Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe
 
Patroness of the Americas
Feast Day in the USA: December 12th

According to tradition, on December 9, 1531 Juan Diego, a simple indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady told him to build a church exactly on the spot where they were standing. He told the local bishop, who asked for some proof. He went back and had the vision again. He told the lady that the bishop wanted proof, and she said "Bring the roses behind you." Turning to look, he found a rose bush growing behind him. He cut the roses, placed them in his poncho and returned to the bishop, saying he had brought proof. When he opened his poncho, instead of roses, there was an image of the young lady in the vision.

According to the account of Juan Diego, the Virgin Mary described herself using the Aztec Nahuatl word of Coatlaxopeuh (pronounced "quatlachupe") which the Spanish misunderstood as being the word "Guadalupe". In Nahuatl "Coa" meant serpent, "tla" the noun ending which can be interpreted as "the", and "xopeuh" means to crush or to stamp out, translating to mean: the one "who crushes the serpent." This reflects Catholic theology, in understanding that Mary is the woman described in the twelfth chapter of St. John's Apocalypse.

Today, the icon is displayed in the nearby Basilica of Guadalupe, now one of the most visited Catholic shrines in the world.[1] The Virgin of Guadalupe is Mexico's most popular religious and cultural image, with the titles "Queen of Mexico",[2] "Empress of the Americas",[3] and "Patroness of the Americas";[4] both Miguel Hidalgo (in the Mexican War of Independence) and Emiliano Zapata (during the Mexican Revolution) carried flags bearing the Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Guadalupe Victoria, the first Mexican president changed his name in honor of the icon.

(Source: www.catholic.org)


 
Pope John Paul II's Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe: 
 

O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.

Mother of Mercy, Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows. Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand.

Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the Bishops, that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, of love and humble service of God and souls. Contemplate this immense harvest, and intercede with the Lord that He may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.

Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings, with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God. Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.

Our hope, look upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus and, if we fall, help us to rise again, to return to Him, by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the Sacrament of Penance, which gives peace to the soul.

We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy Sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your Son left us on earth.

Thus, Most Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Amen.

His Holiness John Paul II
Mexico, January 1979. Visiting Her Basilica during his first foreign trip as Pope.

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