Monday, December 12, 2011

Hail, Patroness of the Americas

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe; on this date in 1531 AD, Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, a humble Aztec peasant, near a hill in Mexico City.  Our Lady requested Juan Diego to ask the local bishop to build a shrine upon the spot, and she further directed Juan Diego to collect some nearby roses and bring them to the bishop as a sign.  Juan Diego gathered the roses in his tilma, a poor, rough cape, and when he opened it in the presence of the bishop, not only were the roses revealed, but so was Our Lady herself.  An image of this apparition imprinted itself upon Juan Diego's tilma, which is displayed in the great church erected on the site requested by Our Lady.  The shrine is the world's most visited Catholic pilgrimage site.

Here are some of Our Lady's words to Juan Diego:

"I wish that a temple be erected here quickly, so I may therein exhibit and give all my love, compassion, help, and protection, because I am your merciful mother, to you, and to all the inhabitants on this land and all the rest who love me, invoke and confide in me; listen there to their lamentations, and remedy all their miseries, afflictions and sorrows."

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

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