Monday, December 10, 2012

History of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Ultimate symbol of the New Evangelization





December 9, 2012. (Romereports.com) The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is centuries old, but its appeal, evergreen.

As the anniversary of the apparitions approach, Catholics around the world, but especially those from Mexico, prepare to honor her through prayer and song.

Yet, for many, it has taken special significance amidst a push towards the New Evangelization.

FR. JOSE MANUEL SUAZO
Academics Prefect, Mexican College in Rome
“Blessed Mary is able to relay a Christian message to a non-Christian culture.”

The apparitions date back to 1531 in modern day Mexico City, as a humble indigenous man by the name of Juan Diego walked past a hill, where Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared before him.

She asked him to convey a message to have a church built in her son's honor. But upon doing so, Juan Diego receives a skeptical response from the archbishop, Friar Juan de Zumárraga.

FR. JOSE MANUEL SUAZO
Academics Prefect, Mexican College in Rome
“The archbishop asks for a sign as proof, to show that Juan Diego is being truthful. And in reality, the archbishop doesn't get one sign, he gets three. The first is appearance of roses.”

Those roses appeared on top of the hill called Tepeyac, in the midst of winter. Juan Diego picked several roses at the Lady's request. But before delivering them, his uncle falls ill and summons Juan Diego to fetch him a priest because he is dying.

While on his way, Our Lady of Guadalupe appears before him again. As Juan Diego apologizes for not delivering the roses, he explains about his uncle's illness.

FR. JOSE MANUEL SUAZO
Academics Prefect, Mexican College in Rome
“To that, our Blessed Virgin Mary responds, 'Am I not your mother, in whom you can confide? I look after and worry about you. Don't worry anymore, your uncle Juan Bernardino has healed.'”

The miraculous healing, gives way to the third and final sign. On December 12, 1531, Juan Diego heads out to see the archbishop, using his cloak to hold the roses he picked on the hill.

FR. JOSE MANUEL SUAZO
Academics Prefect, Mexican College in Rome
 “When Juan Diego goes before Archbishop Friar Juan de Zumárraga, he presents the flowers as a sign. And upon opening up his cloak, the roses fall and miraculously the image of the Our Blessed Lady of Guadalupe appears.”

The image on the cloak, depicting Our Lady of Guadalupe with olive skin and dressed as an Aztec princess triggered a mass conversion among the indigenous population in Mexico to Catholicism.

FR. JOSE MANUEL SUAZO
Academics Prefect, Mexican College in Rome
 “Our Blessed Mary was far ahead of us when it comes to the New Evangelization, presenting the Gospel in a brand new way.”

The three signs, led to the construction of a cathedral where Our Lady of Guadalupe indicated. Today, a large Basilica in her honor stands there as well.

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