12.12.20 Our Lady of Guadalupe:
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE, PATRON OF MEXICO; DECLARED PATRON IN 1910 OF THE HISPANIC PEOPLE OF THE AMERICAS, AND ACKNOWLEDGED AS PATRON OF ALL THE AMERICAS IN 1945 BY POPE PIUS XII.
In the winter of 1531, a poor, 57-year-old Aztec Indian, Juan Diego, living five miles outside of Mexico City, encountered a miraculous happening on his way to morning Mass.
He heard a woman's voice calling his name. Juan climbed the hill and encountered a young woman, appearing to be of his own people in physical appearance and dress.
The woman identified herself as the Virgin Mary, and told Juan Diego to ask the bishop of Mexico City to build a church on the hill to be a source of consolation to the people.
Juan Diego obeyed the request, but the bishop was sceptical regarding the message, Juan reported the bishop's doubt to Our Lady at Tepeyac Hill, and she asked him to return to the bishop once again, bearing the same message.
The bishop listened, and told Juan Diego to ask Our Lady for a sign. When Juan returned to the hill, roses miraculously appeared on the hill in the middle of winter, and Juan gathered them in his cloak. Juan returned to the bishop, where he emptied his cloak of the flowers. An image of Our Lady had imprinted itself on his cloak -
the bishop believed Juan's story! A church was duly built on the spot of the apparition, as Mary had requested.
Almost every Mexican town has a church dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and people turn to her for help and guidance on every occasion.
The festival of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe takes place today, 12th December, in honour of the apparition to Juan Diego, when thousands flock to the Basilica of Ville Madero.
Conchero dancers gather in the atrium of the church with the dancing beginning at midnight and lasting throughout the day. Groups of dancers alternate to keep up the furious pace. The songs and dances of the concheros have been handed down through the years, probably pre-Christian, and follow rigid traditional patterns.
Traditional food for today: Sopa de Espinaca con Codito (Spinach soup with macaroni) Tacos (Stuffed tortillas) Frijoles Negros (Black beans) Mole Poblano (Chicken in spiced sauce) Arroz (Rice) Guacamole (Chopped avocados) Cajeta (Boiled milk and sugar) Flan (Custard) Cafe con Leche (Coffee with milk), and, of course, generous helpings of Tequila!
O God, Father of mercies,
who placed your people
under the singular protection
of your Son's most holy Mother;
grant that all who ask
the prayers of the Blessed
Virgin of Guadalupe,
may seek with ever more lively faith
the progress of peoples
in the ways of justice and of peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
PRAYER FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND FOR ALL PEOPLES OF THE WORLD
Our Lady of Guadalupe, may we be inspired to be people of hope.
May we be encouraged to year for justice and truth.
May we be inflamed with a love for others which crosses boundaries of race, religion and nationality.
May we have within us a desire to fight
for the integrity of creation and appreciate the immense beauty of the earth.
Pray for us, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patron of The Americas, that we may be a people of hope. Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
O Lord our Governor,
whose glory is in all the world:
We commend the United States
of America to your care,
that, being guided by your Providence,
it may dwell secure in your peace.
Grant to Joe Biden, the President-Elect,the wisdom and strength to know and to do your will.
Fill him with the love of truth and righteousness, and make him ever-mindful of the calling to serve the people committed to his charge
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Episcopalian Prayer Book.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.