin in nican inahuac altepetl Mexico moyetztica in
quimottititzino in Iuan Diego in oncan Tepeyacac Guadalupe:
niman ye in ixiptlatzin moteneuhtzinoa Remedios quimottititzino
in Do Iuan in oncan Totoltepec,
in quimottilitzino in icpac Tepetzintli metitla moyetzindticatca,5 in
axcan oncan icac iTeocaltzin; Quimohuiquili in ichan oncan achi
quezqui xihuitl quimopiali, auh 9atepan quimochichihuilili ge
teocaltzintli in ixpan in ical inic ompa conmiquanili. Auh in ye
achi quexquich cahuitl in ompa moyetztica; itech motlali huey
cocoliztli in Do Iuan auh in omottac, in ca ye tlanahui in aoc huel
maqui9az moquetzaz, quintlatlauhti in ipilhuan ma9ehualtzitzintin
totoltepec tlaca inic quihuicazque Tepeyacac in ompa moyetztica
iz9enquizcaichpochtli Totla9onantzin Guadalupe in a.90 quipa-
nahuia ome leguas inic quihuecaitztica in oncan totoltepec. Yeica
quimatia in quenin quimopatili in ilhuicac £ihuapilli in Iuan
Bernardino Quauhtitla chane iTlatzin in Iuan Diego iz9a ye no ye
itech catca huei cocoliztli; ihuan in ye ixquich tlamahui9olli ye
quimochihuilia. Niman ic tlapechco contecaque quihuicaque in
ompa Tepeyacac: auh in ocontecato in ixpantzinco ilhuicac

1Itepantlatoltzin: probably for itepantlatoliztzin, parallel to the following
noun and the usual word in any event

2In imoztlayoc: this phrase may go with what precedes. The translation
would be: the epidemic began to subside the next day. No longer were
many people buried, …”

tlaquauhtlamatizque: the meaning is given by Molina under “Tetech

The Nican molecpana 97

precious, revered mother, the epidemic would begin to subside.
The next day,2 not many people were being buried any longer,
and finally perhaps two or three people as the epidemic came to
an end.
IN THE BEGINNING, when the Christian faith had just arrived
here in the land that today is called New Spain, in many ways
the heavenly Lady, the consummate Virgin Saint Mary, cher­
ished, aided, and defended the local people so that they might
entirely give themselves and adhere to the faith. As a result they
despised and abhorred the idolatry in which they had been
wandering about in confusion on the earth, in the night and
darkness in which the demon had made them live. In order that
they might invoke her fervently and trust in her fully,3 she saw
fit to reveal herself for the first time to two people here.4 They
attained the precious images of the consummate Virgin, our
Queen, which are here near the altepetl of Mexico; she appeared
to Juan Diego at Tepeyacac Guadalupe, and she revealed the
image that is called Remedios to don Juan at Totoltepec.

She revealed herself to him [don Juan] on top of a hill,
among maguey plants, where her temple stands today. He took
her to his home and kept her there for several years, and after­
wards he outfitted a small temple for her in front of his house
and moved her there. And when she had been there for some
time, don Juan contracted a serious illness. When it was seen
that he was fatally ill, that he would no longer be able to escape
or to get up, he asked his children, the humble Totoltepec com­
moners, to take him to Tepeyacac where the consummate Virgin,
our precious mother of Guadalupe, is, which is perhaps more
than two leagues distant from Totoltepec, because he knew how
the heavenly Lady had healed Juan Bernardino, resident of
Quauhtitlan and uncle of Juan Diego, upon whom a very great
illness had likewise come, and had worked all the [other]
miracles. Thereupon they laid him on a litter, took him to

nitlaqtlamati” (VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 106).
*Nican omentin tlaca. The phrase is very close indeed to nican tlaca,

“local (indigenous) people.” Probably that is the intention. Yet in that case
the wording should have been omentin nican tlaca.

5Moyetzindticatca: another case of tz for tztz (see at n. 7, pp. 62-63, and
n. 1, p. 88).

98 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

£ihuapilli Totia9onantzin de Guadalupe, niman ye ic quimocho-
quizdatlauhtilia ixpantzinco mocnoteca, mocnomati, quimitlani-
lilia inic ma quimocnelili, ma quimopatili in idallo, in igoquio,
a?o huel oc 5emilhuitzintli quimonemitiliz in idalticpactzinco, inic
huel quimodayecoltiliz in yehuatzin, ihua in ida^dconetzin; auh
quimopacca9elili in icnohuacatzintli in idadadauhtiliz, 9enca mo
papaquiltia, mohuehuetzquitia in oquimottili, quimodatla9dtilia,
inic quimononochilia, ximoquetza ca ye otipatic, ximocuepa in
ompa in mochan: auh nimitznahuatia in icpac teped in canin icac
11 med in oncan tiquittac nixipda xicquetza 9e Teocaltzintli in on-
can yez; ihuan oc cequi ic quimonanahuatili in dein quichihuaz:
auh niman iquac patic. Auh in o yuh conmodadauhtili iz9enca
quida90camati, in iteicneliltzin, hualmocuep in ichan 9a icxipan,
aocmo quinapaldque. Auh in oa9ico nima quineltili, quiquetz in
iTedcaltzin in itla^oixiptlatzin in ilhuicac £ihuapilli moteneuh-
tzinoa Remedios in oncan axcan moyetztica. Auh in o yuh ye-
cauh in iTeocaltzin huel yehuatzin in omocalaquitzinoto, inoma-
tzinco omoquetzinoto,2 in ipan altartzin in yuh axcan moyetztica,
yhuan in yuh icuiliuhtica in ipan in ixquich itlamahu^oltzin.

Nlcan ipan altepetl Mexico 9eme caxtiltecapipiltin itoca Don
Antonio Carauajal quihuicac oc ce telpocatzin3 ihuanyolqui ompa
ya in Tollantzinco, auh inic onquizque in oncan Tepeyacac, oc
oncan calaq4 in iteopanchantzinco iz9enquizcaichpochtli Totla-
9onantzin Guadalupe, oc onca moteochiuhtiquizque quimodapal-
huitiquizque in ilhuicac Hatocaphuapilli inic quinmopalehuiliz,
quimomanahuiliz;5 ihuan qualli quinmaxitiliz in ompa ic hui.
Auh in ohualquizque, in ye nenemi otlica ic mononotztaque in
itechpatzinco izcenquizcaichpochdi in yuh monexiti in ida9oixip-
dayotzin, in huel huey tlamahuigoltica: ihuan in ye ixquich
nepapan tlamahui9olli ye quimochihuilia, inic quinmocnelilia in
aquique itechtzinco motzatziha;

auh in ye odatocatihui in iCaballo in ipan yetihuia Telpocatzin,
11 £ * l: tor m, im, or 1. It may be that the printer lacked the capacity to put a

tilde over an i.
2Omoquetzinoto: another example of tz for tztz, with the same roots as

in two other cases.
3Telpocatzin: telpocatl, already a rather pejorative version of telpochtli,

The Nican motecpana 99

Tepeyacac, and went to lay him down before the heavenly Lady,
our precious mother of Guadalupe. Then he prayed to her
tearfully, he bowed down and humbled himself before her, and
asked her to do him the favor of healing his earthly body.
Perhaps she would cause him to live for another brief day on her
earth, so that he could serve her and her precious child. The
compassionate one received his prayers benevolently. She was
very happy, she smiled when she saw him, and she showed him
affection, as she told him, “Get up! you have already been
cured. Return to your home. And I command you that on top of
the hill, where the maguey plants stand, where you saw my
image, you build a small temple, where it will be. And she
commanded him to do various other things. At that very moment
he recovered. And when he had addressed her with many thanks
for her benevolence, he returned home on foot. They no longer
carried him in their arms. When he arrived, he immediately
carried it out; he built the small temple for the precious image of
the heavenly Lady, called Remedios, where she is now. After
her temple was finished, she herself entered, all by herself she
went to stand on the altar as she is today and as she is depicted
in all her miracles.
HERE IN THE altepetl of Mexico one of the Spanish noblemen,
named don Antonio Carvajal, took a young fellow,2 a relative of
his, with him when he went to Tulancingo. When they passed
through Tepeyacac, they first went into the churchly home of the
consummate Virgin, our precious mother of Guadalupe; they
stopped a while to pray there, they stopped by to greet the
heavenly Queen so that she might aid and defend them and cause
them to arrive safely where they were going. When they had
come back out and were traveling along, on the way they went
along talking with one another about the consummate Virgin,
how she revealed her precious image by a very great miracle,
and how she had worked all the different kinds of miracles, by
which she did good to those who invoked her.

As the horse on which the young fellow was riding was go-

“youth,” is here further downgraded by the omission of the absolutive sin­
gular ending.

ACalaq. standard calacq (= calacque). See pp. 80-81, n. 4.
5Quimomanahuiliz: for quinmomanahuiliz.

