December 12

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Patroness of the Americas

Reflection

 

“Each national group has its own version of the Marian symbol accompanied by stories that show the care of the Mother of God for their struggles. The most well known is Mexico’s Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose appearance to a poor Indian shortly after the Spanish conquest is a brilliant instance of religious mestizaje, fusing Christian and indigenous symbols. Her presence and consoling words served to promote the human dignity of defeated people at the time of conquest and have continued ever since…Whatever the image and title, the Marian devotion of popular Catholicism is warm and loving, relating to the Mother of God as a tangible manifestation of care. Latina and Latino theological reflection in the United States is virtually unanimous in interpreting the figure of la Virgen in their communities as a symbol of divine love, and people’s devotion as a mediated encounter with divine compassion.”
Elizabeth Johnson, Quest for the Living God

Prayer

Mary, comforter of the afflicted, lead us to life.

Action

Reflect on the qualities of Mary that comfort and encourage those who turn to her. How do these qualities enrich your image of God?

Suggested Reading

And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.'”
Lk. 1:39-47

Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth;
and blessed be God,
the creator of heaven and earth.
Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.
Judith 13:18-19

Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luke 1:39-47

Mary, the poor, young woman from Nazareth, knew what it meant to count for nothing in this world. She, like Juan Diego, lived her earthly life as a member of a conquered people living under occupation. Yet even in the face of a seemingly hopeless reality, Mary could envision a new reality — God’s Reign dawning upon the world from inside her womb.
Arturo Chávez, Ph.D.

“Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the Fountain of Life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?”
Quote attributed to Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego on December 12, 1531

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