The astounding appearance of Our Lady in present day Mexico in the 1531 is celebrated on December 12 with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can more understand the majesty and power of Our Lady and build the Virtue of Piety so he can more perfectly venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Blessed Virgin Mary, having accepted God’s will for her to become the “Mother of God”, and informed of her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy, travels for four days (some 80 miles, likely protected by St. Joseph on the dangerous journey) to the hill country of Judea. There are a number of mysterious echoes of the Old Testament which prefigure Mary’s journey.
Elizabeth is miraculously moved by the Holy Spirit upon the Blessed Virgin Mary’s arrival. Though the Blessed Virgin Mary is only a few weeks into her pregnancy and does not “show”, Elizabeth recognizes the Blessed Virgin Mary’s miraculous conception (“Blessed are you…blessed is the fruit of your womb”). Elizabeth is divinely inspired to exalt the Blessed Virgin Mary, as “the mother of my Lord.” Mysteriously, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s voice is heard by John the Baptist, still three months away from birth in Elizabeth’s womb, and causes John to leap with joy. The Blessed Virgin Mary responds with her beautiful Magnificat (“My soul doth magnify the Lord”).
In today’s Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Church remembers the Holy Mother’s appearances to Juan Diego in Guadalupe, Mexico in 1531. Our Lady of Guadalupe left a miraculous image of herself on Diego’s cloak (unexplainable by science) which ultimately led to the mass conversion of millions of people to Catholicism and the eradication of the Aztec death cult which offered human sacrifice by slaughtering many thousands of humans each year. Patroness of Americas, Our Lady is venerated at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be astounded by how others react to the Divine Presence of Jesus: even in the very early and hidden stage of human development in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus is instantly recognized by Elizabeth, as God; the child John the Baptist, though still months away from being born, is given the capacity and awareness of Jesus, and reacts with joy, filling both Elizabeth and the Blessed Virgin Mary with awe.
Seek to understand the majesty and power of Our Lady
Realize: The Blessed Virgin Mother’s appearance to Juan Diego is a purposeful intervention of Our Lady in the lives of men; as Our Lady’s appearance led to the conversion of millions to Catholicism and the eradication of human sacrifice in Mexico, today, Our Lady continues to move the hearts of men to turn away from sin and turn to her Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, for deliverance from evil.
Believe: Reflect upon Our Mother in the Order of Grace (CCC 967-970) .
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so I better perceive Our Blessed Mother’s exalted place in God’s plan of salvation and how she has the power to intercede on my behalf, and the behalf of every soul, directly to her Son, Jesus Christ the Lord.
Venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary
Realize: Some Catholic men do not yet have a close relationship with the great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy, the beautiful soul God the Father created to be the Mother of His Son, and who the Son gave to all men from the Cross.
Believe: Reflect upon the Veneration of The Blessed Virgin Mary (CCC 487, 971, 2146, 2673-2679, 2682).
Pray: Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for me to grow in the Virtue of Piety so I love you as my mother, I frequently offer you honor and thanks, and I seek to draw close to, and be comforted by you, Holy Mother of God.