Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe for a New Culture of Life
Begins on December 4th and ends on Our Lady of Guadalupe's Feast Day on December 12th.
The Lord Be with You, I'm Deacon Keith Fournier, the Editor in Chief of Catholic Online.
Throughout this Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe, we ask the intercession of Mary, the Merciful Mother of Jesus, for a New Culture of Life and the conversion of the Americas.
In a phrase used by St John Paul II, we call Mary the Star of the New Evangelization. She guides the Church to Jesus Christ, whom she carried in her womb - Jesus, the Christ, the Savior sent from the father.
In 1531, Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, an Aztec Indian who had only recently given his life to Jesus Christ, been baptized and become a Catholic Christian.
He was a 57-year-old widower. She appeared to be a very young woman.
She appeared to him 4 times and once to his uncle Juan Bernadino, who was cured of a serious illness during the encounter.
Juan first saw Our Lady at the foot of the Tepeyac Hill in what is now Mexico City. She was in a brilliant light and called him softly.
She told him that she was the ever Virgin, Holy Mary, Mother of the True God who is the Author of Life, the Creator of all things, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, present everywhere.
She asked Juan Diego to tell the bishop that he was to build a Christian Church.
She called him Juanito, saying "Here I will show myself as a loving Mother to you and to all those born in these lands, and to all those who love me and trust in me, for I am your loving mother."
She gave him roses, which she placed his cloak or 'tilma' and told him to show them to the bishop.
When the Spanish bishop asked for a sign to confirm what Juan had told, Juan opened his cloak and the roses fell to the ground. Miraculously, on his Tilma appeared an Image of Mary, the Mother of the Lord, just as she had appeared to him.
The Image evokes the 12th chapter of the last book of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation, or the Apocalypse, which reads:
"And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child..."
The miraculous image on Juan's tilma is of Mary, clothed with the sun, standing on the moon.
The Aztecs were known to offer human sacrifices on a massive scale to appease nature as they understood it.
Mary is dressed as an Aztec princess. The sash on her waist is worn by a woman who is pregnant.
She is supported by Saint Michael, also pointing to the 12 chapter of the Book of Revelation.
The name Guadalupe comes from an ancient shrine dedicated to Our Lady in Spain.
The bishop was unable to understand the Indian name Juan told him. It means "she who crushes the head of the serpent". He thought it sounded like 'de Guadalupe', by which name this appearance has been known ever since.
Within 7 years the appearance of our Lady to Juan Diego helped to inspire 9,000,000 Aztecs to give their lives to Jesus Christ as Savior and be baptized into the Catholic Church. The fire of the Holy Spirit brought massive conversion.
The event also helped bring about an end to human sacrifice among the Aztecs.
To the Indians, the picture on Juan's Tilma, was the Gospel message of a God of forgiveness and Mercy.
She told Juan,
I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows... their necessities and misfortunes. Listen and let it penetrate your heart.
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Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and my protection?
Scientists from NASA have carried out extensive tests on the fabric and image. There is no scientific explanation. The image is not painted, dyed or woven.
The tilma is made from cactus, which ordinarily only last 20 years. Yet it is still here, leading men, women and children to conversion to Jesus Christ.
Enlargements have revealed images in the tender eyes of the Mother of the Lord, including the Bishop and Juan Diego.
This Image of Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, has become a prophetic symbol for the Pro-Life Movement. The pregnant mother of the Lord is the greatest sign of the evil behind every procured abortion.
She is a powerful advocate for the Church in her effort to restore legal protection to children in the womb and end the barbarism of legal abortion.
Under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mary has been declared the Patroness of all the Americas.
Over the next nine days, we will ask for her help in obtaining the graces the Church needs from her Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ, to end legalized abortion and build a New Culture of Life and bring conversion to the Americas.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the New Evangelization, Pray for us.
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