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guadalupeToday is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a very popular feast of the Virgin Mary. Perhaps it is the story of the apparition itself that has caught the imagination of people everywhere. It was reportedly on December 9, 1531 that a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego saw a beautiful young lady on a hill outside his village. She asked him to build a church on that spot and he recognized her as the Blessed Mother of Jesus. He went to the bishop to ask the favor and the bishop sent him back to her for a sign of authenticity. The miraculous sign given to him was a beautiful and plentiful blooming of roses of a type not found in that region – and certainly not in December. Diego gathered them and returned to the bishop where, when he opened his cape, the roses spilled out all over the ground and their impression was left on his cape. That Mary chose this humble man for this miracle is reminiscent of God’s choice of her to bring forth the Christ into the world. The pilgrimage spot at Guadalupe is the most visited one in the world today and Our Lady of Guadalupe has become the patroness of the Americas.

Today I am grateful for all those people whose trust in God is in itself miraculous and is an example to me. I am thankful as well for mothers who daily birth God into the world with their devoted love. And I rejoice daily for roses, the beauty of which overwhelms the senses and warms the heart. How magnificent a choice for this manifestation of the Virgin!