Getting to Know Our Lady of Guadalupe

“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 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?” (Our Lady’s words to Juan Diego.)

Today (December 12th) in the Church, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe! Since our family is so new to the Church and our journey to live liturgically, I've been using these days like these to learn more about the tradition and history behind the feast. If you're new like us, here's a little summary of the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

"A poor Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized and given the name Juan Diego. He was a 57-year-old widower and lived in a small village near Mexico City. On Saturday morning, December 9, 1531, he was on his way to a nearby barrio to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady.

He was walking by a hill called Tepeyac when he heard beautiful music like the warbling of birds. A radiant cloud appeared and within it stood a young Native American maiden dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to him in his own language and sent him to the bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan named Juan de Zumarraga. The bishop was to build a chapel in the place where the lady appeared.

Eventually the bishop told Juan Diego to have the lady give him a sign. About this same time Juan Diego’s uncle became seriously ill. This led poor Diego to try to avoid the lady. The lady found Diego, nevertheless, assured him that his uncle would recover and provided roses for Juan to carry to the bishop in his cape or tilma.

When Juan Diego opened his tilma in the bishop’s presence, the roses fell to the ground and the bishop sank to his knees. On Juan Diego’s tilma appeared an image of Mary exactly as she had appeared at the hill of Tepeyac. It was December 12, 1531." (Franciscan Media, Saint of the Day

Resources on Our Lady of Guadalupe

Ideas for Celebrating Today's Feast

  • Putting up vibrant, Mexican or Spanish style decorations
  • Incorporating red, pink, blue, and jade into the festivities
  • Picking roses and arranging them on the dinner table
  • Preparing a traditional Mexican meal or dessert

As for us? We're celebrating by heading out to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants and, most importantly, teaching Lily about what today is about -- the history behind it, ways we can learn to love Christ from Our Lady, and a little history lesson (courtesy of the two videos). 

What about you? How do you celebrate today's feast day in your home? I'd love to hear and add it to our celebration next year!