The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on Dec. 12. She has been named the patron of the Americas.
Our Lady appeared to a peasant near Mexico City named Juan Diego in 1529. She appeared to him as an Aztec Princess, and spoke in his native tongue. She requested he tell the bishop to build a church on the site. Initially the bishop was skeptical, demanding proof of the vision. Juan Diego returned to the site of the vision to find Castillo Roses blooming in the frozen earth. He collected them and returned to the bishop. When he opened his cloak, the flowers fell to the ground and an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on his cloak. (The miracle of the roses) His cloak is under glass, on display, in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe was soon built. Over six million soon converted to the faith because of the apparition.
There have been many apparitions of Mary over time. Not all of them have been approved by the Church. While belief in the apparitions is not a requirement, devotion to the approved apparitions are encouraged. Before an apparition can be approved it is thoroughly investigated by the Vatican.
The church teaches us that Mary always leads us to her Son, Jesus. Jesus is both human and divine; Mary is human only, but the mother of Our Lord. We consider her our spiritual mother, to whom we can always turn to for intercessory prayer. (To Jesus, Thru Mary)
Anyone who is questioning the reverence held for Mary should ask themselves several questions.
- Do the commandments require us to honor our father and mother?
- Did Jesus honor Mary?
- Are we not called to imitate Jesus?
- Why then, should we not honor Mary, His mother?
The following prayer to Mary is a sample of intercessory prayer. In this type of prayer, we ask a saint, or another person, to pray for us and with us.
Beautiful Virgin of Guadalupe, I ask you on behalf of all my brothers and sisters of the world that you bless us and protect us. Give us proof of your love and kindness. Oh pure Virgin of Guadalupe, give me through your Son, forgiveness for my sins, blessings for my job, cure for my diseases and needs, and all that you deem necessary. I ask for my family, Oh Mother of God, do not disdain the pleas we present to you in our needs. Amen
“Oh, how happy is the soul
that freely lets herself be
molded to the liking
of this Divine Savior.”
Quote of St. Jane Frances de Chantel; Feast day August 12
December is the Month of the Divine Infancy