The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe: “Am I not your Mother?”

December 11, 2023 at 12:44 p.m.
Bishop David M. O'Connell celebrates Mass with priests of the Diocese during the Diocesan pilgrimage to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica Shrine in Mexico. Photo courtesy of Bishop O'Connell
Bishop David M. O'Connell celebrates Mass with priests of the Diocese during the Diocesan pilgrimage to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica Shrine in Mexico. Photo courtesy of Bishop O'Connell


In December 2018, I had the privilege of leading priests and lay faithful on a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.  It was an awesome and deeply moving experience, along with my fellow pilgrims, to kneel and pray in that beautiful church dedicated to the patroness of all the Americas.  We watched as thousands of people, many who had traveled on foot from their homes throughout Mexico, bring their prayers and needs to our Lord through his Blessed Mother’s intercession.

Since 2016, anticipating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Trenton have carried torches throughout the four counties each year – symbols of the light that Our Lady of Guadalupe brings as she gives birth to her child, symbols also of the light of faith that burns deeply in our hearts and that we bring as we approach her son.

We know the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and how she called to Juan Diego, a 57-year-old Mexican convert on his way to Mass from the top of the Tepeyac hill on December 9, 1531, to come to her. She called him “Juanito,” her little boy.

“Our Lady always chooses those who are simple, on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico, as at Lourdes and Fatima: Speaking to them, she speaks to everyone, in a language suitable for all, comprehensible, like that of Jesus” (General Audience, Pope Francis, August 23, 2023).

Our Lady of Guadalupe announced to “Juanito” that she is the Mother of all of us! We remember her words from that miraculous appearance: “Truly I am honored to be your compassionate mother, yours and that of all the people that live together in this land, and also of all the other various lineages of men, those who love me, those who cry to me, those who seek me, those who trust in me.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Mother of God and the Mother of all of God’s children – your mother and my mother – and the patroness of all the Americas.

Our Lady of Guadalupe. Courtesy photo

She appeared four times to Juan Diego near the hill of Tepeyac, identifying herself to Juan Diego during her first appearance:

“Know and understand well, you my most humble son, that I am the ever-virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth. I wish that a temple be erected here quickly, so I may therein exhibit and give all my love, compassion, help, and protection, because I am your merciful mother, to you, and to all the inhabitants on this land and all the rest who love me, invoke and confide in me; listen there to their lamentations, and remedy all their miseries, afflictions and sorrows.”

She asked him to go to the bishop and have a church built there so that people could come and pray for God’s mercy, healing and compassion. She predicted his doubts, and she told him to gather roses in his coat, his tilma, as a sign.  And when he opened his tilma before the bishop, the roses fell revealing a beautiful image – the image we are so familiar with – the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Aztec dress. The bishop’s doubts turned to belief. I saw that beautiful tilma during the pilgrimage to Mexico, displayed in a glass case in the Basilica shrine that bears her name.

In a homily once given on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mexican-born Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez preached, “Our Lady is calling us to listen for her voice, to be guided by her words and her example … to do something special for her, just as she called St. Juan Diego to bring Jesus to every heart and every soul.”

This is what she was asking St. Juan Diego to do. And this is what she is asking you and me to do. We are messengers and missionaries, each one of us, each in our own way – we are called to carry Jesus Christ into every situation in our lives.

Our Lady is calling us again through this year’s feast to be like Jesus in the way we think and in the way we treat other people. She is calling us to be like Jesus in the way we respond to the struggles in our lives and to the challenges we face in the Church.

As the Gospel tells us, Mary believed the word that the Lord spoke to her, and she was blessed. Brothers and sisters, we are called to have that same trust that Mary had.

Let us always remember her words: “Do not let your heart be disturbed. Do not fear. ... Am I, your Mother, not here? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Are you not in the folds of my arms? What more do you need?”

“The Virgin reminds us that beyond the color of our skin or the countries where we come from, we are all brothers and sisters. We are – every one of us, there are no exceptions! – all of us are children of one heavenly Father and we have the Mother of God as our Mother” (Homily, Archbishop Jose Gomez, December 12, 2018).

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Virgin Mother and patroness of all the Americas, goes with us on our journey of faith through this life. We go always in her gaze. She takes our hand, like a mother, and she guides us along the pathways that lead us to her Son, always. Let us lay all our hopes and fears at the feet of the Virgin.

¡Que Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

¡Que viva San Juan Diego!


