R. Alleluia, alleluia.Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
Charles V, King of Spain, read with concern the letter dated December 8, 1531 from Bishop Juan de Zumárraga: “Unless there is supernatural intervention, the country is lost!”
As tradition, legend and facts will show, so much had happened over the centuries prior to this urgent letter.
In 711 in a rush to prevent the invading Muslims from getting St Luke's carved statue of Our Lady holding the baby infant, local Christians buried it in the Extremadura region of Spain, close to the river in the city of Guadalupe. Many miracles had been attributed to the statuette. It was buried there for six centuries.
In the summer of 1329, when the Christian reconquest of Spain was almost accomplished, a farmer Gil Cordero found his cow dead near the Guadalupe river. As he was preparing to cut off the hide, the cow came to life and an image of a beautiful woman bathed in light appeared floating above him. She asked that he have the priests build a church over that area. The statuette was found and the Church is called the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe. Christopher Columbus and many other explorers, as well as kings and queens, were known to pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe of Spain.
And with stability in Spain, efforts were underway to evangelize the Americas. In 1484 Tlecaellel, the architect of the Aztec empire, brought the Aztec nation to the height of its power with a high number of human sacrifices. He ordered the worship of the demon gods, had daily human sacrifices, cannibalism and homosexuality. He ruled this way for seventy-seven years.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed to and opened up the Americas to the Europeans. It also opened up European diseases of smallpox, diphtheria, influenza, hepatitis and salmonella on the American population annihilating 90% of the American population. Pestilence and death were everywhere.
The Spanish wanted to evangelize the world, unfortunately, the Spanish conquerors had some hard and difficult soldiers with them. They were cruel and mean to the natives. The Church did not agree with this treatment and they began the work of evangelizing the suffering people of Mexico.
Spaniards were fighting with other Spaniards, natives with Spaniards, natives with natives. King Charles V named Bishop Juan de Zumárraga to impose order and protect the natives. The bishop prayed for a solution to an impossible situation. On December 8, 1531, he communicated the message to the King of "unless there is supernatural intervention" the country would certainly succumb to utter chaos. He prayed fervently and entrusted himself to the intercession of the Mother of God.
In Psalm 14, we read, "They devour my people as they devour bread; they do not call upon the Lord." And God heard the cry of His people.
The answer unfolds with a humble Chichimeca Indian, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. His name means "one that speaks like an eagle". He was a widower and lived with his uncle, Juan Bernardino in a village, Tulpetlac, where there was no church. He lived through the Aztec sacrifices and now under the oppression of cruel and immoral men.
As a Catholic convert he walked to church in Tlatelolco for daily mass. He passed Tepeyac Hill on his way to church; he heard birds singing as if he was in paradise. And there he saw her, a beautiful woman surrounded in radiant light. She was praying. And she asked Juan Diego to go to the Bishop and tell him she wanted a church built where she was. Twice Our Lady sent Juan Diego to tell the Bishop that she wanted a church built but the Bishop did not believe him. The Bishop asked for a sign and Our Lady visited with Juan Diego a third time, telling him to come back the next day for the sign.
The next day, December 12, 1531, Juan Diego's uncle was gravely ill and needed a priest to see him. Juan Diego was in a hurry to find a priest, so he took a different route to avoid seeing her. However, Our Lady met him on this different path and she reassured Juan Diego that his uncle was well and in good health. She told Juan Diego to go up to the mountain to pick some flowers--the land there was barren and it was winter. He was surprised to see the most beautiful exquisite flowers in full bloom. He filled his tilma ( peasant cloak made of agave fiber). Our Lady arranged the flowers in love and sent him to the Bishop warning him to show no one the flowers but only the Bishop.
The servants were not kind to him and twice when they tried to touch the flowers the flowers miraculously disappeared into the tilma. When the Bishop opened the tilma, the flowers cascaded to the floor, and there one saw the true miracle--the cloth was impressed with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
There were three supernatural signs: fresh roses, a miraculous image on Juan Diego's tilma and the healing of Uncle Juan Bernardino. Our Lady of Guadalupe visited the uncle while Juan Diego was with the Bishop. Her House was built on Tepeyac Hill. Nine million people were converted to Catholicism in Mexico.
Below are a few facts concerning the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the tilma.
Perhaps PAPA can go on a Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica in Mexico.
God Bless You
Caso-Rosendi, Carlos, 2017,Guadalupe A River of Light , First Light Press, Front Royal, Virginia, United States of America