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Our Lady of Guadalupe
Feast Day
December 12th
[In the diocese of the United States]

Patroness of the Americas and Protector of the Unborn

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars
Revelation 12:1 (Entrance Antiphon for Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Prayers - Ave Maria (Spanish) - Family celebration

Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Blessed Virgin Mary, by her title, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is the Patroness of Mexico and the Americas. On December 9, 1531, Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego, an Indian Christian, whom she sent to the bishop with the request to build a Church in her honor on the hill where she appeared. The bishop asked Juan Diego for a sign to prove that the Virgin had appeared to him. Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego again on December 12 and promised that his uncle would be healed. She directed Juan Diego to gather a bouquet of roses that miraculously appeared on a bush nearby (roses do not bloom at this time of the year) to present to the bishop. Juan Diego gathered the roses in his tilma (cloak). When he opened his tilma before the bishop, the roses felt to the floor, and the bishop was amazed to see the miraculous image of the Mother of God imprinted on the cloak. The image persuaded the bishop to believe what Juan Diego had told him, and the Church was built.

This image, which almost immediately inspired the conversion to Christianity of many thousands of Indians, may still be seen in the Cathedral in Mexico City. Many believe that the fact that the image remains intact on a coarse fabric woven of a cactus-like plant that ordinarily deteriorates within a few years is further indication of the miraculous nature of the image. The symbolic significance of the image include Mary's complexion, which is similar to that of the Indians who were native to the region, her pregnancy, the gold stars adorning her blue mantle that representing the heavens, the purple tassels of her sash signifying royalty.

Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe, mystical rose, intercede for the Church, protect the Holy Father, help all who invoke you in their necessities. Since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from your most holy Son the Grace of a firm faith and sure hope amid the bitterness of life, as well as an ardent love and the precious gift of final perseverance. Amen.

Collect
O God, Father of mercies,
who placed your people under the singular protection
of your Son's most holy Mother,
grant that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe,
may seek with ever more lively faith
the progress of peoples in the ways of justice and of peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen

First Reading: Zechariah 2:14-17 (2:10-13 in RSV)

Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. And the Lord will inherit Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem."

Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for He has roused Himself from His holy dwelling.

Or Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen within His temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a Child, that he might devour her Child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male Child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her Child was caught up to God and to His throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

Responsorial Psalm: Judith 13:18bcde, 19

R. (15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.

"O daughter, you are blessed by the Most High God above all women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, who created the heavens and the earth, who has guided you to strike the head of the leader of our enemies.

R. (15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.

Your hope will never depart from the hearts of men, as they remember the power of God.

R. (15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Or Luke 1:39-47

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

Or any readings from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Ave María (Hail Mary)

Dios te salve, María. Llena eres de gracia: El Señor es contigo.
Bendita tú eres entre todas las mujeres. Y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre: Jesús.
Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores,
ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén.

Family Celebration
of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

For the dinner on this Feast day it would be appropriate to have a Mexican menu. This can be very simple -- for example, "build-your-own" tacos, which most children enjoy. Start with purchased taco shells, and provide a bowl of meat filling (hamburger seasoned with onions and chili powder -- from mild to very spicy as your family likes it), a bowl of shredded cheese, another of shredded lettuce. Or have chili soup with taco chips or corn chips.

If possible, decorate the table with a small potted poinsettia (a flower native to Mexico), along with the Advent wreath.

At mealtime, say the Angelus (in English or Spanish)

For night prayers pray the prayer (above) for Our Lady of Guadalupe, and say the Ave Maria -- in Spanish or English.

Include the "Hail Mary" prayer with the children's bedtime prayers tonight.

To Our Lady Dark Yet Fair

O hail, thou Virgen de Guadalupe! Unfailing refuge, our solace in days of grief, Radiant Queen so kind, our Mother of sweet relief ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Lovely Maid, fairest star above the sea! Advocate e'er gracious of clemency and love, Deign to listen to our pleas, O mother above ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Yea, O Lady of Guadalupe; O meek and gentlest One, take heed to our groaning; For oft we stumble and raise to thee our moaning ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Golden gate of heav'n, thou radiant portal; Unstained by sin, blissful queen of heav'n and earth, Aid me that I may love Him whom you did give birth ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Daughter of God, thou queen of royalty, Ave Maria! With joyful hearts we hail thee! Look on us so kindly, O Blessed Virgin Mary! ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Unfailing refuge and sweetest Mother; Pearl of grace so fair, fail not thine children to care, E'er our sweetest Advocate who did God once bear ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

-- Jeong-Bo Shim

Jeong-Bo is a thirteen year old boy who lives with his family in Corvallis, Oregon. He is home-schooled and enjoys writing poetry. Last year, he was the state winner of the Junior Catholic Daughters of America poetry contest. He also plays the violin and has been invited to play a solo meditation at the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Last year he won second place in the MTNA national competition. He enjoys playing soccer, basketball, tennis, and swimming as well as gardening. He received help on the first verse from Katheryn Atkinson of Tehachipi, California.


Related link: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe


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