100 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

$an ipan hualhuetz1 inic2 tlahuelcuic, cuix nofe itla quimauhti,
huel ihui in onehuac, motlaloa, atlauhtla, tepexic, texcalla, in oc
nen ixquich itlapal ic quitititzaya freno aoc huel quixico,3 a.90
media legua in quitocti, in oc nen quitzacuilizquia in intehuical-
huan,4 niman aoc huel mochiuhque yuhqui, in ecatoco ic yauh,
niman quipoloto, in momatque amo5 ye cana oquitetextilito,
canogo huel ohuica in canin otlamelauhtiquiz, ca huel atlauhtla’

auh quimonequilti in Totecuiyo, ihuan iz^enquizcaicnohuaca-
teintli itla?6mahuizNantzin quimomaquixtili in iquac quipatilito,
in ipan agito ca moquetzticac in Caballo toloticac, iuhqui oqui-
cocolo in ima, niman aoc huel molinia, auh in telpocatzin ?e icxi
ic pilcac estribotitech otlatzico. Auh in oquittaque ?enca huel o-
quimahuigoq inyoltica, ihua in nima aquen in mochiuh, mano^e
cana omococo, nima ic quinapaloque, quihualquixtique in icxi:
auh in omoquetz quitlatlanique quenin omaquiz in atle ipan
omochiuh, auh in yehuatl quimilhui

ca ye oanquimottilique in quenin iquac otihualquizq Mexico
oncan tihualquiztiquizq ichantzinco in ilhuicac ^ihuapilli
totla?6Nantzin Guadalupe oncan tichualmahui9otehuaque in
itla?6ixiptlatzin tictotlatlauhtilique, auh 9atepan otlica icto-
hualnonotztiaque6 in ixquich tlamahui9olli ye quimochihuilia,
m quenin huel huey tlamahui9oltica monexiti in itla90-
ixiptlatzin; auh ca huel 9eca 9enmochi ipan ya in notlalna-
miquiliz huel nicnoyolloti.7 Auh ye in iquac o yuh ninottac,
in huel oninoohuicanaqui in aocca huel nimaqui9az ca yeppa
nimiquiz, nipopolihuiz, in niman aoctle oncatca nopa-
lehuiloca, 9a nima iquac 9enmoch ica in noyollo nicnotza-

lQan ipan hualhuetz: gan ipan can mean “somehow” (VM, Nahuatl/
span t. 14v). Another possible interpretation is “he [the boy] fell off it [the
horse]. But in that event the horse would have been dragging him along on
the ground during its whole wild charge, and later he is said to have been
pulhng on the reins. Yet in Stradanus he seems to be being dragged.

Inic: the direction of the causality is not entirely clear. Conceivably the
horse fell because of its wildness or fright.

3Quixico: the verb xicoa, best known in other senses, can mean “to best,

The Nican motecpana 101

ing along the road, somehow it fell down;1 as a result2 it went
wild, or perhaps something frightened it. It took off with great
impetus and ran through ravines, past precipices and crags,
while he tried with all his strength to pull on the reins. He was
unable to control it;3 it ran him for perhaps half a league. His
companions4 tried to intercept it, but they could by no means do
so; it went as if carried by the wind. Then they lost sight of it,
and thought that it might5 have pulverized him somewhere.
Indeed it was a very dangerous place that it was heading straight
toward, a place of many ravines and crags.

But our Lord and the perfectly compassionate one, his pre­
cious, honored mother, saw fit to free him. When they found
him, what they came upon was that the horse had stopped, it had
bowed its head, and its legs were as though bent. It was entirely
unable to move, and the young fellow was stuck in a stirrup,
hanging by one foot. When they saw him, they greatly marveled
in their hearts; there was nothing at all wrong with him, nor was
he hurt anywhere. Thereupon they took him in their arms and
released his foot. When he got up, they asked him how he had
escaped without anything happening to him, and he said to

You saw how when we left Mexico, we passed by the home
of the heavenly Lady, our precious mother of Guadalupe.
Before leaving we marveled at her precious image and
prayed to her, and afterwards on the road we went along
talking to one another about all the miracles that she has
worked and how her precious image appeared by a very
great miracle. Absolutely everything found its way into my
memory, I took it very much to heart.2 So when I saw that I
was put in great danger, that there was no way I could
escape, that I would soon die and perish, that there was no
longer any help for me whatever, just at that very moment

to get control of”; see Lockhart 1992, p. 400 (line 4 of the first stanza of
N a h u a t l ) , a n d p . 5 8 8 , n . 1 3 . . . . . .

AIntehuicalhuan: since the possessor is singular, the form should be ite-
huicalhuan. The usual word for “companion” is -tlahuical (VM, Span./
Nahuatl, f. 28), not -tehuical.

5Amo: probably for ago, “perhaps.”
6Ictohualnonotztidque: for tictohualnonotztiaque.
1Nicnoyolloti: see above, pp. 54-55, n. 3.

102 The Huei tlamahidgoltica

tzilili iz?enquizcaichpochtzintli ilhuicac £ihuapilli Totla9d-
nantzin Guadalupe inic ma nechmocnoittili, ma nechmo-
palehuili; auh ca 9an nima iquac onicnottili in quenin huel
yehuatzin in iuh monexidtica in ipan ida9dixipdayotzin in
to£ihuapillatocatzin Guadalupe in onechmopalehuili, in o-
nechmomaquixtili, oquimotzitzquilili in ifreno in Caballo,
inic nima omoquetz, oquimotlacamachiti, iuhqui in ixpan-
tzinco omopacho, omotlanquacolo in yuhqui quenin o ipa

huel 9enca ic quimoyectenehuilique in ilhuicac £ihuapilli niman
ic otlatocaque.
CEppa 9e Caxtiltecad ixpantzinco motlanquaquetzdcaya in ilhui­
cac £ihuapilli totla9oNantzin Guadalupe quimodatlauhtiliticatca.
Auh mochiuh coton in mecad ic pilcaya 9e huey lampara in huel
yetic in ixpatzinco pilcaya; auh niman iquapan huallamelauh,
huel ipan in ltzontecon huetzico, auh in ixquichtin oncan ocatca
omomatquea9o niman omic aco1 oquiquaxaman, auh anc>9e huel
oquicoco; yeica ca huel huecapan in hualehuac: Auh amo 9aniyo
m aquen mochiuh, in acan mococo yece in lampara niman acan
pachiuh, no9e tepiton idacauh ihuan in tehuilod amo dapan, auh
in azeite oncan ocatca amo onoquiuh ihuan amo o9euh inic tlada-
ticatca, huel 9eca quimahu^oq mochi dacad in ixquich damahui-
9olli 9a 9emi2 quimochihuih in ilhuicac £ihuapilli

yehuad Licenciado Iuan Vazquez de Acuna Vicario catca in
uel miac xihuid oncan modapiali. ^eppa mochiuh ye quimochi-

huiliz Missa in oncan Altar mayor auh o moch 9e9euh in candela;
auh in Sachristan oc ya in quitlatito, ye inic 9enca yeyecani3 in
oncan, auh in Teopixqui mochialiticatca inic tlatlaz candelas
quittac in itech itonameyotzin ilhuicac ^ihuapilli hualquiz ome
yuhqui in tlemiahuad, no9e iuhqui, in dapetlanillotl quitlatlatico
m candelas necoccampa: huel 9enca quimahui9oque inin dama-

1Aco: for ago.

1 ,2?d Th/,s phrase is wel1 known in the meanings “finally for this
Sf ‘ etCA (7M> Nahuatl/Span., f. 13v, under “ga’cemi”) “bemi by
itsdf is recorded in the modern Nahuatl of Tetelcingo with the gloss
always (Brewer and Brewer 1971, p. 221; also referred to in DK, p. 29).
e are convinced, however, that the true key to the passage is in the Miguel

The Nican motecpana 103

with all my heart I called on the consummate Virgin, the
heavenly Lady, our precious mother of Guadalupe, to have
pity on me and help me. Just at that very moment I saw her,
just as she herself appears in the precious image of our
Queen of Guadalupe. She helped and rescued me; she
grabbed the horse’s reins, so that it stopped immediately and
obeyed her. Like one bowing before her, it knelt down as it
was when you found it.

They praised the heavenly Lady very greatly, and thereupon they
traveled on.
ONCE A SPANIARD was kneeling before the heavenly Lady, our
precious mother of Guadalupe, praying to her. It happened that
the rope broke from which a large lamp was hanging; it was
very heavy, and it was hanging in front of her. Right away it
went straight toward his head, it fell right on his skull. All those
who were there believed that he had died immediately or that it
had smashed his head, or that perhaps it had seriously injured
him, for it fell from a great height. But not only was he not
harmed and suffered no injury of any sort, but the lamp was not
crushed anywhere at all, nor was it damaged in the slightest. The
glass did not break, the oil that was in it did not spill, and the
flame that was burning did not go out. Everyone was very
greatly astonished at all the miracles that the heavenly Lady
worked at a single time.2

LLCENCIATE JUAN Vasquez de Acuna, former vicar, was in
charge there for very many years. Once it happened that he was
about to say mass at the main altar and all the candles went out.
The sacristan meanwhile went away to light [others], because it
was very windy3 there, and the priest was waiting for the can­
dles to be burning. He saw two things like tassels of flame or
lightning come out of the rays of the heavenly Lady and come to
light the candles on both sides. This miracle very much aston-

S&nchez version of this episode (IVM, p. 175), which says that it caused
astonishment in all those present, “viendo en vn milagro tantos milagros.”

3Yeyecani: The word eecatl (eecatl), “wind,” has a frequent variant yeye-
catl. The related verb eeca “for the wind to blow” is not much seen in texts,
but it exists (VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 28). The present form is a -ni agentive
of that verb, used in a typically adjectival fashion.

