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* * * August 9: Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross * * * August 11: Saint Clare of Assisi * * * August 14: Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe * * * August 15: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary * * * August 21: Our Lady of Knock * * * August 22: The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary & Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary * * * August 24: Our Lady Health of the Sick * * * August 26: Our Lady of Czestochowa * * * August 27: Saint Monica & Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary * * * August 28: Saint Augustine * * * August 29: The Passion of Saint John the Baptist * * *

Monday, December 13, 2010

Guadalupe Celebration Signifies History And Future Of Catholic America

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, December 12 (CNA/EWTN News)

Five centuries ago, St. Juan Diego was the first believer to meet the Virgin Mary under the title and appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Today, millions continue to encounter and embrace her motherly presence, especially on her feast day of Dec. 12.

In 1999, three years before Pope John Paul II canonized St. Juan Diego, he summed up the significance of the Virgin of Guadalupe for Catholics throughout the Americas, describing her as the "mother and evangelizer of America." The Pope also noted that "in the next millennium … (North and South) America will be the continent with the largest number of Catholics."

Just as other Catholics might describe their faith as having a "Franciscan" or "Dominican" emphasis, some Catholics deeply identify with a "Guadalupan" Catholicism. That sensibility tends to emphasize the Virgin Mary's maternal care for all peoples, her identification with the humble and oppressed, and her call for all cultures to receive the Gospel message while preserving their own gifts.

Although the Virgin of Guadalupe announced herself to Juan Diego as the mother of all peoples, devotion to her is understandably strongest in Mexico and its former territories within the U.S., and among Latino Catholics everywhere. The image left for posterity on Juan Diego's tilma has also been imprinted on their culture and outlook.