When I was assigned to the convent we had in San Antonio, Texas I was impressed by the devotion of the people to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Almost every Catholic home had the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I remember the last time I was in San Antonio for this Feast, we woke up early to sing "Las Mananitas" to Mary (a song to awaken a person) and we processed around the block near the Cathedral of San Fernando where a young man dressed as Juan Diego acted out the apparitions and the visits to the Bishop's residence. Then we filed into the Cathedral for a festive Mass.
Both men and women are named Guadalupe or Lupe especially in Mexico and among Mexican Americans. However devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe is not limited to those of Hispanic origin. She is the Mother of all the members of her Son's Mystical Body--all of us.
In the image a ribbon tied at Mary's waist symbolized her pregnancy. She told her messenger that she was Mary, the Mother of God. She wanted a church built--the church would honor her Son Jesus.
Before Juan Diego encountered the Lady of Tepeyec, missionaries had minimal success in converting the local people in Mexico to embraced Christianity. Word soon spread that this Mary was a "Virgen Morena" (a dark skinned Virgin Mary) like them. Within a few years nine million native Americans accepted Baptism and became fervent believers.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is also the Patroness of the Unborn.
Tonight our community will enjoy a festive Mexican meal prepared by one of our Sisters who is Mexican American. As I write the aroma is wafting into my room and giving me an appetite!
May Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Patroness of all the Americas intercede for all of us, especially you my readers.