December 12th is the Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast celebrated throughout the world, but predominantly in Mexico. On this day, many devoted Catholics pay their respects to the Virgin patroness of Mexico and the Americas.
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) refers to the blessed Virgin Mary mother of Jesus Christ. The Virgin was declared the patroness of Mexico after her apparition to an Aztec man named Juan Diego on the Hill of Tepeyac in 1531.
The story says that San Juan Diego was on his way to mass when, in a vision, he encounter Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Hill of Tepeyac on December 9, 1531. She requested that a shrine be built, in her name, on the grounds of her apparition. So, San Juan Diego went to the Bishop to tell him what he had seen, but the Bishop, in disbelief, asked the poor, indigenous man for proof that the Virgin Mary had appeared to him.
On December 12, Our Lady of Guadalupe once again visited San Juan Diego and asked him to gather roses to take to the Bishop as proof. So, he did exactly what she told him. When San Juan Diego returned to the Bishop, he opened his tilma, and as the roses fell to the ground, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on the tilma. After seeing this sign, the Bishop ordered a church to be built at the Hill of Tepeyac in honor of the Virgin.
Many years later, Juan Diego was canonized as a saint by Pope John Paul II in 2002 and his tilma is now housed at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
So what makes this apparition so special?
After the Virgin’s appearance in Mexico, the population has adopted Our Lady of Guadalupe as not only the mother of Jesus Christ, but as the mother of all Mexicans leading to endless love and admiration for her. In order to commemorate Our Lady of Guadalupe, people take flowers to their church, groups of Matachines perform ritual dances, Mariachis come and sing, special masses are offered on this day to celebrate the mother of God.
Celebrating the day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is embedded in the Mexican culture, and it’s a tradition that has been passed down through generations.
!Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe! !Viva la Virgen Morena!
Thank for reading,
The photos are from the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Houston, TX.