Monday, December 12, 2005

Our Lady of Guadalupe Patroness of the Americas

I made a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico in August 2002, a month after Pope John Paul II canonized St. Juan Diego. Immediately, one falls in love once again with Our Lady as soon as you witness the thousands of people lining up to venerate her image. Mass is said on the hour, every hour and there is a continuous flow of pilgrims from other parts of Mexico and around the world.

She calls everyone of her children to come with faith and trust as in the front of the Basilica are her immortal words to Juan Diego in 1531 on the hill of Tepayac, "No estoy yo aquí que soy tu Madre? " (Am I not here who is your Mother?"). She brings all her children to her Divine Son.

One thing I noticed in the Basilica's gift shop. The people had displayed a huge image of Our Lady of Guadalupe beside the Shroud of Turin. Until that time, I had not yet seen such a beautiful testimony to the real living images of Our Lord and Our Lady.

Mesoamerica, the New World, 1521: The capital city of the Aztec empire falls under the Spanish forces. Less than 20 years later, 9 million of the inhabitants of the land, who professed for centuries a polytheistic and human sacrificing religion, are converted to Christianity. What happened in those times that produced such an incredible and historically unprecedented conversion?

In 1531 a "Lady from Heaven" appeared to a poor Indian at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of Mexico City; she identified herself as the Mother of the True God, instructed him to have the bishop build a temple on the site and left an image of herself imprinted miraculously on his tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay 469 years later and still defies all scientific explanations of its origin.

It apparently even reflects in her eyes what was in front of her in 1531!

Her message of love and compassion, and her universal promise of help and protection to all mankind, as well as the story of the apparitions, are described in the "Nican Mopohua", a 16th century document written in the native Nahuatl language.

There is reason to believe that at Tepeyac Mary came in her glorified body, and her actual physical hands rearranged the roses in Juan Diego’s tilma, which makes this apparition very special.
An incredible list of miracles, cures and interventions are attributed to Her. Yearly, an estimated 10 million visit her Basilica, making her Mexico City home the most popular Marian shrine in the world, and the most visited Catholic church in the world next to the Vatican.

Altogether 24 popes have officially honored Our Lady of Guadalupe. His Holiness John Paul II visited her Sanctuary four times: on his first apostolic trip outside Rome as Pope in 1979, and again in 1990, 1999 and 2002.

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12th. In 1999, Pope John Paul II, in his homily from the Solemn Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, during his third visit to the sanctuary, declared the date of December the 12th as a Liturgical Holy Day for the whole continent.

During the same visit Pope John Paul II entrusted the cause of life to her loving protection, and placed under her motherly care the innocent lives of children, especially those who are in danger of not being born.

From: and Image from

Other wonderful information:

Homily of Pope John Paul on the Canonization of St. Juan Diego

The Apparitions


Blogger Carmel said...

It's great to hear that you have visited there!
Jonathan chose to propose to me on the 12th of december, because of "Our lady of guadalupe" so it's our one year anniversary for our engagement today.
Have a great day and thank you for your beautiful words on my blog!!

6:42 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Wow, that is wonderful! Happy anniversary to you and Jonathan! It is such an inspiration to see Catholic couples so devoted to Our Lady. You are so pleasing to Our Lady and I pray that there are more couples like you! Have a great day too and it's an honor to be on your blogroll. May the Peace of Advent be with you.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Thank you very much for the beautiful prayers and your lovely comment also on my blog. I have been blessed to know you!

3:51 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Thank you Carmel!

11:08 PM  

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