On the 12th December, 1531, a poor, 57-year-old Aztec Indian living five miles outside of Mexico City encountered a miraculous happening on his way to morning Mass.
First he heard strange music coming from Tepeyac Hill, and then he heard a woman's voice calling his name. Juan Diego 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 in her name 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 unsure. 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 once again heard the story, and told Juan Diego to ask Our Lady for a sign that it was indeed from her. When Juan returned to the hill, Mary gave a sign, of roses blossoming in profusion on the hill in the middle of winter, which Juan gathered into his cloak, and Juan returned to the bishop.. When Juan allowed the flowers to fall to the floor, a miraculous image of Our Lady had imprinted itself on his cloak. The bishop came to believe in Juan Diego's message, and he ordered that a church be built on the spot of the apparition.
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.
On this feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe,
may we be inspired to be people of hope.
May we be encouraged to yearn 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,
that we may be a people of hope. Amen.
The festival of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe - 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) Rose Cakes, Cafe con Leche (Coffee with milk), and, of course, generous helpings of Tequila!
Our Lady of Guadalupe,we ask you to pray with us to your Son,
that peace may blossom upon the hills of the land called Holy.
Cover with your cloak of healing and compassion all those who
have lost loved ones, homes, hope.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for them.
A Prayer for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
We all have our Tepeyac,
Our hill we’re hurrying over in these December days.
Perhaps, like Juan Diego,
We are even avoiding You
In our rush to get where we’re going—
To finish the shopping,
To hang the decorations,
To prepare the meal.
May each one of us be stunned,
Stopped in our tracks,
By Your call to us in our native tongue.
Alone as we may feel this Advent,
Speak to us once more—
Remind us of this:
That You are here,
That You are Our Mother,
That You love us tenderly and unfailingly.
May we gather Your roses,
So improbably blooming in the winter chill,
And shower them on a weary world,
Hungry for hope.