Saint Mary's College professor Nancy Pineda-Madrid was quoted in a Los Angeles Times story about how the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico and the Americas, has emerged in the last decade as a lucrative pop culture icon.

For Latinos who identify with her, the Virgin of Guadalupe -- a New World manifestation of the Virgin Mary -- is more than a religious symbol, said Pineda-Madrid, an assistant professor of religious studies at Saint Mary's College. At the time of her appearance, Europeans were colonizing Mexico and oppressing its indigenous people.

"She stands for the inception of the Mexican nation, the emergence of the mestizo people," she said.

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