Our Lady of Guadalupe
Patroness of the New Evangelization, Patroness of the Unborn & Patroness of the Americas
Blessed John Paul II's 1st pilgrimage abroad as Pope was to Our Lady of Guadalupe in January 1979; he next visited her in 1990 for Juan Diego's beatification, then again in 1999 & finally in 2002 for Juan Diego's canonization.
Shrine - Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City
Feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe - 12 December
Feast day of St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin - 9 December
3 2us de la Virgen de Guadalupe
con Padre José Manuel Torres Origel
3 2us by Fr Emmanuel Mansford CFR
"Over the years literally millions of Mexican Indians were converted because the image is such that Our Lady is clothed with the stars, behind her is the sun and she is standing on the moon, and so the Indians, who worshipped these pagan gods of the sun, the moon and the stars, knew that she was more powerful than them because she stood on the moon, she was in front of the sun and she was clothed in the stars. But they also knew that she wasn't God because her head was bowed and her hands were joined in prayer, and they saw that round her waist was this sash that meant that she was pregnant and right over her womb was this flower in the shape of a star which was a sign to them of the one true God."
The story of Our Lady's apparitions to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin
John Paul II's Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe
25 January 1979 - in French, Portuguese & Spanish
¡Oh Virgen Inmaculada
Madre del verdadero Dios y Madre de la Iglesia!
Tú, que desde este lugar manifiestas
tu clemencia y tu compasión
a todos los que solicitan tu amparo;
escucha la oración que con filial confianza te dirigimos,
y preséntala ante tu Hijo Jesús, único Redentor nuestro.
Madre de misericordia, Maestra del sacrificio escondido y silencioso,
a Ti, que sales al encuentro de nosotros, los pecadores,
te consagramos en este día todo nuestro ser y todo nuestro amor.
Te consagramos también nuestra vida, nuestros trabajos,
nuestras alegrías, nuestras enfermedades y nuestros dolores.
Da la paz, la justicia y la prosperidad a nuestros pueblos;
ya que todo lo que tenemos y somos lo ponernos bajo tu cuidado,
Señora y Madre nuestra.
Queremos ser totalmente tuyos y recorrer contigo el camino
de una plena fidelidad a Jesucristo en su Iglesia:
no nos sueltes de tu mano amorosa.
Virgen de Guadalupe, Madre de las Américas,
te pedimos por todos los obispos, para que conduzcan a los fieles por senderos
de intensa vida cristiana, de amor y de humilde servicio a Dios y a las almas.
Contempla esta inmensa mies, e intercede para que el Señor infunda
hambre de santidad en todo el Pueblo de Dios, y otorgue abundantes
vocaciones de sacerdotes y religiosos, fuertes en la fe
y celosos dispensadores de los misterios de Dios.
Concede a nuestros hogares
la gracia de amar y de respetar la vida que comienza.
con el mismo amor con el que concebiste en tu seno
la vida del Hijo de Dios.
Virgen Santa María, Madre del Amor Hermoso, protege a nuestras familias,
para que estén siempre muy unidas, y bendice la educación de nuestros hijos.
Esperanza nuestra, míranos con compasión,
enséñanos a ir continuamente a Jesús y, si caemos, ayúdanos
a levantarnos, a volver a El, mediante la confesión de nuestras culpas
y pecados en el sacramento de la penitencia,
que trae sosiego al alma.
Te suplicamos que nos concedas un amor muy grande a todos los santos sacramentos
que son como las huellas que tu Hijo nos dejó en la tierra.
Así, Madre Santísima, con la paz de Dios en la conciencia,
con nuestros corazones libres de mal y de odios,
podremos llevar a todos la verdadera alegría y la verdadera paz,
que vienen de tu Hijo, nuestro Señor Jesucristo,
que con Dios Padre y con el Espíritu Santo,
vive v reina por los siglos de los siglos. Amén.
México, enero de 1979
In Mexico in 1531, God permitted Our Lady to appear to a recently converted Aztec Indian named Juan Diego. To him was given arguably the greatest treasure in the church - the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a true image of Mary the Mother of Jesus, when she was with child.
