Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Saint Juan Diego in Mexico in December 1531, identifying herself as the Mother of God. “She’s dressed like an Aztec princess and she speaks to him in his own language, in the Aztec language, and what’s more is she’s pregnant. That’s very unusual when you look at the various Marian apparitions. And basically, she wants a cathedral built on the place where she appeared; she wants a chapel there and she wants Juan Diego to be the messenger to the bishop,” said Marge Fenelon, regular contributor to Relevant Radio®.
“He’s not too excited about doing this and in the meantime, his uncle becomes ill, so he uses that as an excuse to avoid her. And she catches up with him nonetheless … and she says don’t worry about your uncle … I’ll give you a sign for the bishop. And the sign was that she fills his tilma, or cape, with roses—roses that would have never possibly grown at that time of year and in that place. He presents them to the bishop; the bishop is in awe, but what’s more is on his tilma is imprinted the image of Our Blessed Mother as Our Lady of Guadalupe, as the Aztec princess, and that tilma is still there in Guadalupe, Mexico,” explained Fenelon.
It’s a beautiful feast in this Advent season, so Fenelon offers several fun ways to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, on her December 12 feast day:
- Eat some festive foods. If you want to get really fancy, find some traditional Aztec recipes online. Or have some of your Mexican food favorites in honor of Our Lady’s apparition in Mexico.
- Bring some roses into your home. Our Lady presented Juan Diego with roses, so why not present some roses to her? Add them to your prayer corner or dining room table and talk about the miracle with your family.
- Say a Rosary for the conversion of those who don’t believe. One of the most amazing fruits of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s apparition was the conversion of the Mexican people, who to this day have a strong devotion to her. Pray for her intercession for the conversion of even more souls.
- Make a donation to a pregnancy help center. It’s striking that Our Lady appeared pregnant with the baby Jesus, so let’s perpetuate her love of life and care for mothers and the unborn by supporting expecting mothers. Even a small monetary or diaper donation can help a lot.
- Call your mom. Call your mother or send her a card. If your mother is deceased, send up a prayer for her soul. Fenelon says to thank your mother for giving life to you.
No matter how you celebrate or honor the Mother of God today, remember her waiting and anticipation for the upcoming birth of her son. Allow her to lead you to Jesus!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of Relevant Radio, pray for us!
Fun fact: Relevant Radio secured our first station license in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.