The Virgin Mary has always played a special role in our lives. She is the mother of Jesus Christ, the Queen of Heaven, and the patron saint of Mexico. Her feast day is celebrated every year on December 12th.
She is also known as the Virgin de Guadalupe (Virgin of Guadalupe), because her apparition was witnessed in 1531 near the town of Tepeyac, now part of Mexico City. This event marked the beginning of the Mexican War for Independence from Spain.
Message from the Virgin of Guadalupe to Juan Diego
“Listen, and let it penetrate your heart, my dear little son; do not be troubled or weighted down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain,” Virgin of Guadalupe is quoted as comforting the saint. “Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?”
When the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared on the hill of Tepeyac, in Mexico City, in the year 1531, she was pregnant. Her miraculous image, printed on the cloth covering her body, showed her wearing a black sari, an indication of her condition.
Virgin de Guadalupe not only looked like a native woman, but also spoke in the same language as one. She arrived at a time when there was conflict between the Spaniards and the indigenous people to ask for help from St. Juan Diego to convince the Bishop to build a Church. She told him to go out into the garden and collect as many Castilian rose bushes in full bloom as he could. When he showed the flower arrangement to the priest, he found her picture had been drawn onto his tilma.
Why the Virgin of Guadalupe is considered the patroness of the Americas and the unborn?
On December 12th, 1999, Pope St. John Paul II established the Feast of Virgin of Guadalupe.
“This is our cry: life with dignity for all! For all who have been conceived in their mother's womb, for street children, for Guadalupe!” he declared at the Basilica.
Nearly twenty years later, in 2018 Pope Francis entrusted to Our Blessed Virgin Mary "in particular, those who await the arrival of their children."
The Holy Father's words were a reference to the many women and men who have been waiting for decades for the return of their lost or stolen babies.
In his homily at the Angelus on Sunday, June 24, he said: “I am thinking especially of all those mothers who are still waiting for their children, who have not yet found them. I pray that they ... may find them in God’s mercy and grace.”
“Saint John Paul II commended to her maternal protection the life and innocence of children, especially those who run the risk of not being born,” he told Polish pilgrims during his general audience. “By her intercession, in this time of Advent, let us implore the gift of children for families without children, respect for the conceived life and the openness of hearts to Gospel values.”
The Pope also spoke about the need to protect human dignity, which is threatened by a culture that promotes abortion as an acceptable practice. He said: “We must be vigilant against all forms of violence, including sexual abuse, against women and girls, against children and adolescents, against unborn children, against the elderly, against migrants, refugees, people with disabilities, against persons living on the margins ...”