When Juan Diego first saw the Blessed Mother, he was a 57 year old widower and she seemed to him to be about 18. She appeared to him 4 times, and once to his uncle Juan Bernadino, who was cured of his sickness. When first Juan saw her it was at the foot of the Tepeyac Hill (in what is now Mexico City). She was in a brilliant light, and called to him softly. She told him that she was the ever Virgin, Holy Mary, Mother of the True God who is the Author of Life, the Creator of all things, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, present everywhere. Her purpose in coming was to ask Juan Diego to tell the bishop that she wished a sanctuary to be erected in that place where she would be honoured.
"Here I will show myself as a loving Mother to you and to all those born in these lands, and to all those who love me and trust in me, for I am your loving mother."
When the Spanish bishop asked for a sign to prove Juan Diego's story, Our Lady gave Castille roses, which she herself arranged in the Indian's cloak or 'tilma', telling Juan to show them to no-one but the bishop. When he did so, the roses cascaded forth, revealing on the tilma a miraculous image of Our Lady as she had shown herself to Juan Diego.
Scientists from the NASA Research Centre have carried out extensive tests on the fabric and image and have discovered no scientific explanation, since the picture is neither painted, dyed or woven. It is made from the fibres of the maguey cactus and it has not been treated with sizing, a fabric of which the ordinary life span is 20 years. Enlargements were made and it was discovered that the reflection of the bishop looking in astonishment could clearly be seen in the pupil of Our Lady's eyes (more information below). This hidden miracle has been kept for the 20th century, an age where there is so little faith.
The name Guadalupe comes from an ancient shrine of Our Lady in Spain. The bishop was unable to understand the Indian name of Tecoatlexpeuh, which means "she who crushes the head of the serpent", and thought it sounded like 'de Guadalupe', by which name it has been known ever since. Within 7 years of the apparitions, 9,000,000 Indians had converted to Christianity from their pagan Aztec religion. It is the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the history of the Church.
To the Indians the picture told the great truths of Christianity. Mary is robed with the sun and is standing on the moon. The Aztecs offered human sacrifices on a massive scale so as 'to keep the natural order in creation'. She is wearing the dress of an Aztec princess, and the black sash at her waist indicates that she is pregnant. When the image was crowned by the Papal Envoy on 12th December 1981, to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the feast of the roses, a great light shone forth from her womb over the whole congregation in the Basilica. This miracle lasted for 20 minutes, could be seen by all present, and was visible even on television. Our Lady is supported by her Guardian Angel, Saint Michael. Together they brought to an end the practice of human sacrifice by the Aztecs, and together, by the power of God, they will bring to an end the killing by abortion of unborn babies in our own times.
The figure of Our Lady is 4'11" high. It is unutterably beautiful and deeply compelling. Her hands are joined in prayer. Our Lady of Guadalupe is silent and humble, but her words to Juan Diego are a comfort for us all:
"Know for certain that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God ... here I will show and offer all my love, my compassion and protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows .. their necessities and misfortunes. Listen and let it penetrate your heart.
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 my protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the fold of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?"
Blessed John Paul II's Prayer to Our Lady
O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.
Mother of Mercy, Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows. Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand.
Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the Bishops, that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, of love and humble service of God and souls. Contemplate this immense harvest, and intercede with the Lord that He may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.
Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings, with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God. Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.
Our hope, look upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus and, if we fall, help us to rise again, to return to Him, by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the Sacrament of Penance, which gives peace to the soul.
We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy Sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your Son left us on earth.
Thus, Most Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
JPII - January 1979, on his 1st foreign trip as Pope - at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico.
Discoveries about the tilma of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Empress of America
What science has discovered about the tilma of the Virgin of Guadalupe:
1. Ophthalmalgic studies made on the eyes of Mary detected that when the eye is exposed to light, the retina contracts, and when the light is withdrawn, it returns to a dilated state, just as happens with a living eye.
2. The temperature of Juan Diego's tilma, made of a material that comes from fibers of the maguey cactus, maintains a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees, the same as that of a living human body.
