Cast of Historical Characters


Alva Ixtlilxochitl, Fernando De: (c. 1570- 1648) A mestizo writer in the 16th century who explicitly connected In Tloque Nahuaque and Ipalnemohuani with the Christian God, and wrote about Juan Diego.

Diego, St. Juan: (1474-1548) An indigenous commoner, originally named Cuauhtlatoatzin, he is protagonist of the Guadalupan apparitions that occurred on the hill of Tepeyac in December of 1531.

Mocteuzuma I: (c. 1398AD-1469) Tlatoani/King of the Aztecs. Under his reign the Aztec empire was solidified through the efforts of his half-brother, Tlacaelel and himself. Triple alliance formed.

Mocteuzuma II: (1466-29 Jun 1520) Tlatoani/King of the Aztecs. He was a great-grandnephew of Mocteuzuma I. The Aztec Empire fell under his rule.

Nezahualcoyotl: (1402- 1472) A Texcocan ruler renowned as a poet-king before the coming of Europeans, he contributed to the Nahua understanding of how sacred energy (teotl) operated in the universe.

Don Carlos Ometochtzin: (d. 1539) The Inquisition executed this Texcocan noble for polygamy and blasphemy in 1539. OFM order removed Zumárraga from office for delivering the sentence.

Tlacaelel: (1397-1487) Half-brother of Moctezuma I, and Chief advisor to at least 3 emperors of the Mexica. Responsible for formulating the system of human sacrifice we now associate with the Aztecs.

Valeriano, Antonio: (c. 1520- 1605) A graduate from the Colegio de la Santa Cruz and Sahagun’s most valued aide, this native public intellectual held governorships and likely wrote a precursor to the Nican Mopohua.


Apostolic Twelve: Franciscans arriving to Mexico in 1524: Martín de Valencia, Francisco de Soto, Martín de Coruña, Juan Juárez, Antonio de Ciudad Rodrigo, Toribio de Benavente (Motolinia), García de Cisneros, Luis Fuensalida, Juan Ribas, Francisco Jiménez, Andrés Córdoba, and Juan de Palos.

Ghent, Peter of (Pedro de Gante): (1480-1572) One of the first OFM in Mexico City (Jan. 1524) Gante opened Escuela de San Jose de los Naturales, which became the model for evangelization

de Benavente (Motolinia), Fray Toribio: (1482- 1568) One of the Apostolic Twelve, he led mass baptisms in the 1530’s, after the Guadalupan event. Seeing his simple lifestyle, the people called him “Motolinia,” which in Nahuatl means “the tattered one.” He claims to have baptized tens of thousands of people in a day. At the time of mass baptisms, the OFM order had special permission to modify Church rites, due to their distance from Spain and the comparatively large numbers of natives who sought pastoral care. The practice of mass Baptisms without catechesis ended with the papal directive Altitudo Divini Consilii issued 1 Jun 1537 by Pope Paul III.

de Guzman, Nuno: (1490-1558) Former bodyguard of Charles V of Spain, he became a Spanish conquistador and colonial administrator of New Spain when the Spanish crown wanted to counteract the influence of Hernan Cortes. His horrific actions in New Spain eventually got him jailed and sent back to Spain.

de la Vega, Luis Lasso: (17th C.) Vicar of the Church of Guadalupe in the mid-1600’s. He published the 1st official account in Nahuatl of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1649, called Huei tlamahuicoltica.

de Mendieta, Gerónimo: (1525- 1604) A Franciscan missionary and historian, his primary work Historia Eclesiastica Indiana is a chronicle of the history of evangelization in New Spain (present day Mexico).

de Montúfar, Bishop Alonso: (1489- 1572) Dominican Bishop, the successor of Zumárraga. He encouraged pilgrimages to Tepeyac, as well as devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

de Sahagún, Bernardino: (1499- 1590) Franciscan friar whose career in Mexico (arrived,1527) gave advanced studies to native nobles and preserved knowledge of traditional culture and belief.

de Sigüenza y Góngora, Carlos: (1645- 1700) Antiquarian of indigenous manuscripts and books, he knew Fernando Alva Ixtlilxochitl and claimed that Valeriano wrote the early apparition account

de Zumárraga, Bishop Juan: (1468-1548) Bishop elect at the time of the Guadalupan event, he was a Franciscan and the first bishop of Mexico.

Durán, Diego: (c. 1537-1588) A Dominican Friar responsible for one of the earliest published Western books on Aztec/Nahua history and culture, The History of the Indies of New Spain (1581).

Sanchez, Miguel: (1594-1674) Theologian who wrote the 1648 Imagen de la Virgen María, which provides a Baroque era interpretation of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe.