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December 12th - Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Patroness of Latin America
Feast Day: December 12

Just a few days ago we celebrated the Feast Day of St. Juan Diego, the one to whom Mary communicated under the appearance of "Our Lady of Guadalupe." This interaction with Juan was a mysterious one indeed, because instead of looking like a Caucasian or Middle-Eastern Mary, as she was often depicted, she looked like a native Mexican. She was, of course, described by Juan as being absolutely beautiful.

When Juan went to the Bishop initially about this appearance, the Bishop was intrigued, but doubted. It was hard for him to give credence to a lowly native Mexican. Juan was a man without theological training and who lived a very simple life; however, if we were to trace the verified Marian apparitions, we would find that most of them are apparitions to children and to the simple. Perhaps Mary finds them to be more open?

Regardless, Juan returns to Our Lady and she gives him roses to put into his tilma (a cloak woven of cactus fibers). He carried these
roses, which were uncommon during the month of December, to the Bishop. Juan unfolds his tilma, and the Bishop along with everyone in the room at the time, knelt before Juan. Juan originally thinks it is because of the roses, which were a miracle unto themselves; however, the kneeling was before what was on the tilma. It was a perfect artistic masterpiece of the image he had described to the Bishop. Mary, under this image, has thenceforth been known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.