On December 12 we celebrate the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas.
Mary first appeared to Juan Diego December 9, 1531, on Tepeyac Hill, near Mexico City. She identified herself as the Virgin Mary, and asked Juan to tell the Bishop that a church was to be built on that site in her honor. Rejected by the Bishop and in need of a priest for his dying uncle, he tried to avoid Our Lady by taking a different route around the hill. She appeared and gently asked why he didn’t seek her help, “¿No estoy yo aquí que soy tu madre?” (Am I not here, I who am your mother?) She assured him that his uncle was fully recovered and told him to gather flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill. Juan obeyed her and found Castilian roses (out of season and not native to Mexico) in full bloom. She arranged the flowers in his cloak (tilma) and when he opened the cloak in front of the bishop the flowers fell out and on the fabric was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Our Lady wears the traditional garments of an Aztec princess. A black sash around her waist was a cultural tradition among the Aztec women that indicated pregnancy. All the elements of the image point to Our Lady as being above the gods the Aztecs worshiped, while at the same time showing that she herself was submissive to the true Creator God while being pregnant with the Divine God-man that grew in her womb.
A mass conversion of millions of Aztecs to the Catholic faith soon followed—ending the human sacrifices, especially child sacrifices, that they practiced.
Because the image on the tilma depicts Mary during her pregnancy, Our Lady of Guadalupe has become the patroness of the pro-life movement and her intercession is sought for the protection of the unborn and an end to abortion.
We invite everyone to join us as we celebrate and honor our Lady of Guadalupe.
Schedule of events:
Saturday, December 11, 2021 will be the traditional serenade of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Selinger Center Gym.
Sunday, December 12, 2021 will begin with Mass at 2:00 pm en español in Church. Following the Mass, in the Selinger Center Gym there will be a traditional dance, a children’s play about Our Lady of Guadalupe. The events will wrap up with a community gathering and food.