Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Our Lady of Guadalupe

On a small hill outside Mexico City nearly a half a millennium ago, Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearances to St. Juan Diego were a sign of the birth of Christianity in the Americas. It’s for this reason that she appeared as an expectant mother, wearing a traditional native maternity belt. And that she appeared as a young Aztec woman, a member of a conquered and oppressed people, was a sign that through the Christian faith there was hope for unity and peace between the recently-arrived Spaniards, the native peoples of Mexico, and those of mixed ancestry- three groups who were separated by animosity, prejudice, and the wounds of history.

This hope for unity and peace is as needed today as it was back then. Hostilities, divisions, and prejudices between peoples is found on every continent, sometimes simmering under the surface, at other times erupting in open conflict, even combat. This is as true of the Americas, whose patroness is Our Lady of Guadalupe, as it is anywhere else. Thus, the message and the mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe is both universal and contemporary.

The hope Our Lady of Guadalupe came to bring is grounded in love. As she explained to Juan Diego, she came to "show and make known and give all my love, my compassion, my help, and my protection to the people." In our broken world this day, we cry out to Our Lady of Guadalupe, that the love she came to bring, may heal and unite was hatred and ignorance has driven apart.

(My book of daily meditations for Lent is now available from Ave Maria Press: It is available also at Amazon: )

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