About Our Lady of Guadalupe
Feast Day: December 12
Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, a Native American, in 1531. She told him to go see the bishop and tell him to build a church. The bishop did not believe him. She appeared again to Juan Diego and told him to pick some flowers and bring them to her to arrange in his tilma (cloak). He did this. When he returned to the bishop to show him the flowers, the image of our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on his tilma. This time the bishop believed him.
About the Image
In the image, Our Lady appeared dressed as an Aztec princess. There are many fascinating things about this image:
- The black bow which is visible under her hands is a sign of pregnancy in this culture.
- There is no sketch under the image, as an artist would normally make for a complex composition.
- Minuscule reflections of a bearded man, thought to be Juan Diego, can be seen in her eyes. These were first detected in the early 20th century. Up to that point, the technology did not exist to see them.
- The stars on her cloak are in the same position as the constellations in the night sky on December 12, 1531.
- The pattern on her dress is a topographical map of the area in Mexico where she appeared.
- The flowers on her tunic are positioned like the volcanoes in Mexico.
- She is standing in front of the sun and on top of the moon, indicating that she is greater than the sun and moon gods the people had been worshiping. On her throat is a black cross, pointing them to her son Jesus.
- The tilma, which is made of cactus fibers, shows no sign of disintegration, even though it is almost 500 years old.
- The colors remain fresh and bright.
- A bomb hidden in some flowers near the image went off, but the image was not damaged.
- She appears Native American skin tone at one distance and European at another.
- The image always remains at 98.6 degrees F no matter what the surrounding temperature.
- The image shows symbols that the Native Americans of the area would have easily understood.
Patron Saint of …
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Americas, Mexico, and the pro-life movement.
Mass Readings for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
- First Reading – Zechariah 2:14-17: “Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they shall be his people, and he will dwell among you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.”
- Alternate First Reading – Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab: “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”
- Responsorial Psalm – Judith 13:18bcde, 19: “You are the highest honor of our race.”
- Gospel – Luke 1:26-38: ““The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”
- Alternate Gospel – Luke 1:39-47: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
This prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe is attributed to St. John Paul II. He had a great devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. He first prayed this prayer in 1979 when visiting her basilica in Mexico.
This video tells the history of Our Lady of Guadalupe, including how Juan Diego came to meet her and his difficulties in getting the local bishop to believe his story.
Listen. Put it into your heart, my youngest and dearest son, that the thing that frightened you, the thing that afflicted you is nothing: Do not let it disturb you. . . . Am I not here, I, who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need something more?Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego
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