104 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

huifolli in ixquichtin oncan iteopanchantzinco catcaya.1

IN iquac huel yancuican ilhuicac £ihuapilli quimottititzino in
Iuan Diego ihuan in huei tlamahuifoltica monexiti in itlaf dixiptla-
tzin, huel fenca miec in tlamahuifolli quimochihuili; yuh mittoa
no ihua iquac motlapo in ameyaltzintli, in itepotzca2 iteocaltzin
ilhuicac £ihuapilli tonatiuh iquifayampa, huel onca in canin qui-
monamiquilito in Iua Diego in iquac quitlayahualhui tepetzintli
inic amo quimottilizquia ilhuicac (^ihuapilli in oc acattopa quinec
quinotzaz Teopixqui, in quiyolcuitizquia, in quif encahuazquia in
iTlatzin Iuan Bernardino in huel tlanauhtoya, huel oncan in qui-
moyacatzacuihli, ihuan in oncan conmihuali xochitequito in icpac
tepetzintli, no ihuan oncan conmottitili in tlalmantzintli in oncan
moquetzaz teocaltzintli, ihuan in oncan ca ic fen quihualmihuali
inic quittaz Tlatohuani Obispo in quimotitlanilili xochitl in inel-
tica, ihuan in inezca, itlanequiliztzin, ic mochihuaz iteocaltzin; in
ye o moch hualmittotiquiz. Inin atzintli in oncan meya, maf ihui
in macoquetza ic moloni, ic momoloca amo ic pepeyahua, ma-
nofe huey quitoca3 ca fan huel tepitzin, ihuan huel chipactic
ahuiac, yece amo huelic achi yuhqui in xoxococ, quimopa-
chihuia in ixquich cocoliztli nepapan, in aquique izfenyollo-
cacopa coni, nofe ic maaltia; ic ipampa amo fan tlapohualli
tlamahuif olli ye quimochihuilia izfenquizcaichpochtzintli ilhuicac
Cihuapilli Totlaf onantzin Santa M A RIA de Guadalupe.

CE Caxtillan fihuatl chane catca in nican ipan alteped Mexico fan
ixpeuh<* in ye pofauhtiuh in ite yuhqui in itexihui, iuhqui in ye cuitlaxitiniz: otlayeyecoque in titici Caxtilteca, nepapan padi ic quipatiaya; niman atle quinamic,5 manofe quimopachihui, ilhuice ohueixtitia, ye matlactli metztli in itech ca in icocoliz, yhuan ye huel yuh ca in iyollo ca niman aoc huel patiz, ca ic miquiz intla- camo yehuatzin quimopatihz in ilhuicac £ihuapilli, f enquizcaich- pochtli Santa MARIA de Guadalupe: auh tlanahuati inic quitla- pechhuizque ompa quihuicazque in tepeyacac in ichantzinco ilhuicac £ihuapilli: Auh yohuatzinco conehuiltique; auh in o-

xCatcaya: an inelegant variant of catca, not often seen in ecclesiastical

2Itepotzca: apparently for itepotzco. Possibly the intention was itepotzco
ca (ca).

3Quitoca: the verb toca often has to do with forcefully running water
carrying things away. Here, however, it is unclear just what the subject and

The Nicctn motecpana 105

ished all those who were there in her churchly home.
WHEN FOR THE very first time the heavenly Lady showed her­
self to Juan Diego and her precious image very miraculously
appeared, she worked very many miracles. It is said that also at
that time the spring opened up which is behind the temple of the
heavenly Lady to the east, in the very place where she went to
meet Juan Diego when he had gone around the hill so that the
heavenly Lady might not see him, since he first wanted to call a
friar to hear the confession of and prepare his uncle, Juan
Bernardino, who lay very gravely ill. It was right there that she
intercepted him and sent him to go cut flowers on the top of the
hill. It was also where she showed him the level ground where
the temple was to be built, and where she sent him for the last
time to see the lord bishop, to whom she sent flowers as a proof
and sign of her wish that her temple was to be built. All of this
was said earlier in passing. Where this water gushes out,
although it flies up as it gushes and bubbles, it still does not
overflow, nor does it [fly out?]3 greatly, only a very little. It is
very clean and fragrant, but not good tasting, somewhat as if
acidic. It is effective with all different kinds of illnesses for those
who in good faith drink it or bathe in it. For that reason the
miracles that the consummate Virgin, the heavenly Lady, our
precious mother Saint Mary of Guadalupe, has worked are in­
THE STOMACH of a Spanish woman, who was a resident here in
the altepetl of Mexico, began for no reason4 to swell as if it were
hydropic, as if it would burst. The Spanish physicians tried
different kinds of medicine by which to cure her, absolutely
nothing helped5 or worked, but it kept on growing all the more.
It was now ten months that she had the illness, and she was
quite certain that she could never get well again, that she would
die of it, unless the heavenly Lady, the consummate Virgin,
Saint Mary of Guadalupe, would heal her. She directed them to
carry her on a litter and take her to Tepeyacac to the home of the

object might be. Probably the verb has some specialized sense unknown to

4Ixpeuh. Ixpehua is glossed “to begin arguments without reason” (VM,
Nahuatl/Span., f. 46v); presumably it can mean for anything to begin
without reason.

5quinamic: literally, “fit it.”

106 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

conaxitito in iteopanchantzinco, ixpantzinco contecato, nima ye
ic conmotlatlauhtilia moch ica in iyollo inic ma quimocnoyttili,
ma quimopatili; ixpantzinco choca, mocnopechteca: auh quitlan
ma tepitzin maco1 in iamealtzin inic coniz, auh in o yuh conic
nima ic yamanix, peuh in ye cochi, auh in ye oquipanahui
nepantla tonatiuh, in ye tziliniz ge, in quihuicaque, oc hualquiz-
que quiahuac tlatlamahuigoto, ga igel quihualcauhtiquizque in
oquic oncochi: Onyamanix: auh ceme in magehualtzitzintin in
oncan netolleque tlatlachpantinemi Teopan, in ye oquittac itzintla
hualquiga huel temamauhti cohuatl, genmatl, ihua gemiztetl2 inic
hueyac lhuan huel tomahuac, huel genca omomauhti niman qui-
tzatzili m Caxtillan gihuatl cocoxcatzintli, niman ic igatehuac,
meuhtehuac, huel genca migahui momauhti, tzatzatzic inic
tenotza nima oncan comictiq in cohuatl; auh nima iquac patic,
opachiuh in ite, auh oc onahuilhuiti in oncan, inic gegemilhuitl
ntZ n llaya m ilhuicac îhuapilli in oquimocnelili in o-
q mopatili auh m iquac hualmocuep aocmo quihualnapaloq ga
huallacxipahui3 ye huel pactihuitz aoctle ma quicocoa.

CE Caxtiltecapilh chane in nican ipan altepetl Mexico huel chi-
cahuac inic quicocoaya in itzontecon, ihuan in inacaz, yuhqui ye
cuitlaxitimz,niman atle quimopachihui, aoc huel quiyohuiaya-

TCnh™°Z in TPa itta56chantanco izgenquizcaich-
poch zmth Totlagonantzin Guadalupe. Auh in oagito ixpantzinco,
huel lzceyollocacopa4 quimotlatlauhtili inic ma quimopalehuili,*
SnZ ĥ ; °monbtolti> ca ̂oquimopatili ixpantzinco
?n,t CblbUaZ CC tzontecomatI iztac teocuitlatl, auh gan niman
XSca” rTt0 Tf” ̂ Uhinyuh chiacnahuilhuiti in ichantzinco
quicocoa P hualmocueP ™ichan hualpactia, niman aoctle

. l^GC0:1,16 0 !s.not followed by glottal stop; it is inherently long but
not so pronounced in final position. g’

Cemiztetl: iztetl and iztitl are variants. See n. 3, pp. 88-89 The matl
S T f C°Uld 1,6 ̂ 10 ten ^twhen ̂ ed la mei-‘

ure for agncultural land. In measuring houses and house plots around

The Nican motecpana 107

heavenly Lady. Very early in the morning they started her on
her way, and when they got her to her churchly home, they
laid her down before her. Thereupon she prayed to her with
all her heart that she would have pity on her and cure her. She
wept before her, prostrated herself, and asked to be given a little
bit of her spring water to drink. After she drank it, her body
temperature moderated, and she fell asleep. When it was past
midday and the bell was about to strike one, those who had
brought her came back outside the building for a while to go
look around. They came out leaving her all alone while she slept
and her temperature moderated, and one of the humble com­
moners who had taken a vow there to sweep at the church saw
a very frightening snake come out from under her, a fathom
and one span2 in length, and very thick. He was very fright­
ened and immediately cried out to the Spanish woman who was
sick. At that she awoke and got up. She was very much startled
and frightened and repeatedly cried out to summon someone.
Then they killed the snake there; at that very moment she got
well and her stomach went down. She spent four more days
there, in order to pray daily to the heavenly Lady who had done
her this favor and healed her. When she came back, they no
longer carried her in their arms; she came back just on foot.
Now she came greatly rejoicing; nothing was ailing her any
more. ,
THE HEAD AND ears of a Spanish nobleman, a resident here in
the altepetl of Mexico, pained him very badly, as if they would
burst; absolutely nothing helped him. He could endure it no
longer, and he directed that he be taken to the precious home of
the consummate Virgin, our precious mother of Guadalupe.
When he arrived in her presence, he prayed to her with all his
heart to help him and cure him. He vowed that when she had
cured him, he would make an offering to her of a head of silver.
Just at the very moment he got there, he was cured. After he had
spent nine days at the home of the heavenly Lady, he returned
home rejoicing. Absolutely nothing more was ailing him.

Mexico City, it was apparently closer to two Spanish yards, the approx­
imate quantity we imagine as intended here.

2Huallacxipahui: for huallacxipdhui.
4Izceyolldcacopa: standard icenyolldcacopa.
SQuimopalehuili: the final i is neither long nor followed by glottal stop.