Related Stories

In December 2018, I had the privilege of leading priests and lay faithful on a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.  It was an awesome and deeply moving experience, along with my fellow pilgrims, to kneel and pray in that beautiful church dedicated to the patroness of all the Americas.  We watched as thousands of people, many who had traveled on foot from their homes throughout Mexico, bring their prayers and needs to our Lord through his Blessed Mother’s intercession.

Since 2016, anticipating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Trenton have carried torches throughout the four counties each year – symbols of the light that Our Lady of Guadalupe brings as she gives birth to her child, symbols also of the light of faith that burns deeply in our hearts and that we bring as we approach her son.

We know the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and how she called to Juan Diego, a 57-year-old Mexican convert on his way to Mass from the top of the Tepeyac hill on December 9, 1531, to come to her. She called him “Juanito,” her little boy.

“Our Lady always chooses those who are simple, on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico, as at Lourdes and Fatima: Speaking to them, she speaks to everyone, in a language suitable for all, comprehensible, like that of Jesus” (General Audience, Pope Francis, August 23, 2023).

Our Lady of Guadalupe announced to “Juanito” that she is the Mother of all of us! We remember her words from that miraculous appearance: “Truly I am honored to be your compassionate mother, yours and that of all the people that live together in this land, and also of all the other various lineages of men, those who love me, those who cry to me, those who seek me, those who trust in me.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Mother of God and the Mother of all of God’s children – your mother and my mother – and the patroness of all the Americas.

Our Lady of Guadalupe. Courtesy photo

She appeared four times to Juan Diego near the hill of Tepeyac, identifying herself to Juan Diego during her first appearance:

“Know and understand well, you my most humble son, that I am the ever-virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth. I wish that a temple be erected here quickly, so I may therein exhibit and give all my love, compassion, help, and protection, because I am your merciful mother, to you, and to all the inhabitants on this land and all the rest who love me, invoke and confide in me; listen there to their lamentations, and remedy all their miseries, afflictions and sorrows.”

She asked him to go to the bishop and have a church built there so that people could come and pray for God’s mercy, healing and compassion. She predicted his doubts, and she told him to gather roses in his coat, his tilma, as a sign.  And when he opened his tilma before the bishop, the roses fell revealing a beautiful image – the image we are so familiar with – the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Aztec dress. The bishop’s doubts turned to belief. I saw that beautiful tilma during the pilgrimage to Mexico, displayed in a glass case in the Basilica shrine that bears her name.

In a homily once given on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Mexican-born Archbishop of Los Angeles Jose Gomez preached, “Our Lady is calling us to listen for her voice, to be guided by her words and her example … to do something special for her, just as she called St. Juan Diego to bring Jesus to every heart and every soul.”

This is what she was asking St. Juan Diego to do. And this is what she is asking you and me to do. We are messengers and missionaries, each one of us, each in our own way – we are called to carry Jesus Christ into every situation in our lives.

Our Lady is calling us again through this year’s feast to be like Jesus in the way we think and in the way we treat other people. She is calling us to be like Jesus in the way we respond to the struggles in our lives and to the challenges we face in the Church.

As the Gospel tells us, Mary believed the word that the Lord spoke to her, and she was blessed. Brothers and sisters, we are called to have that same trust that Mary had.

Let us always remember her words: “Do not let your heart be disturbed. Do not fear. ... Am I, your Mother, not here? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Are you not in the folds of my arms? What more do you need?”

“The Virgin reminds us that beyond the color of our skin or the countries where we come from, we are all brothers and sisters. We are – every one of us, there are no exceptions! – all of us are children of one heavenly Father and we have the Mother of God as our Mother” (Homily, Archbishop Jose Gomez, December 12, 2018).

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Virgin Mother and patroness of all the Americas, goes with us on our journey of faith through this life. We go always in her gaze. She takes our hand, like a mother, and she guides us along the pathways that lead us to her Son, always. Let us lay all our hopes and fears at the feet of the Virgin.

¡Que Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

¡Que viva San Juan Diego!

Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


Bishop joins Aquinas Institute community for Mass
Father Zachary Swantek and members of the Aquinas Institute welcomed ...

The Doomsday Clock –the theoretical timepiece that measures humanity's march
he Doomsday Clock –the theoretical timepiece that measures humanity's march...

Catholic men share faith, fellowship at annual rally
The 2024 Catholic Men for Jesus Christ conference brought together ...

Seven U.S. cardinals pledge to help heal Ukraine's wounds of war through new fund
With Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine entering its third year...

En el Rito de Elección, el Obispo dice que “ser Católico hace la diferencia
Emilio Robles le da crédito a su prometida y a su familia...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.