(Part Two - to read Part One in recognizing the importance of the Advent season, click here.)
In keeping with the veneration of our Blessed Mother, the Church reserves December 12 as the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 1531, a woman appeared to Juan Diego on the Hill of Tepeyac in modern-day Mexico City, saying, “I am the ever Virgin Mary, Mother of the True, living God.” She implored the man to build a shrine on that very mountain.
If Juan’s testimony was not enough to convince the local archbishop of his claim, the miraculous image later portrayed on his cloak made the case. A colorful portrait of an indigenous woman—pregnant, clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet—remains to this day imprinted and uncorrupted on the nearly 500-year-old tilma of Juan Diego. Not only was this more than sufficient to convince Archbishop Zumárraga to build a church on the Hill of Tepeyac, but the series of apparitions led to the conversion of over 9 million natives to Christianity. Our Lady of Guadalupe is regarded as the Patroness of the Americas and is most beloved by those of Mexican heritage. Each year, millions flock to Mexico City to venerate the awe-inspiring image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Many of our Catholic schools and parishes spend extra time today honoring Our Lady. Several students from Divine Providence Academy walked in an early morning procession at St. Joseph Parish (Conklin) followed by a school-wide Mass. San Juan Diego Academy students laid roses at her feet and watched this informative video before Mass. Our Lady of Consolation Catholic community is hosting Exposition and Benediction tonight starting at 5:00 p.m., and Mass in Our Lady’s honor at 7:00 p.m.
Please join our students in recognizing this special day of the liturgical calendar, falling within the Advent season. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!