108 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

CE gihuatzintli itoca Cathalina itexihuia, auh in oquittac in nima
aoctle quimopachihuia, in ye huellanauhtoc, auh in titi^i quittoa
aocmo mehuaz ca yeppa miquiz: tlatlatlauhti inic quihuicazque in
ompa iteopanchantzinco in ilhuicac £ihuapilli Totlagdnantzin
Guadalupe, auh in o yuh caxitito huel moch ica in iyollo qui-
motladauhtili inic ma quimopatili, niman ic quihualquixtitiaque
ome tlacatl quihualtzitzitzquitiaque, huel ixquich itlapal quichiuh
inic agito in oncan ca iameyaltzin; auh huel moch ica in iyollo
inic conic in atl oncan meya, nima ic oncan opatic, iuhquin eecatl
nohuiampa itech hualquiz, ilhuice icamacpa inic conic in atl. Auh
in oncalac iteopanchantzinco £ihuapilli ye opatic aoctle qui-

CE San Francisco Teopixcatzintli in atle icactzin itocatzin Fray
Pedro de Valderrama huel tlanahuia in quicocoa, ge ixopil in huel
otlanauh in niman huel aoc patiz intlacamo quicotonilizque, yeica
itech omotlali in huey qualocatl niman ic i?iuhca quihuicati-
nuetzque in ompa itlagochantzinco in ilhuicac phuapilli Guada-
lupe auh in o yuh ixpantzinco a?ito niman ic quitoton in tzotzo-
matn, ic quimiliuhticatca1 ixopil, quimottitili in ilhuicac phua-
pim: lh^ huel moch in iyollo quimotlatlauhtili inic ma
quimopatih; auh ca gan niman iquac opatic, auh in ye pactica ca
lcxipan omocuep in ompa Pachocan.
Oc no ge Caxtiltecalpilli2 itoca Don Luys de Castilla ge icxi huel
pogahuac, auh in ye huel otlanauh, ye cocoyoca3 inic palani in
niman aoctle quimopachihuia inic quipatia in titici. Auh ye huel
yu ca in iyollo ca ic miquiz, yuh mittoa quimolhuili in tlacpac
ieopixqui omoteneuh, in quenin yehuatl quimopatili in ilhuicac
V-inuapilh Totlagonantzin Guadalupe niman ic tlanahuati quichi-
uazque in teocuitlapitzq ge iztac teocuitlaicxitl in ixquich huey

in icxi; niman ic quihualmotitlanilili; inic oncan iteopanchan­
tzinco ixpantzinco quipilozque huel icenyollocacopa imactzin-
co hualmocauh mic quimopatiliz. Auh in titlatli quicahuaco in
iquac ompa hualquiz, ye momiquiliznequi, ye huellanauhtoc,
auh m iquac mocuep in ipan agito, ye pactica, ye oquimopatili in

nf i l3^l\^UCatC^LUimiloa’ “t0 wraP something,” implies the existence of intransitive quirmlihui, “to be wrapped.”
Caxtiltecalpilli: for Caxtiltecapilli; the i bearing the grave accent is

The Nican motecpana 109

A HUMBLE woman named Catalina had hydropsy. When she
saw that nothing whatever did her any good, that she lay fatally
ill, and the physicians said that she would never rise again and
would soon die, she begged them to take her to the churchly
home of the heavenly Lady, our precious mother of Guadalupe.
When they had brought her there, she prayed to her with all her
heart that she might cure her. Thereupon two persons brought
her back outside, holding her as they came. She used every
ounce of her strength to get to where her spring is. With all her
heart she drank the water where it gushed forth. Thereupon she
was healed there; like the wind [the swelling] came out of her
everywhere, especially from her mouth, as she drank the water.
By the time she went into the Lady’s churchly home, she was
already cured; nothing more ailed her.
A DISCALCED Franciscan friar named fray Pedro de Valderrama
was gravely ill; one of his toes pained him. He was in great
extremity; he could no longer recover at all unless they should
cut the toe off, because a large cancer had grown on it. There­
upon they hurriedly took him to the precious home of the heav­
enly Lady of Guadalupe. When he arrived in her presence, he
undid the cloth in which his toe was wrapped.1 He showed it to
the heavenly Lady, and with all his heart he prayed to her to heal
him. Just at that very moment he was healed, and rejoicing he
returned on foot to Pachuca.
FURTHER, a Spanish nobleman named don Luis de Castilla had
a very swollen foot, and he was very gravely ill; [the foot] was
full of holes3 from decay, and absolutely nothing with which the
physicians were treating him was helping. He was very sure that
he would die from it. It is said that the abovementioned friar told
him how the heavenly Lady, our precious mother of Guadalupe,
cured him. Thereupon he directed the goldsmiths to make a
silver foot, the same size as his own. Thereupon he sent it to be
hung in her churchly home, in her presence. With all his heart he
left himself in her hands so that she might cure him. When the
messenger left to come to deliver it, he [don Luis] was about to
die, he already lay in extremity. But when [the messenger]

neither long nor followed by glottal stop.
3Cocoyoca: a frequentative of coyoni “to get holes” (DK, p. 43).

110 The Huei tlamahmgoltica

ilhuicac Cihuapilli.

CE Sachristan itoca Iuan Pabon in oncan motlacuitlahuiaya in
iteopanchantzinco ilhuicac £ihuapilli totlafonantzin Guadalupe
quipiaya ?e piltzintli1 auh itech motlali in quechpofahualiztli, ye
huel otlanauh, ye momiquiliznequi, aoc huel cana in iiyo; Qui-
huicac lxpantzmco, auh ic conmamateld in azeite ilamparatzin ic
pilli ^ nimS iqUaC PatiC quimocnelili in ilhuicac £ihua-

YN oc itzinecan, in oc ipeuhyan in iquac monexiti in itlaco-
ixiptlatzin izfenquizcaichpochtzintli Totlafonantzin Guadalupe in
mean tlaca tiatoque Pipiltin huel itechtzinco2 motzatziliaya inic
qummopalehuiliaya, inic quinmomanahuiliaya in innetoliniliz-
pan, ihuan in inmiquiztempan, ifenmactzinco mocahuaya feme
ye uan in, in tlatohuani catca Do Francisco Quetzlalmamalitzin4

leotihuacan in iquac xixin in altepetl in huel cactimoman, in
hil ^n aoca^ m°cauhtiquiz inic amo quinmocahualiztlama-

Vi S n ? Francisco Teopixque, in quinequia Tlatohuani
orrey Don Luys de Velasco yehuantzitzin in San Augustin

reoptxque quinmocuitlahuitzinozque, huel ic cenca netoliniliztli
quittaque in altepehuaque. Auh in intlatocauh Don Francisco,
ihuan m lpiloan 5a motlatlatitinemia, yeica huel nohuian temo-
•^a’ °ncan h,uaIla lz5a tlafaccan6 in Azcapotzalco, auh

a quihualmotlatlauhtiliaya in ilhuicac £ihuapilli Guadalupe
maquimoyollotih in ltlafdconetzin in Visorrey, ihuan in tiatoque
Audiencia Real inic tlapopolhuililozq altepehuaque inic huel
mocuepazque in mchan, ihuan oc feppa macozque in San Fran-
• 1S^ Teopixque, auh huel yuh mochiuh, ca otlapopolhuililoque
in altepehuaque, ihuan m intlatocauh in inpillohuan, ihuan oc
feppa macoque m San Francisco Teopixque, inic quinmocui-
ic^oS6′ mofWntin hualmocuepque in inchan aocmo ma
dnrnpnt1^11^ mocl;uh ye xPan xihuitl mil y quinientos y
cincuenta y ocho, no ihuan in ye imiquiztempan in Do Francisco

^enmactzmco mocauh in ilhuicac £ihuapilli Totlafonantzin

ctl^lltZlnth’ Ab°y may have 1)6611 in the mind of the writer as in the
have kept thfuaml’^ Nabuatl here does not specify gender, and we
ma. v c i i? ,translatlon n61«ral even though “it” is no longer very idio­matic English in speaking of children. very imo

by gSr;11116′ With 3 gI3Ve 3CCent is l0ng 31,(1 not folIow6d

The Nican motecpana 111

returned, he found [don Luis] healthy; the heavenly Lady had
cured him.
A SACRISTAN named Juan Pavon, who took care of the church-
ly home of the heavenly Lady, our precious mother of Guada­
lupe, had a small child,1 and it contracted a swelling of the neck.
It was gravely ill and about to die; it was no longer able to
breathe. He took it before her and anointed it with the oil that
burns in her lamp. At that very moment it was healed, favored
by the heavenly Lady.
IN THE BEGINNINGS, when the precious image of the consum­
mate Virgin, our precious mother of Guadalupe, appeared, the
local people who were rulers and nobles called upon her very
much to aid and defend them in their afflictions, and at the point
of death they would leave themselves entirely in her hands. One
of these was the ruler don Francisco Quetzalmamalitzin of
Teotihuacan. At that time the altepetl dispersed and was entirely
deserted, with not a person left, because they opposed giving up
the friars of Saint Francis, for the lord Viceroy don Luis de
Velasco wanted the friars of Saint Augustine to take care of
them, which the citizens of the altepetl saw as a great depriva­
tion. Their ruler, don Francisco, and his nobles went about
hiding in various places, because they were being sought every­
where. The last place he came to was Azcapotzalco. He was
secretly praying to the heavenly Lady of Guadalupe that her
precious child might inspire the viceroy and the lords of the
Royal Audiencia so that the citizens of the altepetl would be
forgiven, be able to return to their homes, and be given the friars
of Saint Francis again. And that is exactly what happened. The
citizens of the altepetl and their ruler and their nobles were par­
doned, and they were given the friars of Saint Francis to take
care of them again. They all came back to their homes, they were
no longer bothered over this matter in any way. It happened in
the year 1558. And also when he was at the point of death, don
Francisco placed himself entirely in the hands of the heavenly

3Yehuan in. This odd formation, with in left hanging, is apparently to
be explained by a missing (or possibly too low) t between the two words.
The intention would have been yihuantin.

AQuetzlalmamalitzin: for Quetzalmamalitzin.
5Ipiloan: for ipillohuan, as below.
6Tlagaccan: for standard tlatzaccan.

