Life & Liberty

LOM 70

LOM 70


* * * October 22: Saint John Paul II * * * October 23: Saint John of Capistrano * * * October 24: Saint Raphael the Archangel * * * October 29: Feast of Christ the King * * * October 31: All Hallows' Eve * * * November 1: All Saints Day * * * November 2: All Souls Day * * * November 5: Daylight Saving Time Ends * * * November 11: Veterans' Day * * * November 21: Presentation of The Blessed Virgin Mary * * * November 23: Thanksgiving Day * * * November 26: Christ, King of the Universe * * * November 27: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal * * *

Monday, December 13, 2010

Guadalupe Celebration Signifies History And Future Of Catholic America


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.