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Pope Francis Encourages Mothers to be Evangelizers

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Pope Francis delivered a profound message on Wednesday, underscoring the profound significance of Our Lady of Guadalupe's apparition in 1531 and the vital role mothers play in passing down faith to future generations. During his catechesis on evangelization, the Pope highlighted how the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe served as a vehicle for spreading the Gospel throughout the Americas, emphasizing her as a model of both motherhood and inculturation.

Photo credit: Grant Whitty

Photo credit: Grant Whitty


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/23/2023 (9 months ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Pope Francis, Guadalupe, Mary, mother, God, evangelization

In the Pope's words, "The Virgin of Guadalupe... appears dressed in the clothing of the native peoples, she speaks their language, she welcomes and loves the local culture." This profound connection to the people she appeared to underscores the maternal essence of Mary, a refuge for all her children. Pope Francis remarked that Mary's unique ability to proclaim God's message in the "mother tongue" is mirrored in how mothers and grandmothers play an integral role in passing on the Gospel to their children and grandchildren.

The Pope's reflection on August 23 centered on the heartening role of Our Lady of Guadalupe's apparition in Mexico City. When she appeared to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill, she conveyed a message of comfort: "Let nothing frighten you or trouble your heart: [...] Am I not here, I who am your mother?" Pope Francis drew parallels between this message of solace and a mother's unwavering support and encouragement for her children to face the challenges of life.

Throughout his address, Pope Francis championed the idea that Our Lady always chooses the simple, the humble, and the sincere, symbolized not only by her appearance to Juan Diego but also by her appearances in other renowned shrines like Lourdes and Fatima. These encounters demonstrate that Mary, speaking to the unpretentious, communicates a universal language of faith, akin to the language of Jesus Himself.

Pope Francis stressed the remarkable story of Juan Diego, whom Mary tasked with building a church in her honor. Despite the challenges he faced, including disbelief from the bishop, Juan Diego's unwavering obedience led to the miraculous appearance of Mary's image on his tilma, a cherished relic that graces the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

The Pope encouraged the appreciation of Marian shrines and pilgrimage sites, describing them as havens of consolation and mercy, where faith resonates in a maternal tone. These sanctuaries provide solace and refuge, allowing individuals to rest in the arms of Our Lady and emerge with renewed peace and childlike serenity.

Pope Francis's reflection on Our Lady of Guadalupe's role in evangelization and motherhood serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring impact of Mary's apparition and her ability to connect with people of all backgrounds. Her maternal language of faith continues to inspire believers, while mothers and grandmothers remain pivotal figures in carrying forth the Gospel's message through their nurturing guidance.

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