Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Our Lady of Guadalupe & Our Lady of Good Success

III Class (1962 Calendar): December 12 (in the United States). The feastday is kept on November 16 in the Diocese of New Orleans. For those dioceses who keep our Lady of Guadalupe as patroness, this is I Class.

SemiDouble (1954 Calendar): December 12 (in the United States). For those dioceses who keep our Lady of Guadalupe as patroness, this is Double of the I Class. She is Double of the II Class in any Dioceses that keep her as a secondary patroness. She is kept as Double of the I Class in Mexico.

In 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to a converted Aztec man named Juan Diego at Tepeyac, which is now an area just outside of Mexico City.  Juan Diego had converted to Catholicism in 1524 or 1525 not long after the coming of the Spaniards. He would walk 14 miles, barefooted, to attend Mass and seek instruction in the faith.

Unlike the visionaries of Fatima and Lourdes, Juan Diego was not young. In fact, at age 57, he was considered “old” by the standards of those times. But what makes him similar to the children is his poverty and humility. He was of the lowest class in his society and he is reported to have told the Blessed Mother, ‘"I am a nobody, I am a small rope, a tiny ladder, the tail end, a leaf."

Juan Diego wore a coarse cloak made from cactus fibers. When the Bishop doubted his stories about the appearance of the Lady, Juan asked her for a sign to prove to the bishop that the visions were real. Our Lady told Juan to pick roses that were blooming out of season and bring them in his cloak to the bishop. When he opened his cloak, or tilma, our Blessed Mother’s likeness was revealed on the cloth. Although the cactus cloth should have deteriorated within 20 years, this tilma defies scientific explanation and remains intact today.

After bringing the tilma to the Bishop, Juan Diego spent the rest of his life in a room near the chapel where the image was housed. He cared for the church and the pilgrims who came to pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Twenty-five successive Popes have honored the appearance of Our Lady in Mexico. And millions of pilgrims visit the Basilica to see the miraculous images. Thousands of miracles are reported each year. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of the Americas and patron saint of the unborn. Her image has been analyzed in detail and it appears that she is portrayed as pregnant as indicated by the high black ribbon above her waist.

During the time before the Spaniards came to Mexico, the Aztecs, and other native peoples, ritually killed thousands of people each year, especially the pure and the young, as sacrifices to their gods. Only the modern era has seen a surpassing of that kind of Culture of Death in the killing of unborn babies.

On the pagan temples of Mexico, the serpent is a prevalent image. When the Blessed Mother came to Juan Diego she spoke in his native language and is believed by some to have called herself “coatlaxopeuh,” which is pronounced like the Spanish word “Guadalupe.” The word “coatlaxopeuh” means one “who crushes the serpent.” This is yet another reason to pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe on behalf of the unborn.

On December 12th, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Americas, ask your priest for the traditional blessing of roses.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, we pray to you for our country where the wholesale slaughter of the unborn now surpasses the killing of the innocents of any previous time!


O God, You have placed us under the special patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and through her You have favored us with endless blessings. May we, who joyfully honor her this day on earth, enjoy her company forever in heaven. Through Our Lord . . .

Twenty-nine years after Juan Diego’s death, five Conceptionist nuns traveled from Spain to Quito, Ecuador, to bring the Word of God to the New World. Among this group was Mariana de Jesus Torres, who was 13 years old. During the sea journey, she and the other nuns were graced with spiritual visions. Later, as the Abbess of the Royal Convent of the Immaculate Conception, Mother Mariana was unjustly persecuted by other nuns and local authorities. She faced imprisonment with great courage asking to take on the sins of the world. She died two times as a result of the pain and shock which pierced her heart. Yet, she returned to life!

Our Lady of Good Success was the title Mary gave to Mother Mariana when she appeared to her beginning in 1594. Over several years, Our Lady revealed visions of the coming immorality of the 20th Century — that faith and morals would be totally corrupted; that secular education would lead to a shortage of priests and religious; that sacraments would be ridiculed and the sacrament of Extreme Unction would be little used; that women would dress without modesty and children would lose their innocence; that many priests would fail to uphold the sacredness of their office.

Our Lady of Good Success said, “As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and profaned in the fullest sense of the word. Masonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the objective of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin, encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The Christian spirit will rapidly decay, extinguishing the precious light of Faith until it reaches the point that there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs.”

Mary revealed that belief in her appearance would be questioned and mocked, but She said that the simple and humble of heart would believe, and that would make a difference. As she said at Lourdes, over two centuries later, “The Immaculate Conception will triumph,” and the serpent will eventually be crushed when a holy “prelate” comes to bring change.

Mother Mariana was told that a truly Catholic president would come to Ecuador and would be martyred. That vision was fulfilled in 1875 when President Gabriel Garcia Moreno was murdered after trying to make reforms based on his faith.

Our Lady of Good Success commanded Mother Mariana to commission a tall statue to be created and placed above the Abbess chair at the convent. This statue was begun by a well-known sculptor but was miraculously completed in 1611 by the archangels and St. Francis of Assisi. This miracle was attested to by both the sculptor and the local bishop.

The appearance in Quito corresponds to a mysterious statue found by two Brothers from the Order of Minims in a cave in Catalonia, Spain. When the two set out to have their Order approved by the Holy See, they were shipwrecked and found shelter in a cave where they discovered the statue. They carried it to Pope Paul V, who blessed it and called the statue Our Lady of Good Success because of her aid of the travelers and spiritual petitioners. The year was 1607, just four years before a similarly appearing statue was commissioned by the Blessed Mother herself in Quito, Ecuador!

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