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Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Our Lady of Guadalupe

USA Feast

PATRON OF Mexico, The Americas

December 12 Saint of the Day

December 12 Saint of the Day

Podcast © Franciscan Media
The Blessed Virgin’s appearance at Tepeyac to Saint Juan Diego in 1531, was the beginning of a beautiful story of God’s and Mary’s love and care for the peoples of Mexico. As Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Blessed Virgin was named patroness of all of the Americas in 2003.

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LITURGY OF THE HOURS - 2ND READING

The Voice of the Turtledove has been heard in our land

From a report by Don Antonio Valeriano, a Native American author of the sixteenth century
At daybreak one Saturday morning in 1531, on the very first days of the month of December, an Indian named Juan Diego was going from the village where he lived to Tlatelolco in order to take part in divine worship and listen to God’s commandments. When he came near the hill called Tepeyac, dawn had already come, and Juan Diego heard someone calling him from the very top of the hill: “Juanito, Juan Dieguito.”
He went up the hill and caught sight of a lady of unearthly grandeur whose clothing was as radiant as the sun. She said to him in words both gentle and courteous: “Juanito, the humblest of my children, know and understand that I am the ever virgin Mary, Mother of the true God through whom all things live. It is my ardent desire that a church be erected here so that in it I can show and bestow my love, compassion, help, and protection to all who inhabit this land and to those others who love me, that they might call upon and confide in me. Go to the Bishop of Mexico to make known to him what I greatly desire. Go and put all your efforts into this.”
When Juan Diego arrived in the presence of the Bishop, Fray Juan de Zumarraga, a Franciscan, the latter did not seem to believe Juan Diego and answered: “Come another time, and I will listen at leisure.”
Juan Diego returned to the hilltop where the Heavenly Lady was waiting, and he said to her: “My Lady, my maiden, I presented your message to the Bishop, but it seemed that he did not think it was the truth. For this reason I beg you to entrust your message to someone more illustrious who might convey it in order that they may believe it, for I am only an insignificant man.”
She answered him: “Humblest of my sons, I ask that tomorrow you again go to see the Bishop and tell him that I, the ever virgin holy Mary, Mother of God, am the one who personally sent you.”
But on the following day, Sunday, the Bishop again did not believe Juan Diego and told him that some sign was necessary so that he could believe that it was the Heavenly Lady herself who sent him. And then he dismissed Juan Diego.
On Monday Juan Diego did not return. His uncle, Juan Bernardino, became very ill, and at night asked Juan to go to Tlatelolco at daybreak to call a priest to hear his confession.
Juan Diego set out on Tuesday, but he went around the hill and passed on the other side, toward the east, so as to arrive quickly in Mexico City and to avoid being detained by the Heavenly Lady. But she came out to meet him on that side of the hill and said to him: “Listen and understand, my humblest son. There is nothing to frighten and distress you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and let nothing upset you. Is it not I, your Mother, who is here? Are you not under my protection? Are you not, fortunately, in my care? Do not let your uncle’s illness distress you. It is certain that he has already been cured. Go up to the hilltop, my son, where you will find flowers of various kinds. Cut them, and bring them into my presence.”
When Juan Diego reached the peak, he was astonished that so many Castilian roses had burst forth at a time when the frost was severe. He carried the roses in the folds of his tilma (mantle) to the Heavenly Lady. She said to him: “My son, this is the proof and the sign which you will bring to the Bishop so that he will see my will in it. You are my ambassador, very worthy of trust.”
Juan Diego set out on his way, now content and sure of succeeding. On arriving in the Bishop’s presence, he told him: “My lord, I did what you asked. The Heavenly Lady complied with your request and fulfilled it. She sent me to the hilltop to cut some Castilian roses and told me to bring them to you in person. And this I am doing, so that you can see in them the sign you seek in order to carry out her will. Here they are; receive them.”
He immediately opened up his white mantle, and as all the different Castilian roses scattered to the ground, there was drawn on the cloak and suddenly appeared the precious image of the ever virgin Mary, Mother of God, in the same manner as it is today and is kept in her shrine of Tepeyac.
The whole city was stirred and came to see and admire her venerable image and to offer prayers to her; and following the command which the same Heavenly Lady gave to Juan Bernardino when she restored him to health, they called her by the name that she herself had used: “the ever virgin holy Mary of Guadalupe.”

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Celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with your kids

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims travel to Mexico City to venerate the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on her feast day. You can make your own devotion to the miraculous image by purchasing a copy to display in your home oratory; alternatively, print out the image for display.

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On December 9, 1531, a 57-year-old Aztec, Juan Diego, saw the Blessed Mother on a hill in Mexico City. She told Juan to have a church built in her honor. When Juan went to ask Bishop Zumarraga about this, the bishop did not understand the Indian dialect—and he did not believe in the vision Juan described.
Three days later, on December 12, Mary appeared again to Juan Diego, and this time she gave him a sign for the bishop. “Take these roses to the bishop,” she said, as she arranged in his cloak beautiful roses she had Juan Diego pick from the hillside although it was winter. When he was admitted into the bishop’s room, Juan Diego opened his cloak, and out dropped the roses. On the cloak there remained an image of Mary as she had appeared to Juan Diego.
The image of Mary on the cloak is known as Our Lady of Guadalupe for an interesting reason. On that same day, Mary appeared to Juan’s uncle and cured him, giving him a message for the bishop, saying that she would “crush the serpent’s head.” The bishop did not understand the Indians’ language. The Indian word for “crush the serpent” sounded to him like “Guadalupe,” the name of Mary’s shrine in Spain. Thinking that the Virgin wanted the new shrine to have the same name, the bishop called her Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Mary appeared to Juan Diego dressed as an Aztec woman to show her love and compassion to an oppressed group of people. Mary had heard the prayers and pain of these people, and she came to give them hope.
Mary’s visit to Guadalupe is a reminder that God will remember his mercy for all people. In Mary’s song of joy, the Magnificat, she praised God because he has put down the mighty, exalted the lowly, filled the hungry, and sent the rich away empty. People honor Our Lady of Guadalupe because they recognize her motherly concern for them.

Activities in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe Coloring Page
Display the Image of Guadalupe
Obtain a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and post it in the classroom. Be sure the children understand that the cloak of Juan Diego with the image of Our Lady is displayed above the main altar in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Bring in roses to place near the image, or have the children make roses out of tissue paper or colored cellophane.
Color the Picture
Using the Blackline Master above, make copies of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the children to color. Display the pictures today and then let the children take them home to tell their families the story of today’s feast.

Excerpted from Christ Our Life, by Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio
SOURCE: LoyolaPress.com

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