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guadalupeToday is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a celebration especially dear to those who claim their heritage as natives of Mexico and, by extension, all Native Americans and native peoples everywhere. It is the story of clearly documented appearances of the Blessed Mother, Mary, to a 57 year-old peasant who was on his way to a Saturday Mass to honor her in a small village near Mexico City on December 9, 1531. As he passed the hill of Tepeyac, Juan Diego heard beautiful music like birdsong and saw in a radiant cloud a beautiful young woman dressed as an Aztec princess. She spoke in his native language directing him to go to the bishop of Mexico to tell him she desired a chapel built in her honor on that hill. He did as he was instructed. The bishop told him to ask for a sign from the lady. Although he tried to avoid her because of his need to care for his sick uncle, she found him again on December 12th, saying that his uncle would recover, and gave him roses which he carried to the bishop in his cloak. When he opened his cloak, the roses tumbled to the floor and the bishop fell to his knees in prayer because on the cloak was imprinted the image of Our Lady just as Juan Diego had described her. This image is now well-known to pilgrims world-wide and the story reminds us that God does not discriminate in the choice of those who carry the message of love into the world. We are all called to holiness and fidelity in the everyday events of our lives. Who knows what miracles await?

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