First published on December 12, 2008.
Today is the Feast Day for Our Lady of Guadeloupe, the Patron Saint of the Americas. I am very fond of Our Lady and consider her my personal protector.
She first appeared in 1531 at Tepeyac, near Mexico City to a poor man named Juan Diego. She identified herself as the Holy Mother of Christ and asked that a church be built for her on the site. As a sign of her presence, she left a miraculous imprint on a piece of poor quality cactus cloth. This imprint has never changed, nor faded.
The Blessed Virgin’s 3rd appearance to Juan Diego was on the Third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday that is dedicated to the Holy Mother. That Sunday will be celebrated this week.
“…When Juan Diego heard these words from the Lady from heaven, he was greatly consoled. He was happy. He begged to be excused to be off to see the bishop, to take him the sign or proof, so that he might be believed. The Lady from heaven ordered to climb to the top of the hill, where they previously met. She told him: “Climb, my son the least, to the top of the hill; there where you saw me and I gave you orders, you will find different flowers. Cut them, gather them, assemble them, then come and bring them before my presence.” Immediately Juan Diego climbed the hill, and as he reached the summit, he was amazed that so many varieties of exquisite rosas de Castilla were blooming, long before the time when they are to bud, because, being out of season, they would freeze. They were very fragant and covered with dewdrops of the night, which resembled precious pearls. Immediately he started cutting them. He gathered them all and placed them in his tilma. The hilltop was no place for any kind of flowers to grow, because it had many crags, thistles, thorns, nopales and mezquites. Occasionally weeds would grow, but it was then the month of December, in which all vegetation is destroyed by freezing. He immediately went down the hill and brought the different roses which he had cut to the Lady from heaven, who, as she saw them, took them with her hand and again placed them back in the tilma, saying: “My son the least, this diversity of roses is the proof and the sign which you will take to the bishop. You will tell him in my name that he will see in them my wish and that he will have to comply to it. You are my ambassador, most worthy of all confidence. Rigorously I command you that only before the presence of the bishop will you unfold your mantle and disclose what you are carrying. You will relate all and well; you will tell that I ordered you to climb to the hilltop, to go and cut flowers; and all that you saw and admired, so you can induce the prelate to give his support, with the aim that a temple be built and erected as I have asked.”…”
Our Lady of Guadeloupe has a special mission. She is the protector of the unborn. Anyone who is as against abortion as am I must honor Our Lady.
Saint Michael the Archangel,
Defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
By the power of God, thrust into hell
Satan and all evil spirits
who wander through the world
for the ruin of souls.