“Let not your heart be disturbed. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.” ~ Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego
The origin of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe dates back to the 16th century. A poor Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized and given the name Juan Diego. On Saturday morning December 9, 1531, he was on his way to a nearby village for Mass. Juan was walking by a hill called Tepeyac when he heard beautiful music and saw a brilliant cloud. In the cloud appeared an Indian maiden dressed like an Aztec princess who spoke to him in his own language and sent him to the bishop of Mexico. She instructed Juan Diego to tell the bishop to build a chapel in the place where the lady appeared.
The bishop did not take Juan Diego seriously but, as Juan persisted, the bishop told him to have the lady give him a sign. The lady pointed out roses that were the bishop’s favorite and instructed Juan to carry the roses to the bishop in his tilma (cape). On December 12th, when Juan Diego opened his tilma in the bishop’s presence, the roses fell to the ground and the bishop sank to his knees for on the tilma appeared an image of Mary exactly as she had appeared at the hill of Tepeyac. The tilma has been preserved to this day and many have come to pray to God through the intercession of Mary.
Mary has appeared to many through the ages and, as she has done, asked many people to build places of worship or refuge where God’s people could find grace and peace and healing given to them by her Son. Mary has never appeared to glorify herself. She has always appeared to point the way to Jesus. Mary, as Our Lady of Guadalupe, has been named as the Patroness of the Americas. We are doubly blessed to have Mary as our Patroness. We are under her protection as we are a part of the Americas and we in the United States of America have been entrusted to her under the title of the Immaculate Conception.
FAITH ACTION: As you continue your Advent journey, ask Mary to show you the way to her Son, Jesus.