The traveling exhibit Virgin of Guadalupe: Empress of America at the Houston Museum of Natural Science takes you on a historic journey from 8th-century Spain to the 21st-century Americas. It's a complex and interesting story of deep faith, conquest and conversion, a clash between two very different worlds and contemporary expressions of devotion to the Virgin Mary. Learn about struggles among Muslims, Catholic kings and the Aztecs that changed the course of history forever. In 1531, the story becomes centered on a humble individual by the name of Juan Diego, to whom the Virgin of Guadalupe is said to have revealed herself. As news of the Virgin spreads and she gains more devotees, her role begins to transcend that of pure religious icon and extends into the political realm. The exhibit closes with a display of contemporary devotions to the Virgin, and the story of the canonization of Juan Diego by Pope John Paul II. Learn why the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and the world's third most-visited sacred site.