Monday, December 12, 2016

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe: " I who am your mother, I who am always close to you"

When did she first appear?
"According to tradition, the Virgin Mary appeared to an 
indigenous man named Juan Diego on Dec. 9, 1531. 
The Virgin asked that a shrine in her name be 
built on the spot where she appeared, 
Tepeyac Hill, which is now in a suburb of Mexico City. 
Juan Diego told the bishop about the apparition and request, 
but he didn’t believe him and demanded a sign before he 
would approve construction of the church.
On Dec. 12, the Virgin reappeared to Juan Diego and 
 him to collect roses in his tilmátli, a kind of cloak. 
Juan took the roses to the bishop and when he opened
 his cloak, dozens of roses fell to the floor and revealed 
the image of the Virgen of Guadalupe imprinted 
on the inside. The tilmátli with the image is on 
display in the Basilica de Guadalupe."

MMOJ—Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 10, 2016
Homily Starter
Imogene and Michael Rigdon

This is the Our Lady of Guadalupe packet developed by
 Future Church, the same Catholic not-for-profit that 
the annual July feast of Mary of Magdala. 
They provide interesting background information on this 
a 485-year old tradition established 
among indigenous Mexican people in early 16th century. 
Their background information is based on a 1994 
book by 
Jeannette Rodriguez. Several points stood out for us:

1.      The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City 
is the most frequently visited Catholic pilgrimage site 
in the world.
2.      For years the indigenous people had been 
conquered in 
every way possible by Spanish invaders: 
Their population was decimated by war and 
disease, their 
religious shrines were demolished, &; 
they were subjected to Spanish rule &
conversion to Catholicism.
3.      The Guadalupe tradition represented a way 
for the 
indigenous people to recover important 
aspects of their 
and blend it with the Spanish culture & Catholic 
4.      Mary appeared to Juan Diego & identified
as the Mother of the “God for whom one lives,” a
 principal name for 
their divinity. And she asks Juan why he didn’t 
call on her 
when his uncle was at the point of death, saying, 
“I who am 
your mother, 
I who am always close to you.” 
This Guadalupe figure represented for Juan and his people 
the mother of their God, and she recaptured for Juan 
and his people the intimacy and constant protection 
provided by their male/female God.

5.      This saying, “I who am your mother, 
I who am always with you” is the phrase inscribed 
in the arch above the basilica’s 
front door.

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