3. One of the doctors who analyzed the tilma placed his stethoscope below the black band at Mary's waist, and heard rhythmic beats at 115 pulses per minute, the same as that of a baby in the maternal womb.
4. No sign of paint has been discovered on the tilma. From a distance of 3-4 inches from the image, one can see only the maguey cactus fibers of the material: the colors disappear. Scientific studies have not been able to discover the origin of the coloration, nor the way the image was painted. They cannot detect vestiges of brush strokes or any other known painting technique. NASA scientists confirm that the paint material does not belong to any known element on earth.
5. When the material was examined under a laser ray, it was shown that there is no colouration on the front or the back of the cloth, and that the colours hover at a distance of 3/10th of a millimeter (1/100th of an inch) over the cloth, without touching it. The colours actually float above the surface of the tilma.
6. The rough material of the tilma has a lifespan of no more than 20-30 years. Several centuries ago, a replica of the image was painted on an identical piece of maguey cloth and it disintegrated after several decades. Nonetheless, during the almost 500 years of the miracle, the cloth with the image of Mary remains as strong as it was on the first day. Science cannot explain why the material has not disintegrated.
7. In the year 1791, muriatic acid accidentally spilled on the upper right side of the tilma. During the period of 30 days, without any special treatment, the affected fabric re-constituted itself miraculously.
8. The stars that appear on the mantle of Mary reflect the exact configuration of positions that could be seen in the sky of Mexico on the day the miracle happened.
On the right side of the Virgin's mantle, the southern constellations are indicated:
At the top are 4 stars that form part of the Orphiuchus constellation.
Below it to the left, we find Libra, and to its right, at what seems an arrow point, is the beginning of Scorpio.
In the middle are the constellations of Lupus and, to its left, an end point of Hydra.
Further down, we can clearly see the Southern Cross: above it appears the slightly inclined square of the Centaurus constellation.
On the left side of the Virgin's mantle we see the northern constellations:
At her shoulder, a fragment of the stars of the Herdsmanconstellation; below it and to the left is the Great Bear. To its right is Berenice's Hair; below it, Hunting Dogs, and to its left, the Thuban, which is the brightest star of the Draco constellation.
Below the 2 parallel stars (which still form part of the Big Bear) we find stars from another pair of constellations: the Auriga and, at the bottom, 3 stars of Taurus.
Thus, in their totality and proper places, the 46 most brilliant stars that can be seen on the horizon of the Valley of Mexico are identified.
9. In the year 1921, a man concealed a high power bomb in a flower arrangement and placed it at the feet of the tilma. The explosion destroyed everything around it, except for the tilma which remained intact.
10. Scientists discovered that the eyes of Mary have the 3 refractive characteristics of a human eye.
11. In the eyes of Mary (only about 1/3rd inch in size), miniscule human figures were discovered that no artist could have painted. The same scene is repeated in each eye.
Using digital technology, the images in the eyes were enlarged many times, revealing that each eye reflected the figure of the Indian Juan Diego opening his tilma in front of Bishop Zumarraga. Do you know the size of this scene? One fourth of a millimeter (1/100th of an inch).
It is evident that all these unexplainable things were given to us for a reason.
In the Indian language, 'Guadalupe' means to "crush the head of the serpent." It properly refers to Genesis 3:15 - Mary, the conqueror of evil. The image also depicts a detail from Apocalypse 12: "And a great sign appeared in Heaven: a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet." The Virgin wears a black band at her waist, which symbolizes pregnancy, to indicate that God wanted Jesus to be born in the 3 Americas, in the heart of each American. "While I live I will praise the Lord: I will sing praise unto my God while I have any being" (Ps 146:2)
For more info about this presentation put together by Andre Fernando Garcia, click here.
The Virgin will be with you always, whenever you need her - she will never abandon you.
You will always be Mary's special son or daughter. Never forget the words Mary spoke to Juan Diego:
"My little child, the smallest of all, let nothing afflict you.
Do you not know that you are in my lap?
Am I not here, I, who am your mother?"