112 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

Guadalupe inic ipan motlatoltiz in iyolia, in ianima, auh mo-
huenchiuhta in ixpantzinco, in iuh neztica in ipa itestamento in
huel tlayacatitica itlatoi, itlatecpan, mochiuh ic omilhuitl mani
Mar?o in ipan xihuitl mil y quinientos y sesenta y tres.
IN ye yuh moyetztica in itlafochantzinco, izfenquizcaichpoch-
tzintli ilhuicac £ihuapilli Guadalupe amo 5an quexquich, amo
?an tlapohualli in tlamahuifolli quimochihuili, inic quinmocneli-
liaya in nican tlaca ihuan in Caxtilteca, 9a ge in ixquichtin nepa-
pan daca itechtzinco motzatziliaya, in quihualmotepotztoquiliaya.
Auh in yehuad in Iuan Diego canel ye huel oquimcxjenmacatzino
in ilhuicac £ihuapilli, in i9ihuatecuiyotzin, auh huel quitequipa-
choaya, inic hueca quitzticatca in ichan, in ialtepeuh, inic huel
cegemilhuid quimodayecoltiliz, quimotladachpanililiz, yeica qui-
modatlauhtili in Tlatohuani Obispo ma cana caltechtzinco in ina-
huac iteocaltzin, inic huel oncan yez, quimodayecoltiliz;1 auh
quimohuelcaquilili in idaidaniliz; auh niman quimomaquili cal-
tzintli, in inahuac iteocaltzin ilhuicac £ihuapilli: canel huel 9enca
quimoda9otiliaya in Datohuani Obispo.
Niman ic hualmiquani quitlalcahui in ialtepeuh quihualcahuili-
tehuac in iTlatzin Iuan Bernardino in ical, in itlal, oncan 9e9em-
ilhuitl dateomatia, quimotladachpanililiaya in ilhuicac Qrtiuapilli,
ixpantzinco mopechtecaya, quimotlaocolnonochiliaya, ihuan a-
mo huecauhtica in moyolcuitiaya, tla9eliaya, mo9ahuaya, tlama-
9ehuaya, mohuitequia, tepozmatlatl tequaqua2 ic mocuitlalpiaya,
xomolli, caltechtli quitocaya3 inic huel iyoca iz9a i9el quimo-
macaz in datlatlauhtiliztli inic quimononochilitiez in ilhuicac
£ihuapilli. Icnooquichtli catca, oc yuh oxihuitl4 quimottititzinoz
iz9enquizcaIchpochtzintli in omomiquili in i9ihuahuatzin5 catca
itoca Maria Lucia; auh inehuan chipahuacanenque, mopixque6

mochpochmiquili in i9ihuauh, no yehuad telpochnen, aic quix-
lma 9ihuatl yeica 9eppa quicacque in itemachtiltzin Fray Toribio
Motolinia 9eme in madactin onmomen San Francisco Teopixque
huel yancuican maxitico; in quenin huel 9enca quimohuellamach-

1Mo cana … quimotlayecoltili?. Somewhat more literally, the passage
seems to say let there be somewhere by a wall near her temple in order for
him to be able to be there and serve her.”

2Tepozmatlatl tequaqua: i.e., a cilice.
3Xomolli caltechtli quitocaya. Molina glosses this phrase (cast in the

reverential) as “to hide,” and in another place as “to take shelter in the shade”
(VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 161; Span./Nahuatl, f. 10).

The Nican motecpana 113

Lady, our precious mother of Guadalupe, so that she might look
after his soul. He made an offering to her, as appears in his will
at the very beginning of the statement he ordered, which was
done on the second day of March in the year 1563.
ONCE THE consummate Virgin, the heavenly Lady of Guada­
lupe, was in her precious home, she worked many and innum­
erable miracles, with which she befriended the local people and
the Spaniards, and all the different peoples who called on and
followed her. As for Juan Diego, since he had dedicated himself
entirely to the heavenly Lady as his patron, it concerned him
very much that her home was too far away from his altepetl for
him to be able to serve her and sweep up for her each day. For
that reason he begged the lord bishop that he could stay some­
where by a wall near her temple in order to serve her.1 He ap­
proved his request and gave him a small house near the temple
of the heavenly Lady, for the lord bishop esteemed him very

Thereupon he moved and abandoned his altepetl; on departing
he left his house and land to his uncle Juan Bernardino. There
[at Tepeyacac] he used to devote himself daily to spiritual things;
he would sweep for the heavenly Lady, prostrate himself before
her, and sorrowfully invoke her. He would frequently go to
confession and communion, fast, do penance, punish himself,
and gird himself with a sharp metal net.2 He would search out a
remote comer3 so that very much apart, all by himself, he could
give himself to prayer and converse with the heavenly Lady. He
was a widower; two years before the consummate Virgin ap­
peared to him, his wife, whose name was Maria Lucia, died.
They lived together in purity; they kept themselves chaste.6 His
wife died a virgin. He too lived as a virgin; he never knew a
woman, for once they had heard a sermon of fray Toribio
Motolinia, one of the twelve friars of Saint Francis who were the

46xihuitl: for oxihuitl.
5Igihuahudtzin: although it appears at first glance incorrect, this form is

quite often seen in texts, including those of well versed writers. The -hud- is
apparently an older, fuller version of the possessive ending usually occurring
as -uh, here preserved because of its protected internal position.

6Mopixque: see the related forms under “casta persona” and “castidad” in
VM, Span./Nahuatl, f. 25v.

114 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

tilia in Teotl Dios, ihuan in itlagomahuizNantzin in chipahua-
canemiliztli, in nepializtli. Auh in quexquich quimitlanililiaya,1

inic quimotlatlauhtiliaya in ilhuicac £ihuapilli, moch quimonel-
tililiaya; no yuhq in aquique itech mocahuaya, ca inpapa2 quimo-
magehuiaya in tlein intlanequiliz, inchoquiz, intlaocol.

Auh in iTlatzin in Iuan Bernardino in quittac in huel geca qui-
motlayecoltilia in toTecuiyo, yhuan in itlagdnantzin, quihual-
tocazquia, inic nehua yezquia: auh amo quinec quilhui inic mo-
nequia izgan ompa yez in ichan inic quipixtiyez in incal, in intlal
quincahuilitiaque intahuan, incolhuan; yeica ca yuh quimonahua-
tili in ilhuicac £ihuapilli inic gan igel yez. Auh in ipan xihuitl mil
y quinientos y quarenta y quatro anos momanaco in huey
cocoliztli, auh itech motlali in Iuan Bernardino; auh in ye huel-
lanauhtoc quimocochittili in ilhuicac, £ihuapilli quimolhuili inic
ye inman in ye oncan ic miquiz, ma moyollali, macamo quen
mochihua in iyollo ca quimomanahuiliz in imiquiztempan, qui-
mohuiquiliz in ompa itlatocachantzinco ilhuicac; canel gemicac
itechtzinco omopouh, omotzatzih, huel ipan caxtolilhuitl Mayo in
ipan xihuitl omoteneuh in momiquili, auh oncan hualhuicoc in
Tepeiacac inic oncan tococ in itic iteocaltzin in ilhuicac £i-
huapilli, auh ca yuh itencopatzinco mochiuh in Obispo, auh ca
quipiaya nauhpohualli ihuan chiquagenxihuitl in iquac momi­

Auh izgatepan in Iuan Diego ye yuh caxtolli ozge xihuitl in
oncan quimotequipanilhuia, in ilhuicac Qihuapilli in momiqui-
lico, huel ipan in xihuid mill y quinientos y quarenta y ocho;
huel iquac in momiquili Tlatohuani Obispo. Auh in ye inman in
ye oncan genca quimoyollalili in ilhuicac £ihuapilli, huel qui-
mottili; quimolhuili inic ye inman in quimagehuatiuh in quimo-
tlamachtitiuh in ompa in ilhuicac, in ixquich in oquimotenehuili-
li, auh no oncan motocac iteopanchantzinco, auh ye yuh epo-
hualli onmatlactli ihua nahui xiuhtia in momiquili, in quimohui-
quili izgenquizcaichpochtzintli, ihuan in itlagoconetzin in iyolia in
ianima in ompa quimogentlamachtia in ilhuicac papaquiliztli: ma
yuh quimonequiltitzino inic no tehua tictotlayecoltilizque, tic-

lQuimitlanililiaya\ the second i marked with a grave accent is short and
not followed by glottal stop.

2Inpapa: probably for ipapa or in ipapa. If we should take the form as

The Nican motecpana 115

very first to arrive, on how much a pure life and chastity please
God the deity and his precious, revered mother. And whatever
he would ask her for, when he prayed to the heavenly Lady, she
would grant it all. Likewise, all those who would leave them­
selves to her would obtain on her account2 whatever was their
wish, the object of their tears and sorrow.

