Today, 12/12/12, is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. The beautiful image of Our Lady on the tilma (cactus fiber cloak) that can be seen in Mexico City still resonates with people today, just as it did 500 or so years ago with the Aztecs and all the native peoples of South America. The conversions to Catholicism and belief in the Triune God were astounding. As was mentioned in our homily today, as the Reformation drew people out of the Church in Europe, Our Lady gathered them into the embrace of the Church in Mexico.
The image is on a rough fabric that should have deteriorated many centuries ago. The black sash around her waist indicated to the Aztecs that she was with child yet her hair was loose indicating that she was a maiden/virgin. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
Because she appeared as a pregnant young women, she has been adopted by the pro-life community as their patroness.
Her hands, as a newsletter from the Sisters Minor of Mary Immaculate says, are clasped in prayer indicating that “she was not God for she was praying to God.” The newsletter contains detailed descriptions of the images on the tilma and their symbolism for the Aztecs then and for us today.
There are many other signs and wonders in the tilma which are endlessly, and in fascinating way, discussed on various websites. Here is one video talking about the miraculously aspects of the tilma.
May Our Lady of Guadalupe intercede for our country, especially for those who defend and protect the lives of innocent children in the womb.