December 12

Today is Our Lady of Guadalupe Day, Patron Saint of Mexico and the Americas.

In 1531 the Virgin Mary appears to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico and requests that a shrine be built in her honor. Juan hurries to the Bishop to tell him Mary's wish. The Bishop doubts Juan Diego and tells him to return with proof that

the Virgin Mary appeared to him.

Juan Diego returns to the hill and tells Mary that the Bishop needs proof to believe him. Mary tells Juan to go to the top of Tepeyac Hill and pick the roses growing there, even though it is winter. Juan collects the roses in his tilma (cloak) and returns to the Bishop.

As Juan opens his cloak and the roses tumble out, the Bishop falls to his knees and promises Juan that he will build Mary a shrine atop Tepeyac Hill. Juan looks at the inside of his tilma and sees the Virgin Mary's image imprinted inside.

The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is meaningful because Mary appears to Juan, a poor peasant living in the Mexican countryside. She tells him that he is important and only he can carry her message to the Bishop; giving hope to all that the miracle of the Spirit is for everyone.  

Our Lady of Guadalupe continues to play a large role in historical events and her image is invoked on behalf of immigrants and as a source of hope for poor, oppressed, or marginalized people. 

We invite you to take time today to download the above picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe and think about the important role immigrants play in all our communities. As you color and reflect on the hope Mary brings to all the world, ask yourself:

 

What judgments of other might I let go?