The Origin of the Name Guadalupe?
          Before there was a Guadalupe in the New World, there was a Guadalupe in the Old―a holy place in Spain.  By tradition, the Old World shrine has a long story behind it,  in terms of time.  Here we will look into that history, to see how the shrine and its name originated on the Iberian Peninsula.
                                                 A Look into Past

There is a tradition that St. Luke the Evangelist and author of the Acts of the Apostles was a painterIt's said that he carved a wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin holding a child in one hand, and a sceptre in the other, thought to signify her royal motherhood.  If true, it really reaches far back into Christianity, and with the statue having been done by this companion of St. Paul and an author of books of the Bible, it adds a specialness to the sculpture. 
        According to another tradition, the statue was venerated by Pope St. Gregory the Great in his oratory and he gave it to his friend St. Leander, the Bishop of Seville.   To give this a time frame, Pope Gregory reigned from 590 to 604. 
        Joan Carroll Cruz in Miraculous Images of Our Lady, says the Spanish treasured it, and during the Moorish invasion in 711, it was hidden with papers documenting its history.  Accounts differ, one saying it was placed in a cave under a churchbell and another that it was buried in an iron casket.   Those who hid it were killed during the conquest and the statue was lost for centuries. 
        Then, in 1326, its whereabouts came to light.  A herdsman named Gil Cordero said he was looking for a lost cow when a radiant lady came out of the forest, indicating where he should dig for a treasure and requesting that a chapel be built there.  Church authorities were summoned to the scene, where they found a cave entrance, and inside, the statue with its authenicating documents.   Unstained and made of oriental wood, it was in perfect condition.
         Francis Johnston in The Wonder of Guadalupe relates that 1340, King Alphonso XI of Castille had a monastery built for the statue which became "the most celebrated shrine in Spain," attracting a great numbers of pilgrims, one of whom was Columbus after his first voyage to the New World and his discovery of America.  Cruz says noblewomen through the years made her jeweled mantles and robes, embroidered with gold which are kept in a nearby reliquary cabinet.  One headdress worn on special occasions, contains 30,000 precious stones. 
        Cruz states that the chapel and statue were named Guadalupe after the nearby town of that name.  Johnston says the cave where it was found was located in the banks of the River Guadalupe, which means "Wolf River," probably because of the wolves infesting the area.  He also noted that other meanings given for it are "Hidden River" and "River of Light."
                                           Some History of Spain

        Let us delve into some history of Spain.  Latin was the language of the Roman Empire, and in the pre-Christian era, the Romans conquered the Iberian Peninsula, not only the Spanish tribes but what is called Portugal.  The whole peninsula became a Roman province called Hispania, from which comes the name Espana.  The Latin brought in by the Romans and spoken by the Spaniards, gradually developed into Spanish. 
        Hispania became a leading province of the empire and many Romans went there to live.  They built cities, roads and aqueducts.  The emperors Hadrian and Trajan were from there, as was the writer Seneca. 
        Christianity also came during Roman rule, and in the late 300's, it became the official religion of the province and the empire.  It was also about this time that the Roman Empire split into the East and West Roman empires, with Spain being part of the latter.
        During the 5th century the Germanic tribes invaded, and one of these, the Christian Visigoths, conquered all of Spain in 573.   Their rule, however, was weakened by divisions. 
        In 711 the Islamic Moors invaded from Africa, and by 714, they conquered all the peninsula except a mountainous region in the north.   Under Moorish rule most of the Spanish fell away from Christianity and became Moslems.  With the Moors also came their Arabic language.   
        We should consider that names of Latin origin were likely in place before the both the Gothic and Moorish conquests, since it's likely inhabited places would've had names.  Now linguistically, on top of this, comes the influence of the conquerors.  
                                      Elements of the Word Guadalupe

        An etymological dictionary of geographical names listed guad and guadi as Spanish in origin for "river."   This in turn originates from the Arabic wad and wady meaning river or valley.  A variant spelling of wady is wadi, which the World Book defines as "a gully or ravine through which a stream flows in the rainy season," and says is Arabic for ravine. 
       Apart from Guadalupe, there are other rivers  in Spain that have "Guad" in them, including the  the Guadalquivir River (Arabic "Wadi al-Kebir" [kebir means great or large]), and the Guadiana River which forms parts of the border between Spain and Portugal.  On a present-day map, the river running near the monastery is shown as the Guadalupejo.
       Now let us look at the latter part of the word -lupe, with the aforementioned meanings in Latin: hidden, light and wolf.   Latin lateo,ui means "to lie hid," Latin latebra,ae means a hiding-place, Latin latens, entis means "hidden"; Latin for light is "lux, lucis";  and Latin masculine for wolf  is lupus (lupa is a "she-wolf").
One of these leaps out at you as the likely answer of the three.  It is the wolf.
The greater part of -lupe is found in lupus.  And that greater part, lup, is the word stem of lupus which gives the word its "wolfness" meaning.   If you add an "i" to the stem lup, you get lupi, which renders it a possessive form of the word,  meaning "of the wolf."   Eventually wolf would become "el lobo" in Spanish but we're talking here about the mother tongue, Latin.
        Compare this to lucis, meaning "of light" the genitive or possessive form of lux, added to gaudi.   You get guadilucis. 
        Looking at what we see here, "River of the Wolf" presents the most persuasive case, as to the origin of the name Guadalupe.                                                        
John Riedell


      The above-pictured plaque is in a sunken baptismal area behind the altar of the church of the Fifth Apparition in Tulpetlac, Mexico.  This spot was said to be the site of Juan Bernadino's home.   On the plaque the first word group is in Latin with the word "Gvadalvpense" (In the early centuries of the Christian era, the Roman alphabet did not have a "U" and they used the "V" for it).   The second word group is in Aztec, with Guadalupe.  The third group is in Spanish, although most of Guadalupe is hidden by the object in front of it.  The plaque says, "Aqui por quinta vez aparecio la Madre de Dios.  Sano a Juan Bernardino se dio el nombre de Guadalupe (Here for the fifth time the Mother of God appeared.  She cured Juan Bernardino to whom she said the name Guadalupe)


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