Today Catholic around the world celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe “La Morena” to celebrate the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego in 1531.
What strikes me as extraordinary about these apparitions is that they occured while hundreds of thousands Europeans were abandoning the faith of their fathers. Whereas in Europe protestantism was creating disunity and confusion amongst Christians, Our Lady of Guadalupe was pointing millions and millions indigenous people towards Christ.
Coincidence? I think not.
I loved today’s Bishop Barron reflection about this feast day:
Friends, today we celebrate the great feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. What followed the apparition of Mary at Tepeyac is one of the most astounding chapters in the history of Christian evangelism.
Though Franciscan missionaries had been laboring in Mexico for twenty years, they had made little progress. But within ten years of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, practically the entire Mexican people, nine million strong, had converted to Christianity. La Morena had proved a more effective evangelist than St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Patrick, and St. Francis Xavier combined! And with that great national conversion, the Aztec practice of human sacrifice came to an end. She had done battle with fallen spirits and had won a culture-changing victory for the God of love.
The challenge for us who honor her today is to join the same fight. We must announce to our culture today the truth of the God of Israel, the God of Jesus Christ, the God of nonviolence and forgiving love. And we ought, like La Morena, to be bearers of Jesus to a world that needs him more than ever.
Bishop Robert Baron
Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us!