When his uncle Juan Bernardino saw how very greatly he
was serving our Lord and his precious mother, he was going to
follow him so that the two might be together. But he [Juan
Diego] refused; he said that it was necessary that he [Juan
Bernardino] just be at his home in order to take care of their
houses and lands that their forebears had left them, because the
heavenly Lady commanded him to be all alone. In the year 1544
a great epidemic broke out. It came upon Juan Bernardino, and
when he lay gravely ill, he saw the heavenly Lady in a dream.
She told him that it was time for him to die, that he should be
consoled, that his heart should not be troubled, that she would
come to defend him when he was at the point of death, and that
she would take him to her royal home in heaven, since he had
always dedicated himself to her and invoked her. It was exactly
on the fifteenth day of May in the aforesaid year that he died. He
was taken to Tepeyacac to be buried inside the temple of the
heavenly Lady; it was done in this way by order of the bishop.
He was eighty-six years old when he died.
LATER, AFTER Juan Diego had served the heavenly Lady there
for sixteen years, he died, exactly in the year of 1548; it was just
then that the lord bishop died. When it was time, the heavenly
Lady greatly consoled him. He was able to see her, she told him
that the time had arrived for him to go attain and enjoy in heaven
everything that she had promised him. He too was buried in her
churchly home. He was seventy-four years old when he died,
when the consummate Virgin and her precious child took his
soul to where it would enjoy completely the happiness of
heaven. May it be her wish that we too may serve her and
abandon all the worldly things that lead us astray, so that we too
may attain the eternal riches of heaven. Amen.

correct, the translation would have to be “she would obtain for the sake of
those who would leave themselves to her whatever was their wish …”

116 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

tlalcahuizque, in ixquich tlalticpacayotl in tetlapololti inic no huel
tictomacehuizque in ilhuicac gemicac necuiltonolli. Ma iuh mo-

NICAN tlantica in ittoloca, in ipohualoca in huei tla-
mahuigolli, inic omonexiti in ixiptlatzin in ilhuicac Tlatoca£ihua-
pilli, Totlagdmahuiznantzin Guadalupe: ihuan in quezquitlamanth
in omicuilo, itlamahuigoltzin, in oquihualmochihuilitia, ic qui-
monextih in itepalehuiliztzin intechcacopa in itechpatzinco omo-
tzatzilique, oquimotemachitzinoque;1 auh ca genca miec in omo-
cauh,2 in oquipolo in cahuitl, in aoc ma aca quilnamiqui inic amo
oquimocuitlahuiq in huehuetq in ma quimicuilhuiani niman in
iquac mochiuh. Auh ca yeppa yuhque in tlalticpac tlaca, izgan
huel iquac, quimahuiztiha, quitlagocamati in iteicneliltzin ilhuicac
Tlatoca£ihuapilli, intla oquimomagehuique, auh in moztla, in
huiptla ca ye intlalcahualizpan contlaztihui inic aocmo inpan
hualagi, izgatepan hualhui, quihualmomagehuia in idanextzin, in
itonatiuhtzin Totecuiyo. Auh ca huel ye yehuatl in, in ipampa
achi opoliuhca, omolcauhca in iteicneliltzin ilhuicac £ihuapilli,
inic genca huei tlamahuigoltica omonexiti in nican ichantzinco
Tepeyacac; inic amo genca in iuh monequia quihualmomachiltia,
quihualmocuititzinoa in imagehualtzitzinhua in huel inpampa on-
can omocaltitzino inic oncan quinmocaquililiz in innetoliniliz, in
inpatzmiquiliz, in inchoquiz, in intlaitlaniliz, auh quinmomaqui-
liz, quinmocnehliz in itepalehuiliztzin; in iuh ye omitto yehuatzin
quimolhuili, quimomaquili in itlatoltzin in imagehualtzin Iuan
Diego in quimottititzino. Auh inic amo genmochi tlamiz, qui-
popoloz in cahuitl in itlamahuigoltzin ilhuicac tlatdca£ihuapilli,
ca oquimotlagonequilti3 itepalehuilizticatzinco motlilanaz,4 mote-

1Oquimotemachitzindque: in this instance, as in that of a similar verb
stem above (at n. 6, pp. 64-65), the meaning, “trust in her,” is quite clear.
Nevertheless, the verb again does not behave according to dictionary norms.
Temachia standardly takes either a specific object prefix or a reflexive prefix,
but not both (VM, Nahuatl/ Span., f. 96v). The writer here apparently
thinks that both are necessary, so much so that he resorts to the -tzinoa
reverential (the reflexive-plus-applicative reverential cannot be used when the
reflexive has semantic significance, because the reflexive prefix cannot be
doubled). The present case does not help in the interpretation of the one
above; both are deviant from the known norm, but they do not agree with
each other. It does, however, agree with an almost identical instance below

The Nican tlantica 117

HERE ends the Story and account of the great miracle
by which the image of the heavenly Queen, our precious revered
mother of Guadalupe, appeared, and of some of her miracles
that were written down, which she came to do, by which she
manifested her aid toward those who called upon her and put
their trust in her.1 But a great deal has been left out,2 which time
has erased and no one at all remembers any more, because the
ancients did not take care to write it down when it happened.
The people of the world have always been like that; only at the
very moment when they have obtained them do they wonder at
and give thanks for the favors of the heavenly Queen, but soon
they cast them into oblivion, so that those who come afterward
in attaining the light of the sun of our Lord arrive too late for
them. This is the very reason why the benevolence of the heav­
enly Lady by which she very miraculously appeared here in her
home at Tepeyacac had rather disappeared [from people’s
minds] and been forgotten, since her humble subjects have not
made it known or acknowledged it as much as was needed her
humble subjects for whose very sake she built her house there
so that in it she might hear their afflictions, their grief, their
tears, and their entreaties, and she might give them and grant
them the favor of her aid. As was said above, she spoke and
gave her word to her humble subject Juan Diego to whom she
revealed herself. In order that everything should not perish and
that time should not erase the miracles of the heavenly Queen,
she lovingly saw fit that, with her help, it should be written and

at n. 3, pp. 118-19. , . „ \ • l
2Omocauh. This form, the verb cahua (“to leave, abandon, etc.) in the

preterit reflexive, stands in close connection with the verb poloa im­
mediately following; a few lines below, the related verb polihui is similarly
connected with a form of the verb ileahua, “to forget. In the preterit
reflexive, only a single letter differentiates the two; one must wonder if the
intention here was not omolcauh, “it was forgotten.”

3Oquimotlagdnequilti: because of a smudge in the copy of the original
we used, the n in this form cannot be seen clearly.

AMotlilanar. based on an unattested verb; see n. 1, p. 54.

118 The Huei tlamahidgoltica

pozpachoz in onez, in omopantlaz, magihui ohuitica in omo-
neltili, inic 5ennohuian tepan a§itiuh motemachiltitiuh.1

Auh in ma?ihui ye huel nelli yuhqui ca ?an 9entetzintli in ilhuicac
Tla909ihuapilli i9eltla9onantzin2 in Dios itla9dpiltzin, iz9an iqel-
tzin 9ennohuian 9emanahuac tictomahuiztililia in titlaneltoca-
catzitzinhuan itla9dconetzin; ma huel yuh ye in imix, in inyollo
tlalticpac tlaca, camo 9an quezquican inic 9ennohuian altepepa,
huel yehuatzin in oquimopepeni, oquimixquechili, in iyeyantzin,
ihuan in ixiptlatzin inic oncan quinmopalehuiliz in icnotlaca in
ixpatzinco huallazque, quihualmotemachitzinotiazque3 9enmoch
ica in inyollo, quimitlanililizque in itecanechihualiztzin.4 In iuh
ye izquican quimochihuilia in nican totlalpan Nueua Espana: ca
in itla^oixiptlatzin in quinhualmohuicalti Caxtilteca yancuican
calaquico, teyaochihuilico, ye machizti in quen mochiuh inic
9eme yehuantin in yaotequipaneque5 quimotlatilitiquiz in oncan
totoltepec in iquac Mexica yaotica quinquixtique, quintotocaque
Mexico in Espanolestin: auh ca oncan huecauhtica memetla
mopolihuititicatca ixquichca 9e ma9ehualtzintli, quimottiti, qui-
monanahuatili, oncan quimocaltiliz in iuh ye omitto. Auh in
ixquich itepalehuiliztzin in quimochihuilia, in ye quimoteicnelilia
in oncan ic moyetztica, ca 9enca huel miec in oquimaceuhque in
nepapan tlaca, ilhuice yehuantin in Caxtilteca in oquihualmo-
huiquilique, ihuan quimotlatequipanilhuililia6 in ichantzinco.

lMotemachiltitiuh. It was seen above at n. 6, pp. 64-65, that the writer
sometimes (not always) proceeds as if he thinks that temachia, “to trust,” is
intransitive. The present form is consonant with that interpretation, though
it uses a causative rather than an applicative suffix to complete the reveren­
tial. Yet the “trust” sense does not fit the context as readily here as in the
other case. Simeon (DS, p. 217) lists an infrequently seen intransitive verb
machia, “to be known”; our form, however, has a -te- which cannot be
accounted for if this machia is the base. If the intention is temachia, the
form (which in standard grammar would be motemachitiuh) would mean “it
is gaining confidence [from the public].” Momachiltitiuh would mean “it is
becoming known.” The “known” sense is so appropriate and pairs so well
with the just preceding verb that we have provisionally chosen it as the
possible intention.

2Iceltlagonantzin. This is an unusual, even an incorrect form. Icel,
alone, only, sole, by oneself,” is a self-contained expression; a following

noun would normally be in the absolutive, as in icel conetl, “only child”
(see VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 10), or if possessed would have its own
possessive prefix. Here the i- of icel is made to serve as prefix of the noun

The Nican tlantica 119

printed, so that when it had appeared and been published—and
though with difficulty it has been realized—absolutely every­
where it would be reaching people [and becoming known?].1

Granted that it is very true that the heavenly precious Lady,
the only precious mother2 of God’s precious child, is a single
thing, and we believers in her precious child honor her alone
everywhere in the world, let the people of the earth realize that in
many places in the altepetls all around she herself has chosen out
and set up her dwelling places and her images so that there she
may help the needy who should come into her presence trusting
in her3 and asking with all their hearts for her succor.4 So she
has done in many places here in our land of New Spain. For her
precious image came along with the Spaniards when they first
entered and came to make war. It is well known how it hap­
pened that one of the warriors5 hid it at Totoltepec when passing
through at the time when the Mexica by war ejected and drove
the Spaniards out of Mexico. For a long time it was lost there
among the magueyes, until she revealed herself to a poor
commoner and directed him to build her a house there, as was
said before. And where she is, different people have obtained
very, very much of the aid she provides and has dispensed,
especially the Spaniards, who brought her and serve her in her

as well. Moreover, Itl is a forbidden sequence in a Nahuatl word, auto­
matically becoming II. One would have expected icel itlagdnantzin.

