Owner of La Sirena Shares Her Encounter With Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

IMG_2995Stephen Rex Brown Dina Leor holds a statue of La Virgen de Guadalupe.

As devoted Catholics all over the world celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe, one local has a unique reason to rejoice. Dina Leor, the owner of the Mexican memorabilia store La Sirena, had a religious experience with the icon 19 years ago while traveling in Mexico City.

IMG_2998Stephen Rex Brown One of the many images of La Virgen inside La Sirena.

“I still feel the same connection that I did in Mexico City,” said Ms. Leor. “I’m getting goose bumps now telling it.”

It all began when Ms. Leor decided to drop into a church in the capital city. While sitting in the pews, a light at the end of a nearby hallway caught her eye. She followed it, and at the end of the hallway was a painting of La Virgen de Guadalupe. The rays of light around the figure began to radiate and then emerged from the picture to surround Ms. Leor. The experience happened in a flash, but it has never left her.

“I felt an aura of protection, I started crying,” Ms. Leor said. “After that, people would ask me on my trip, ‘you’re traveling alone?’ and I would say, ‘No, estoy con La Virgen.’”

Throughout the city elaborate celebrations are taking place commemorating the day in 1531 when the Virgin of Guadalupe is said to have appeared before a Mexican peasant. Today is a special one for Ms. Leor, but her reverence for the saint stays strong year-long; she wears a necklace of Nuestra Señora, and regularly scatters rose petals at the entrance to La Sirena on Third Street in her honor.

“I feel like she’s always with me,” Ms. Leor said.