Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

December 12th marks the anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady to Saint Juan Diego in Mexico, in 1531. The number of pilgrims flocking to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe each year, from all over the world, is tremendous—over 14 million!

What is the story of Guadalupe? On December 9, 1531, on the hill of Tepeyac, just north of Mexico City, a young lady “dazzling with light” appeared to a native called Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. She revealed herself as the Virgin Mary and asked him to have a church built on the site of the apparition.

The unbelieving bishop asked the seer to obtain a sign from the Virgin Mary. This didn’t take long—on December 12th, appearing to Juan Diego for the fourth and last time, the Virgin sent him to pick roses on the hilltop. He came back utterly amazed, as his tilma (or cloak) was filled with the most beautiful roses he had ever seen and that were mysteriously blooming in the middle of winter!

The Virgin sent him again to the bishop. When Juan Diego opened his cloak for the prelate and the people gathered around him, there was a general expression of astonishment—all could see the miraculous imprint on the tilma of an image representing “the ever Virgin Mary of Guadalupe,” as she called herself.

During this time of Advent, let us not forget this important detail—the Virgin who appeared to Juan Diego, and who is printed on his tilma, is with child!

Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Patroness of the Americas and Star of Evangelization by Saint John Paul II.

(source: Marie de Nazareth)

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