December 12 was the Catholic Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Patroness of the Americas. Although Our Lady of Guadalupe is important to Mexicans, her influence is significant to Catholics worldwide, as Mary is the mother of us all. The Catholic Church notes that her influence extends beyond Mexico with shrines all over the world, including the Philippines, Kenya, and South Korea – Our Lady of Guadalupe has given strength to many generations.
As the story goes, Mary, the mother of God, appeared as an Aztec princess before an indigenous farm worker by the name of Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac, just outside Mexico City, four times on the days of Dec. 9-12, 1531. She communicated that she was mother to the people and would hear their prayers and offer them her compassion. Mary asked Juan Diego to speak to the archbishop of Mexico and request they build a chapel where she had appeared. The Bishop did not believe Juan Diego had seen Mary and asked him to bring a sign of her apparition. On December 12, Mary presented Juan Diego with roses which she made bloom in the snow as symbols of fidelity and hope. Juan Diego brought the roses to the bishop who was astonished and agreed to build the chapel.
It is important to mention that the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe also takes place during the time of Advent, which is when Catholics reflect on Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem where Mary gave birth to Jesus. Last week, many of our students, faculty and staff gathered to witness Las Posadas, a Mexican tradition. Las Posadas mirrors the journey of Mary and Joseph as they seek shelter to welcome baby Jesus. Students Alondra Salinas Villafuerte '23 and Diego Nieves '25 dressed up as Mary and Joseph for the reenactment. Other students joined Alondra and Diego as either pilgrims themselves or inn keepers. Students then enjoyed "pan dulce," sweet bread. Our community was reminded how God's unfailing love encompasses us all.
From Jesuit High, "Happy Our Lady of Guadalupe Day" or "Feliz Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe!"
"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death, Amen."