3Quihualmotemachitzindtiazque.Seen. l,pp. 116-17.
4Itecanechihualiztzin: derived from teca ninochihua, “to care for or succor

someone” (AC, f. 19v).
5Yaotequipandque\ probably intended as an equivalent for Spanish

soldados, “soldiers,” as the later generations of Spaniards called the con­

6Quimotlatequipanilhuililia. Strictly speaking, this form has one li too
many. “To work or do service” is tlatequipanoa; to serve someone” is
tetlatequipanilhuia with an applicative (metathesized as usual with an -oa
verb) and a personal object; the reverential thereof is motetlatequipanilhuilia,
with only one li. The present form has three applicatives where only two are
called for. Nevertheless, an apparently extra li does sometimes slip into
elevated Nahuatl texts. Some have a basis in variant or older forms. Thus
above in the text there appears itlapopolhuililoca, “his pardon,” with one li
more than usually seen. It is justified, however; Molina gives the verb “to
pardon” not only as tlapopolhuia, but also as tlapopolhuilia (VM, Nahuatl/
Span., f. 132v). In the present text, the -huilia form is used several times,
in both the verb and derived forms; the shorter form also appears once.

120 The Huei

Auh in ompa totonqui tlalpan, ihualquifayanpa in tonatiuh, on-
can in hualaci huei Acalh, itentla in poyec atl, in teoatl itocayocan
Co^amalloapan, oc centetzintli mehuiltitica itlafoixiptlatzin ilhu-
icac tlatoca£ihuapilli, izgenca huey tlamahuigolli quimochihuili
inic oncan mehuiltitica, ihuan inic quinmopalehuilia in ixquichtin
quimonochilia, quimotzatzililia1 in innetolinilizpan. £anno yuh-
catzintli in mehuiltitica in itocayocan Temazcaltzinco; ihuan oc
quezquican altepepa.
Ilhuice yehuatzin in itechpatzinco tontlatotihui in nican Tepeya-
cac quimixquechili in iyeyantzin, ihuan quimotemaquili in ixip-
tlatzin huei tlamahuiQoltica, in amo aca tlalticpac tlacatl tlacui-
locatzintli, oquimochihuili, oquimotlapalaquili, ca huei yehuatzin
in omocopintzino inic oquimotlafonequilti oncan mehuiltitiez.
Auh in ma?ihui 9enmochintin ye quinmopalehuilia in nepapan
tlaca in innetolinalizpan2 quihualmotlapalhuia in ichantzinco. Ma
huei yuh ye in imix, in inyollo in nican tlaca ma§ehualtzitzintin,
ca huei yehuantin in inpampa oquimotla^onequilti in in^ihuapil-
latocatzin oncan mocaltitzinoz. Auh ca ye nelli yuhqui, camo 9an
nen, 9an tlapic in huei niman ipeuhyan tlaneltoquiliztli, omentin
ma9ehualtzitzintin quinmottititzino in aya3 ixtomi, in aya3 ixquich
ic impan tlaneci, ic impan tlatlalchipahua in tlaneltoquiliztli, inic
cenca oquimonextili ca huei yehuantin in quinmotemolico, ca
oquihualmotla9onequiltitzindtia, in ma quimogihuapillatocati-
tzinocan, in ma quimomahuiztililitzinoca, in ma quimotlatequi-
panilhuililican4 inic i9ehuallotitlantzinco quinmaniliz quinmo-
maquilitiez in imatzin, in itepalehuiliztzin. Canel amo mopoli-
huitiaya in tquac on in mahuiztique tlaca, ihuan in Tla9dteopix-
que in ye huecauhticaitetequipanocatzitzinhuan ilhuicac tlatoca-
^ihuapilli; auh amo 9eme yehuatin quimotla9oicnelili inic qui-
mottititzinoz, ca 9an inceltin in ma9ehualtzitzintin in tlayohuayan,
mixtecomac actoya in oc noma quintla90tlaya quintequipanoaya
in iztlacateototontin iz9an tlamachihualtin ixiptlahuan in toyauh5

in tlacatecolotl, ma9ihui ye innacazpan ohualacica in tlaneltoqui-
hztli ixquichca in quicacque, inic omoteittititzino in itla9omahuiz-
nantzin totecuiyo Xpo,6 ihuan inic oquittaque oquimahui9oque

1Quimotzatzililia: for quimotzatzililia.
2Innetolinalizpan: fof innetolinilizpan.
3Aya. the d is short and not followed by glottal stop. In any case, ayamo

is much more frequent in this sense, and the short form is usually aye.
Quimotlatequipanilhuililican: contains the same extra li as the example

The Nican tlantica 121

home. In the hot lands in the east, where the great boats arrive,
on the shore of the salt water, the ocean, at the place called
Cogamalloapan, there resides another precious image of the
heavenly Queen, who worked a great miracle in order to reside
there and aid all who call on her and invoke her in their
afflictions. Also similar is the one that resides in the place called
Temazcaltzinco, and [the ones] in some other altepetls.

Especially she about whom we are speaking set up her resi­
dence here at Tepeyacac and by a great miracle gave people her
image, which no earthly human artist made or colored. It was
she herself who made her own copy, because she lovingly saw
fit to make her residence there. Although she now helps all
different kinds of people who in their affliction come to greet her
in her home, let the local people, the humble commoners, be
sure that it was for their very sake that their Queen condescended
to house herself there. Indeed, it was not vainly or for nothing
that right when the Christian faith was just getting a start, she
revealed herself to two humble commoners who had not yet
opened their eyes, on whom the faith had not yet fully shone or
dawned, in order to make very clear that it was precisely for
them that she came searching, that she came lovingly desiring
that they take her for their Queen, that they might revere and
serve her, so that she might take them in her protective shadow
and be giving them her helping hand. For in that time there was
no lack of respected people and precious friars who had long
been servants of the heavenly Queen, and she did not grant any
of them the favor of revealing herself to him, but only to the
humble commoners who were submerged in night and darkness,
and even though the faith had already reached their ears, they
were still cherishing and serving the false little gods that were
only hand-made images of our enemy, the demon, until the time
that they heard that the precious revered mother of Christ our
Lord5 had revealed herself and that they saw and wondered at
her image, an absolute marvel in the way it takes on a human

above commented on in n. 6, pp. 118-19.
5Toyauh: standard toyaouh.
6Xpo. It was quite rare at this time, in either Nahuatl or Spanish, for any

occurrence of the word Cristo (Xpo) not to be preceded by Jesu. The latter
word may have been inadvertendy omitted.

122 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

in ixiptlatzin, cenquizcamahuizticatzintli inic motlacanexititica.1

Ca §enca ic oixtonque, otlachixque, yuhquin impan otlathui-
tiquiz. Auh (in iuh quicuildtehuaque in huehuetque) niman
gequintin in Pipiltin, 5anno yuhque in intlahuicalhuan mage-
hualtzitzintin izgenyollocacopa quintlazque quintepeuhque, qui-
yahuac quinquixtique in ixiptlahuan tlacatecolotl; peuhque ye ic
quimomahuiztililia, quimoneltoquititzinoa in toTecuiyo IESV
Christo, yhuan in itlagdnantzin. Inic onnelti camo ganiyo ic
ohualmohuicac, omoteittititzinoco in ilhuicac tlatoca£ihuapilli
toTlagonantzin Guadalupe inic quinmopalehuiz2 macehualtzitzin-
tin ytechcacopa in intlalticpacnetolinaliz3 ca oc genca oquihual-
melehuilitia quinmomaquiliz in itlanextzin, in itepalehuiliztzin
inic quimiximachilizque in huel nelli iceltzin Teotl Dios, ihuan
inic ipaltzinco quittazque, quiximatizque in ilhuicac nemiliztli.
Auh inic yuh quimochihuili in, ca ipan aci, huel yehuatzin qui-
mocalaquilico, quimotlachicahuilihco in tlaneltoquihztli ye oqui-
mopehualtilica quimotemaquilia in itlagopilhuantzitzin San Fran­
cisco inic ototococ in tlateotoquiliztli, tlalpan huicoc oxitin in
itlatocayo immoteomachtlanini Tlacatecolotl in tlayohuayan, in
mixtecomac oquinnemiti in itlachihualtzitzinhuan, in image-
hualtzitzinhuan toTecuiyo izgenca oquimixtepetlatilica inic ye-
huatl quimacazque in teomahuigotl, in tedcalli, in teomomoztli,4

in xochitl, in copalli, in intolol,5 in intlanqua,6 in innepechte-
quiliz, izgan huel igeltzin inemactzin in ilhuicac mehuiltitica, in
otechmochihuili. Auh ca yeppa itequitzin in ilhuicac tlatoca-
£ihuapilli in quimoxitinihz, in quimopopolhuiz in tlateotoquiliztli
in iuh quimolhuilia, in iuh itechcacopatzinco quimocuititzinoa in
tonantzin Sata Iglesia, in izquipa quimotlatlauhtilia, quimoyec-
tenehuilia, quimolhuilitzinoa, Gaude Maria Virgo cunctas here-
ses sola interemisti in vniuerso mundo,1 in quittoznequi, ma

1Motlacanexititica: based on the verb tlacaneci, “to seem human,” which
meaning can be deduced not only from its constituent roots but from a
negative phrasing in Molina (VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 115v).

^Quinmopalehuiz: standard quinmopalehuiliz.
3Intlalticpacnetolinaliz: for intlalticpacnetoliniliz.
4Teomomoztli. In addition to meaning altar or platform in the pre-

conquest style, momoztli can also refer to a small temple or chapel in the
countryside (VM, Nahuatl/Span., f. 115v).

5Intolol. The intransitive verb toloa, “to lower or bend the head,” could

The Nican tlantica 123

aspect.1 At this they opened their eyes wide, they saw, as if the
dawn had come upon them. Then (as the ancients left written)
some nobles, and likewise their followers the humble common­
ers, with all their hearts cast away, hurled down, and threw out
the images of the demon. With that they began to revere and
believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and his precious mother. Thus
is verified that not only did the heavenly Queen, our precious
mother of Guadalupe, come here to reveal herself in order to aid
the humble commoners in their earthly afflictions, she wanted
even more to give them her light and aid so that they would
recognize the one true deity, God, and through him see and
know the heavenly life.

As to how she did this, she arrived at that time, she herself
came to introduce and fortify the faith, which the precious chil­
dren of Saint Francis had already begun to impart to people, so
that idolatry was banished and thrown down, and the rule of the
demon collapsed, of him who wishes to be taken for a god, who
caused our Lord’s creatures, his humble subjects, to live in night
and darkness, blinding them so much that they would give him
divine honor, temples, divine altars,4 flowers and incense,
bowing of the head,5 kneeling,5 and deep obeisance, which are
the due of him alone who dwells in heaven, who made us. It
has always been the task of the heavenly Queen to destroy and
wipe out idolatry, as our holy mother church says and ac­
knowledges in her regard, whenever she prays to her, praises
her, and says to her, Gaude Maria Virgo cunctas haereses sola
interemisti in universo mundo,1 which means, Rejoice, ever

well lead to a patientive noun tololli, which would mean the result of that
action, and could be taken to refer to a bow of the head. Such a word is not
attested to our knowledge, however, and the normal noun for bowing the
head is tololiztli. Here one would have expected intololiz.

6Intlanqua. This means literally “their knees.” Perhaps it makes a meta­
phorical pair with intolol. Again, however, one would have expected inne-
tlanquaquetzaliz, “their kneeling” (see VM, Span./Nahuatl, f. 14).

7Latin: “Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, you alone have destroyed all heresies
throughout the world.” From the office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

124 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

ximopaquiltitie 9emicac ichpochtzintle Santa Mariatzine1 iz9en-
nohuian tlalticpac mo9eltzin oticmopopolhui, oticm&tletilili in
ixquich in tlateotoquiliztli, ihuan in chicotlaneltoquiliztli.
Auh in ma9ihui ye nelli yuhqui, ca huel oneltico in nican to-
tlalpan Nueua Espana inic 9enca monequi in ma i9acan in ma
ixtomican in iz tlaca in ma9ehualtzitzintin in quittazque in qui-
pohuaz2 in nican omicuilo in inpampa oquimochihuili in ilhuicac
tla90^ihuapilli, inic quinemilizque catlehuatl monequi in quichi-
huazque inic quimocuepililizque, quimoxtlahuililizq in itetla9dtla-
liztzin, inic no tehuan quimacehuazq in itepalehuiliztzin in iquac
quimonochilizque noce intla ichantzinco quihualmotlapalhuiz-
que, quihualmottilizq in itla9omahuizixiptlayotzin, ca quimonel-
tililiz in itlatoltzin inic onca oquimotla9onequilti mocaltitzinoz
inic quinmopalehuiliz in ma9ehualtzitzintin. Ma tlacahua in iyec-
yollotzin in toTla96mahuiznantzin ma yehuatzin quimocuetlanili
in toyollo, inic to9enyollo ica tictomahuiztililizque in nican tlal­
ticpac ixquichca inic itepalehuilizticatzinco tixtelolotica tictottiliz-
que in ompa in inecuiltonolizyeyantzinco. Ma iuh mochihua. —

L A V S D E O .

1Qemicac ichpochtzintle Santa Mariatzine. These phrases are in the mas­
culine version of the vocative, which is incorrect if “our mother the Holy
Church” is still speaking. Probably the writer had lost the thread and was

The Nican tlantica 125

Virgin Saint Mary,1 who alone have destroyed and annihilated
all idolatry and perverse belief over the entire earth.”

Granted that this is so, it was fully verified here in our land of
New Spain, so that it is very necessary for the local people, the
humble commoners, to awaken and open their eyes to see and
read what has been written here that the heavenly precious Lady
did for their sake, in order to consider what they need to do to
return and pay back her love for people and along with others
attain her aid when they call upon her, or if they come to her
home to greet her and see her precious, revered image. She will
keep her word, because she lovingly wished her home to be
built there in order to help the humble commoners. May our
precious revered mother grant that she inflame our hearts so that
we may honor her with all our heart here on earth until that time
when by her aid we will see her with our eyes in her fortunate
dwelling place. Amen.

Laus Deo.

viewing the translation simply as an abstract statement, or as though uttered
by himself.

2Quipohuaz: for quipohuazque.

titzinoz in ilhuicac tlatdcaQhuapilli toTlagdnantzin


ILHVICAC Hatdca£ihuapille, 9emicac tlateochihuallchpochtzintle
Tlatlacatzintle, ma ximopaquiltitie in titla^oichpotzin1 in Dios te-
Tatzin. Ma ximopaquiltitie in titla9oNantzin in Dios itlaqoPiltzin.
Ma ximopaquiltitie in titla9oNamictzin in Dios Espiritu Santo Te-
huatzin in timitzontoyectenehuilia in ilhuicac otihualmotemohui,
auh cenca huei tlamahui9oltica otiquinmottititzinoco in icnomace-
hualtzitzintin. Tehuatzin timitzototzatzililia, in titotla9omahuiz-
Nantzin Guadalupe, in 9enca huey teicnoittaliztica otitechmoma-
quilitia in mixiptlayotzin in ixpantzinco titotzatzilizque in ticno-
tlaca in tlaiyohuilizpan tinemi in itlalticpactzinco motla9oconetzin:
Ma tohuicpa xichualmocuepili in mixtelolotzin, macamo ic ti-
mitztotlaeltilican in ixquich in totlatlacol. £a ye xicmoneltilili in
motlatoltzin inic titechmopalehuiliz inic topan timehuititzinoz;2

ma ticmacehuacan in motlanextzin inic tiquittazque in ilhuicac
nemiliztli. Auh in ixquich inic otictotlapilchihuililique, otictotla-
tlacalhuililiq3 in toTecuiyo: ma mopampatzinco tipopolhuililocan,
ma tehuatzin xicmo9ehuili in iyollotzin in motla90conetzin, ma
ixquich ma4 on9e9ehui in itlahueltzin, in iquallantzin,5 ma tech-
mocnoittili in titlachihualtzitzinhuan in mocehuellotitlantzinco6

tonacticate in timitzontotzatzihlia in axca; auh in ye oncan in to-
miquiliztempan ma xicmiquanili, ma xicmototoquili in toyaouh,

in totetlapololticauh, inic paca,7yocoxca mocenmactzinco
mantiaz in toyolia in tanima, inic ixpantzinco ne9i-

tiuh in itechiuhcatzin Dios. Ma
iuh mochihua.

I E S V S .

1Titlagdichpotzin. Because of weakening in speech, ch could be omitted
before tz even in the strictest tradition of ecclesiastical Nahuatl writing; the
form is equivalent to titlagdichpochtzin. Except for this instance, however,
the fuller form is used throughout the text. (Four cases of a comparable sim­
plification of tztz to tz do occur).

2Topan timehuititzinoz: based on tepan ehua, “to favor, succoring an­
other in some danger” (VM, Span./Nahuatl, f. 62; Nahuatl/Span., f. 102).

3Otictotlatlacalhuililiq. This is based on itlacoa, “to do something wrong
or badly, do damage, sin.” The applicative is itlacalhuia, whose reverential

126 The Huei tlamahuigoltica

to the heavenly Queen, our precious mother

of Guadalupe.

REJOICE, heavenly Queen, eternally blessed Virgin, O merciful
one, rejoice, you who are the precious daughter of God the
Father. Rejoice, you who are the precious mother of God’s
precious child. Rejoice, you who are the precious spouse of
God the Holy Spirit. It is you we praise, you who have de­
scended from heaven and by a very great miracle have come to
reveal yourself to the poor humble commoners. To you we cry,
you who are our precious revered mother of Guadalupe, you
who in your very great compassion gave us your image, before
which we wretches who live in pain on your precious child’s
earth cry out. Turn your eyes toward us here; may we not
disgust you with all our sins. Rather, keep your word to help us
and favor us in our difficulties.2 May we attain your light in
order to see the life in heaven. And for your sake may we be
pardoned all our sins and offenses against our Lord. May you
appease the heart of your precious child; may all his wrath and
anger subside. May you take pity on us who are his creatures,
who are under your protective shade, who cry out to you today.
And then at the time of our death please remove and put to flight

our foe, who leads us astray, so that happily and peace­
fully our souls may go to lie entirely in your hands,

so that they may go appear in the presence
of God, their creator. Amen.


has a reflexive prefix and a standard -lia applicative suffix. Thus the present
form has one li too many in the same fashion as tequipanoa at n. 6, pp.
118-19. By standard grammar the form should be otictotlatlacalhuiliq.

AMa. An optative phrase does sometimes contain a second, strictly
speaking redundant ma, but usually at an interval of several nuclear words.
Here we are probably dealing with inadvertent repetition.

5Iquallantzin: standard iqualantzin.
6Mocehuellotitlantzinco: for mocehuallotitlantzinco.
1Paca: standard pacca.

Final Prayer 127

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