Our Lady of Guadalupe
Mother of the Americas Patroness of Our Province
December 12 in most of the Americas is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It commemorates the Blessed Virgin Mary’s appearance to the Indian peasant Juan Diego in 1531 on the rocky hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City. She was dressed in a pink gown with a green sash, the typical dress of pregnant women of the time. Over her head and her body she had a blue star studded mantle, similar to the clothing of Aztec women.
Her message, “Build me a church,” extends far beyond the basilica built on the site. This message has spread throughout Central and South America and to the Philippines as the peasant people struggle today to build a church – to become a community of disciples who are the people of God.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the only appearance of Mary in the Americas that is officially recognized by the Church. In 1945, Pope Pius XII designated her “Patroness of all the Americas” and in 1961 Pope John XXIII invoked her as “Mother of the Americas.”
This feast also reminds us that our ethnic differences contribute to the wholeness and blessed diversity of the People of God. Hispanic Catholics, including those in the Philippines, are especially devoted to her and joyously celebrate her day with mariachi music, liturgies, dancing, meals, the re-telling of the story and an abundance of roses in December. Her shrine in Mexico City is the second most popular shrine (after the Vatican) in the Catholic world.
Let us pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe to bring an end to the pandemic.
~ All Saints Press, St. Louis, MO