On Dec. 12, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We joyfully recall the miraculous apparition of Mary in Mexico in 1531 to St. Juan Diego, whose cloak still bears the highly venerated image of the dark-skinned virgin. She is clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet.
The icon is Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural image. Pope John Paul II proclaimed her patroness of the Americas.
It seems fitting to celebrate the Guadalupe feast during the season of Advent. In this season of anticipation, we imagine Mary as an expectant mother with Christ in her womb.
As the time of anticipation draws closer to the end, we accompany the young mother on her journey to Bethlehem, where she is about to give birth to the child who is our salvation.
The image of Guadalupe is that of a pregnant mother. She wears the traditional maternity belt around her waist to signify that she is pregnant. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the only pregnant apparition of Mary.
The commemoration of the virgin of Guadalupe upholds and affirms the dignity of life in the womb and the precious gift of each unborn child.
The image portrays the young virgin with her hands folded in prayer. This is a reminder to us of the importance of prayer as we anticipate the birth of Jesus.
This feast reminds us that each of us is called to give birth to Jesus in our own lives. We are asked to prepare our hearts, our lives, our homes to welcome the wonderful counselor; the mighty, everlasting Prince of Peace.
We honor Our Lady of Guadalupe during Advent. In doing so, we gain a deeper respect for all human life, we invite the Christ child to be born into our lives and we prayerfully await his coming.