Our Lady of Guadalupe. She’s my favorite Mary appearance. The missionaries were not making any inroads with converting the Mexican people. Mary, always happy to help bring souls to her Son, appeared to a poor man in Mexico named Juan Diego. She asked him to ask the bishop to build a church. He was like, ‘I’ll ask, but the odds aren’t good they’ll do it. This is a pretty wild story.’
He asked the bishop and, as expected, did not immediately win him over to the, ‘the Mother of God wants you to build a church’ reasoning. The bishop asked Juan Diego for a sign.
‘I see,’ Mary said when Juan told her. She had him pick a bunch of out-of-season roses (it was winter) using his tilma (a cloak) to carry them back to the bishop.
Once in front of the bishop, he unfurled his tilma and let the roses cascade to the floor. To his surprise, the bishop and everyone in the room dropped to their knees. Juan Diego looked down and on his tilma was the painting we now know as Our Lady of Guadalupe.
And with that miracle, Boom, Mexico converted. About 9 million people in eight years! That’s crazy!
The image has all sorts of Aztec and Catholic imagery in it. A lovely marriage of the two cultures. And the tilma, made of rice fibers, should have disinegrated long ago, but has survived since 1531.
There’s actually all sorts of cool things about the image and I encourage you to look it up since I could go on all day about it!
Her feast day is December 12.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
This is a print mounted on wood with a hanger in back. Please allow up to a week for artisaning.