Monday, December 12, 2016
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas
The Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe -- a unique title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she appeared in Mexico to St. Juan Diego. The miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, is justly famous. She first appeared to St. Juan Diego on 9 December 1531, that day of December now being his feast, and it was today, 12 December 1531, that St. Juan opened his tilma full of roses for Bishop Zumarraga of Mexico City, revealing the miraculous image pictured above.
While the Spanish, under Hernan Cortes, had subdued the Aztec Empire with the capture of Tenochtitlan on 14 August 1521, few Mexicans converted to Catholicism until this 1531 appearance of Our Lady. The appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe was a crucial turning point in the evangelization of the New World -- and remains a deeply seated devotion in the Catholics of the Americas. The devotion spread even to the Old World, though, with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe even being present at the Battle of Lepanto against the Turk in 1571AD!
Today, then, is a great feast and occasion of joy for Catholics, in general, the Americas, more particularly, and Mexico most especially!
The "Ancient" Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I will not picture the new one on my page out of consideration for the reader.
["Fachada Antigua Basilica de Guadalupe" by Juan Carlos Fonseca Mata - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons]
For more information on the feast, you might note: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: O.L. of Guadalupe
Fisheaters: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Catholic Saints Info: Our Lady of Guadalupe
Here is a link to the website of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City: Basilica of Guadalupe
It is certainly interesting, as well, to note the connection in name with the older devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe coming from the Spanish monastery in Extremadura. It was to this Our Lady of Guadalupe that King Alfonso XI of Castile and Leon credited the Christian victory at the Battle of Salado in the 1340AD against the Islamic armies of Grenada and their Marinid allies. Further, it was to this Virgin of Guadalupe that Christopher Columbus credited the safe return of his first voyage, coming in thanksgiving to the monastery after his return from the discovery of the New World -- with the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe named for the Blessed Virgin under this title by Columbus.
Our Lady of Guadalupe of Extremadura, Spain.
Read more about the "other" Virgin of Guadalupe here: Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe