Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our Lady of Guadalupe

[A GRAMBUS post.]

Our Lady of Guadalupe tilma.
I don't know why, but I have been very impressed by the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe this year, ...which is today!  I love this story and the beautiful outcome of it in so many souls converted to Christianity.  So, I've been reading a lot and have come across something I'd like to share, written by someone who has studied this historical event and its meaning for some time.  I hope that his insights bring the value of this event ever more radiantly to your mind and heart.

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE by Monsignor Eduardo Chavez Sanchez

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe imprinted on Saint Juan Diego’s humble tilma manifests two of the most important dogmas of Mary:  that she is ever-Virgin and, at the same time, that she is the Mother of God.  In fact, the encounter that took place in the winter of 1531 is an encounter with God himself, whom our Lady carried in her immaculate womb.  It is a real encounter with Jesus, who has taken the initiative to meet man through his Mother.
…Since our Lady carries the Lord in her womb, she appears as a pregnant woman, an expecting woman, a woman of Advent.  The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe depicts a dark ribbon above her womb, indicating that she is a woman anticipating the birth of God’s only Son.  In fact, the Spanish expression for “pregnant” is encinta, or literally, “adorned with ribbon.”

The original tilma of Saint Juan Diego,
which hangs above the high altar of
the Guadalupe Bascilica.
Before a priest celebrates Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, the people tell him: “Focus on the womb of this woman, who dances with the joy of the feast, because she will give us her Son.  With the harmony of the angel holding heaven and earth [referring to her mantle and gown], a new life is extended.  This is what we received from our elders:  that our own life does not end, but has a new meaning, and as the Great Book of the Spaniards (the Bible in Revelation 12:1) says: there was a sign in heaven, a woman dressed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of stars, and she is about to give birth.  This is what we are celebrating, Father: the arrival of this sign of unity, harmony and a new life.”

With Our Lady of Guadalupe, this sign [Jesus] has finally arrived.

Monsignor Chavez was the postulator for the cause for canonization of Saint Juan Diego, and is co-author of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love (Doubleday).