SUMMER SOLUTION - Take a Virtual Pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe!
This activity is perfect for the whole family at home.
Editor's note: This virtual pilgrimage is part of the Catholic Online Summer Solution program. A program of activities, books and recipes to keep your family busy through the summer. Check back every day for updates and exciting new things to do!
You may not be able to travel to Tepeyac, but you can still honor Our Lady by taking your family on this virtual pilgrimage.
A virtual pilgrimage is a day of prayer, activities and devotion that you can do at home, at school, or virtually anywhere.
Everything on this list is optional and you may tailor and customize your day however you like. A number of activities feature choices and substitutions.
Enjoy your virtual pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalue. We pray that you find it to be spiritually fulfilling and rewarding as you share these activities with your family.
1. Juan Diego's Breakfast:
As with most of the activities you have several options. Choose the option that suits you best. The general aim is to consume a meager meal as the people of Mexico in the time of Juan Diego did not eat substantial breakfasts. Also, a mini fast is an appropriate option.
Consider one of the following as an option:
- Harina de maiz
- Corn tortillas
- Chorizo and egg
- Bowl of cereal
Harina de maize recipe
- Milk Base
- 2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring up to a boil.
- 1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
Mix together and set aside until the milk, sugar, and spices come up to a boil. Stir mix together one last time and pour this slurry into the saucepan, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to medium and continue stirring until the mixture thickens, at least 7 minutes. Be careful when it starts bubbling - it is not a delicate simmer! If needed, remove the saucepan from the heat, stir for a couple for a couple of seconds, and return to the burner.
2. Prayer After breakfast, begin your journey with a quick and simple prayer dedicated to our Lady of Guadalupe. Click here for the prayer.
3. Read or learn about Mexico in the time of Juan Diego. This activity requires some preparation and tailoring to the audience. Naturally, small children will not appreciate the full history of the period as much as an older student or adult.
Here is a great resource for learning about Mexico in the time of Juan Diego.
4. Learn and do a traditional art or craft, or color this picture of Juan Diego. If you know or wish to learn or teach a period specific craft, we encourage you to try. It's a great way to spend family time and to learn something new. For younger children, drawing a picture may suffice. Older children may do well making their own rosaries if you have string and beads available. Most of these items are available locally or online.
If you choose coloring, get your picture of Juan Diego here.
5. Juan Diego's Lunch:
This meal may remain meager, or you may fast. Alternatively, do something a bit more substantial for younger children, you will soon begin the challenging part of the pilgrimage.
- Beans and rice with a corn tortilla.
- A mix of corn, squash, or other vegetables.
- Broth or soup.
6. Siesta. Take a short afternoon nap or rest for awhile you don't want tired pilgrims to fall asleep while praying the rosary!
7. Children may draw or color their version of Juan Diego's Tilma. Alternatively they may make one using this format.
- For one child: one paper grocery sack or bag
- For a class: a roll of brown kraft paper (available at office supply stores or the Post Office, usually sold for wrapping packages).
- Glue stick
- Picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe
- Crayons or markers
- Colored raffia
- Cut out the sides of the paper grocery sack, and lay it flat
- Cut a 7 inch circle (for the child's head) from the bottom of the sack.
- Fringe the bottom of the tilma with scissors or punch holes and tie colored raffia as a fringe.
- Color the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe - make it as bright and colorful as you want.
- Cut out the finished picture and glue it to the front of the tilma.
- That's it!
8. Brief prayer offered to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Click here for the prayer.
9. The Pilgrimage. For this pilgrimage the following items are recommended. A rose (or roses), or flowers, water (if walking a long distance), and your rosaries.
Walk to your nearest parish church or shrine to Our Lady. If the distance is too far, walking around the block may do. As you walk, think about the journey Juan Diego took to see the bishop after seeing Our Lady. You may discuss this as you walk, or another matter of faith. Alternatively you may keep silent, or pray the rosary as you go. Do what is most fitting for your area and desired experience.
If you cannot leave the home, spend some time in quiet reflection then approach Our Lady in prayer. No shrines, altars, or statues are needed. Your prayerful attitude is what's most important at this time.
After you arrive at your shrine, wherever that may be, offer your roses and drawings to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is appropriate to light a candle dedicated to Our Lady with your intentions added.
10. Pray the rosary as a family.
11. Return home in prayer and contemplation.
12. Work as a family to prepare a traditional Mexican supper. This will conclude your virtual pilgrimage.
13. If you wish, you may view a movie or documentary about Juan Diego and Our Lady, or even better, start a Catholic book dedicated to the subject!
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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