Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our Lady of Guadelupe - click for more to read

Nearly a decade after Spain’s conquest of Mexico, the future of Christianity on the American Continent was very much in doubt. Confronted with a hostile colonial government and Native Americans wary of conversion, the newly appointed bishop-elect of Mexico wrote to tell the king of Spain that unless there was a miracle, the continent would be lost. Between December 9 and December 12, 1531, that miracle happened, and it forever changed the future of the continent.

It was then that the Virgin Mary famously appeared to a Native Mexican Christian convert named Juan Diego on a hilltop outside of what is now Mexico City. The image she left imprinted on his cloak, or tilma, has puzzled scientists for centuries, and yet Our Lady of Guadalupe’s place in history is profound. A continent that just months before the apparitions seemed completely lost to Christianity suddenly and inexplicably embraced it by the millions. Our Lady of Guadalupe’s message of love replaced the institutionalized violence of the Aztec culture and built a bridge between two worlds.

Today, Our Lady of Guadalupe continues to inspire the devotion of millions. She is revered as Patroness of the Americas since she appeared in the center of North and South America. Reproductions of the Virgin’s miraculous image can especially be seen throughout North and South America, and in the Philippines. Her shrine in Mexico City, where the miraculous image is housed to this day in an enormous basilica, surrounded by several smaller churches from various epochs and a vast esplanade, is one of the most visited Marian Shrines in the world.

Previous post HERE

Our Lady of Guadelupe images HERE

Images of Saints HERE

Text credit to 'A Moment With Mary'