The first few weeks of my project have been overwhelmingly occupied with collecting data for my web map. In this case, data means coordinates. The process of locating coordinates has proved to be more complicated than anticipated. I began with José A. Martínez Puche, O.P. and Rafael del Olmo Veros, O.A.R.’s collection of patronages of the Virgin Mary in Spain and Spanish America, María, Madre de la Hispanidad: Virgenes Patronas de España y de América.
From here, I compiled a list of 18 towns in Spain with patronage to Guadalupe and 163 with patronage to Remedios. Several of the Remedios images were crowned in the first half of the twentieth century. While this data provided an invaluable starting point, I quickly discovered some flaws in the data. Firstly, the text only includes sites with patronage to the Virgins, and not other instances of devotion within a larger town or city. Secondly, the text does not include much historical information. It does not provide information on when the cults were established or whether the town had had a different patron in the past. As my study is historical, this information would be useful. Even so, I began searching these locations on google maps to find coordinates for each town.
This next step revealed a new set of issues. There was rarely a town which had a church or ermita by the name of Remedios or Guadalupe. In order to find more information on each town, I used a variety of sources including YouTube, Wikipedia, town websites, blogs, and even tourist images which had been uploaded to google maps. Despite having far fewer patronage locations, the Virgin of Guadalupe seemed to be harder to locate within each town.
For example, in the town of Horcajo de los Montes, in Castilla-La Mancha, there is no church named after Guadalupe. When I searched the town on Google Maps, no site of Guadalupe immediately came up. As a second step, I searched “iglesia near Horcajo de los Montes” resulting in the church, Parroquia de San Antonio Abad. For this particular location, visitors to the parish have uploaded pictures of the interior, several of which include a statue of a Virgin and Child, likely the Virgin of Guadalupe. With this information, I felt confident that I could list the coordinates of this patronage to the church of San Antonio Abad.
To uncover more context, I then visited the Wikipedia page for Horcajo de los Montes in Spanish. Wikipedia confirmed that Guadalupe is the current patron of the town. Because of the paucity of sources on this topic, Wikipedia becomes a more credible source than in other contexts. The town Wiki page also says, “Ermita de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe: De reciente construcción, se encuentra a unos 2 kilometros del pueblo,” or that there is a shrine to Guadalupe about 2 kilometers outside the town. I have not been able to locate this hermitage. The town website states that the image descends from the hermitage to the church in August each year. This confirms that the image in the church is most likely that of Guadalupe.
Unfortunately, there is no speedier way to do this. I have not been able to find a broader source or a more specific way of conducting this research. I plan to demarcate locations that I have not been able to confidently verify as “unverified”. While the research on Guadalupe patronage has proven more challenging thus far than Remedios, I plan to continue this process across all towns.