Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mary Moments: Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe

This month, we're honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe. If you're unfamiliar with this depiction of Mary, stick around and we'll discover more about it together. If this is an old favorite, or perhaps something you're lukewarm-at-best about, we invite you to stay as well. This month we have a collection of posts that warrant at least one mug of tea or coffee or hot chocolate (or, for those of you in the warmer climes, a glass of something cool).

O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church!, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.

"All these years later, that statue is my favorite one in my Mary Garden. Over the years, it has been a source of conversation for visitors and even workmen working on my house. Sure enough, Our Lady keeps mending souls. The men and the woman who have ventured through my garden, are drawn to her, and in conversation, many of them have told of the pain they have suffered from having had abortions or their wife or girlfriend aborting their child. And they all seem to name their aborted children Matthew or Mary. Our Lady never stops pleading for her children." Read the whole post.

"The first year we were married, way back in 1986, my Mom gave us a beautiful wooden carved statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She is very special to us and has always held a very special place in our home. In 2002 we discovered how special we are to her." Read the whole post.

"Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most familiar New World image of Mary and the only true picture of the Mother of God. As the patroness of the Americas and of the unborn, she holds a special place in the hearts of many." Read the whole post.

Mother of Mercy, Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows. Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand.

"The world of a young expectant mother waits with her in the months of her pregnancy with anticipation and excitement for the unborn child to arrive. Everyone close to her rallies and prepares with her as the time gets ever nearer. There are things to buy, things to make, things to clean, and things to clear away all in preparation for the child so loved and desired. With each month that passes, the family becomes more aware of the changes that will occur, for a child will make their world anew and different. No one in this little family will ever be the same, no one in this little world will ever know life without this new child in the months and years to come." Read the whole post.

"If you want to celebrate Our Lady of G, as I quickly learned, go to a Spanish Mass. It was, in word, fabulous. There was a procession to honor her, winding around the Mary grotto and into the church. There was a mariachi band dressed in white on the altar. “Viva la Virgen!” shouted the priest and various lectors. And, at the end of the service, parishioners crowded the altar, bearing small statues or framed images of Our Lady. They waited patiently for the priest to bless them before leaving, taking the beloved icons back into their homes." Read the whole post.

We'll pause in our quotable posts to share this link to activities and a prayer and this link to some fine feast day cuisine.

Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the Bishops, that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, of love and humble service of God and souls. Contemplate this immense harvest, and intercede with the Lord that He may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.

"As a pro-life activist, I have had a strong devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of the unborn, for many years. I have taken her image with me to the abortion mills and have witnessed the power of her presence in saving human life. However, on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2005, I experienced my own personal miracle." Read the whole post.

"As a pro-life activist, I have had a strong devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of the unborn, for many years. I have taken her image with me to the abortion mills and have witnessed the power of her presence in saving human life. However, on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2005, I experienced my own personal miracle." Read the whole post.

"Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Working in a parish where the preponderance of the people are Latino, we have a huge celebration for Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Sunday closest to her feast. I decided to share some pictures that my brother took of Our Lady's procession from last year. Though it was drizzly and nasty outside, there was still quite a crowd for the procession." Read the whole post.

Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings, with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God. Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.

"Share the story of Saint Juan Diego with your kids, and discuss ways they can increase their faith and obedience." Read the whole post.

"In today's gospel reading we read about the Annunciation, where the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her that she has been chosen by God to bear the Son of the Most High. And as we all know, Mary's response was yes, for as she so beautifully tells the angel; "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done according to your word." Mary models for us what it means to be a true believer and servant of God. Saying yes and trusting in God in even the most impossible situations." Read the whole post.

"Today we had our 7th annual Our Lady of Guadalupe fiesta with a few friends and our dear priest." Read the whole post.

Our hope, look upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus and, if we fall, help us to rise again, to return to Him, by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the Sacrament of Penance, which gives peace to the soul.

"It's been 16 years since the day my husband and I got married on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We chose that feast day specifically in honor of Our Lady. It was a icy cold, windy and snowy Saturday morning that those brave enough to make it out in such dangerous conditions came out for our wedding." Read the whole post.

"Here is Our Lady of Guadalupe to color or craft with as you choose." Read the whole post.

"Today we celebrate the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, and the miraculous image that was revealed in his tilma when Juan approached the bishop, as Our Lady instructed him." Read the whole post.

We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy Sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your Son left us on earth.

"The children decorated the table cloth with pretty foil stars and we are floating 2 pink rose candles next to a Strawberry Rose Cake." Read the whole post.

"On this feast day, we remember unborn children and their mothers. (The image is of a pregnant Aztec woman.) And so, I thought it would be a good day to respond to comments I’ve received recently from those who object to the idea that adoption should be represented as a pro-life alternative to abortion." Read the whole post.

"As with all good Catholic images there is abundant symbolism that was specifically designed to speak to the hearts of the people to whom she brought her message ... the Aztecs. I remember when our priest put out a flyer about this and I was just knocked out at how meaningful every single thing in the image is." Read the whole post.

Thus, Most Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

"The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a wonderful opportunity to have a celebration. Under this title as the patroness of the Americas and the patroness of the unborn she is a very important intercessor. It is such a festive day and there is so much symbolism, history, and cultural tradition associated with this day as well, which opens up many possibilities for activities and feasting. As a family we have commemorated this day in different ways, different years." Read the whole post.

"Yesterday morning, I tried to start my morning prayers with a rosary. I muddled through the opening part, and the baby woke up. I made it through another decade, and lost concentration and patience with a three-year-old. I forgot all about it as we tried to get out of the door on time for a doctor’s appointment. In the midst of this failure, I thought about Our Lady of Guadalupe, and what she has always meant to me." Read the whole post.

"We began our celebration of the Feast (in Mexico: Solemnity) of Our Lady of Guadalupe with MaƱanitas at 5:00 in the morning." Read the whole post and watch the video.

Next month we'll be taking a break from the Mary Moments carnivals. Look for a special announcement for the February edition of the Mary Moments carnival!

Are you interested in helping with the Mary Moments carnivals? Email Sarah at peerybingle [at] gmail [dot] com.

A few words more:
  • A special thank you to Esther for this month's special Mary Moments logo. Esther is the genius behind all of our Mary Moments graphics, and she unfailingly gets just the right feeling across (in less than the time it takes me to hit send and come back to the computer, most of the time!). Thanks, Esther!
  • The text punctuating this month's carnival comes from John Paul II's prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe, which you can find in a lovely ready-to-print format here.