12 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today we celebrate the great Marian feast of Mexico – Our Lady of Guadalupe. Known as the Patroness of the Americas and patroness of my home diocese, Phoenix, the Virgin of Guadalupe is loved by both Mexicans and Americans. Not only does this continent love her; many Catholics across the globe also have a great devotion to Our Lady under this title as well.

JP II in sombreroOne man who had a deep devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe was Pope St. John Paul II. Visiting Mexico five times during his Pontificate, John Paul II loved visiting Mexico and speaking about Our Lady of Guadalupe, once saying he knew what it felt like to be a “Mexican Pope.” He also understood the correlations between his home country of Poland, and that of Mexico – two Catholic nations that had endured persecutions, yet remained faithful to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

Here are 12 quotes from Pope St. John Paul II from a variety of his homilies, speeches, and addresses during his four visits to Mexico –

“…to all of you, Mexicans, who have a splendid past of love for Christ, even in the midst of trials; to you who bear in the depths of your heart devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Pope wishes to speak today about something which is, and must increasingly be an essential Christian and Marian feature of yours: faithfulness to the Church.”

“…while waiting for the pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Mother of God of Guadalupe, I experience the same sentiments, as when I used to go—and I hope that I will be able to go again in the not distant future—to the Sanctuary of the Mother of God of Jasna Gora at Czestochowa.”

“I have great hopes in your love for Christ and for men. There is a great deal to be done. Let us set out with renewed enthusiasm; united with Christ, under the motherly gaze of the Virgin, Our Lady of Guadalupe the sweet mother of priests and religious.”

“In fact, when the first missionaries who reached America from lands of eminent Marian tradition taught the rudiments of Christian faith, they also taught love for you, the Mother of Jesus and of all people. And ever since the time that the Indian Juan Diego spoke of the sweet Lady of Tepeyac, you, Mother of Guadalupe, have entered decisively into the Christian life of the people of Mexico.”

“We also are awaiting the descent of the Holy Spirit, who will make us see the paths of evangelization by which the Church must continue and must be reborn in this great continent of ours. We also wish today and in the days ahead to devote ourselves to prayer with Mary, the Mother of our Lord and Master—with you, Mother of hope, Mother of Guadalupe.”

“We offer you the whole of this People of God. We offer you the Church in Mexico and in the whole continent. We offer it to you as your own, You have entered so deeply into the hearts of the faithful through that sign of your presence constituted by your image in the Shrine of Guadalupe; be at home in these hearts, for the future also. Be at home in our families, our parishes, missions, dioceses, and in all the peoples.”

JP2 and Our Lady of Guadalupe

“…The Church must proclaim the Gospel of life and speak out with prophetic force against the culture of death. May the Continent of Hope also be the Continent of Life! This is our cry: life with dignity for all! For all who have been conceived in their mother’s womb, for street children, for Guadalupe!…Grant that Christian families may exemplarily raise their children in the Church’s faith and in love of the Gospel, so that they will be the seed of apostolic vocations.”

“I wish to entrust and offer the future of the continent to Blessed Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church. For this reason, I have the joy now of announcing that I have declared that on 12 December Our Lady of Guadalupe faith of our brothers and sisters, so that in all areas of social, professional, cultural and political life they may act in accord with the truth and the new law which Jesus brought to humanity.”

“…I would like to turn my thoughts to Tepeyac, to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the first and the new evangelization of America. To her I entrust the pilgrim Church in Mexico and the American continent, and I fervently ask her to guide her children, so that they will enter the third millennium with faith and hope.”

“‘The Guadalupe Event’, as the Mexican Episcopate has pointed out, “meant the beginning of evangelization with a vitality that surpassed all expectations. Christ’s message, through his Mother, took up the central elements of the indigenous culture, purified them and gave them the definitive sense of salvation” (14 May 2002, No. 8). Consequently Guadalupe and Juan Diego have a deep ecclesial and missionary meaning and are a model of perfectly inculturated evangelization.”

“In accepting the Christian message without forgoing his indigenous identity, Juan Diego discovered the profound truth of the new humanity, in which all are called to be children of God. Thus he facilitated the fruitful meeting of two worlds and became the catalyst for the new Mexican identity, closely united to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose mestizo face expresses her spiritual motherhood which embraces all Mexicans.”

‘Dear Mexicans: thank you for your hospitality, for your constant affection, for your fidelity to the Church. Continue to be faithful on this journey, encouraged by the marvelous examples of holiness born in this noble nation. Be holy! Repeating what I said to you in the Basilica of Guadalupe in 1990, serve God, the Church and the nation, each one assuming personal responsibility for passing on the Gospel message and witnessing to a faith that is alive and active in society.”

Pope St. John Paul II…Pray For Us.

Patroness of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe…Pray For Us.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

“Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness

St. Juan Diego #1Since yesterday was the feast day of Saint Juan Diego and Wednesday is the feast day for Our Lady of Guadalupe, I thought I would write about this fantastic book that my friends Michael and Laura shared with me some months ago. The title of the book is – Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of the Darkness. The link will bring you to a website where you can purchase it. If you don’t purchase it, you will regret it. This book is SOOOO good! Once I began to read it, it was not put down (well okay it was, but I read it quickly).

It is an objective account based on historical records written by Dr. Warren H. Carroll. If you are not aware of whom he is, check out the link above. For those of you that live in the United States, he is the founder of Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. Where many texts about the Physical Conquest of Mexico and the person of Hernan Cortes are often politically driven or written to change the course of history, Dr. Carroll writes a superb book without a hidden agenda. It’s simply a great book that will grab your attention from the first few paragraphs. Read it! You won’t regret it.

Many people know the story of how Our Blessed Mother appeared as a Aztec (Mexican) woman to Saint Juan Diego, but so many don’t know about the years leading up to the visions on Tepeyac Hill. Many don’t know about the horrific sacrifices the Aztecs performed to their demonic gods. This book gives a detailed account of the events that happen from 1487-1548. It not only explains the physical Conquest of Mexico, but more importantly, the spiritual Conquest of Mexico, which is often never told in history books written by secular scholars.

St. Juan Diego #2

Instead of going into my own detailed account of the book, I am going to leave you with some teasers from the book in the hopes that you will purchase the book and read it for yourself. You will not regret it. It’s a fantastic read and one that will more than likely be read again.

“His name was Cuauhtlatohuac, “he who talks like an eagle.” (An eagle perched on a cactus growing out of a rock, with a snack in its beak, was the symbol of Aztec Tenochtitlan, Cactus Rock.) Approximately forty years later, Cuauhtlatohuac was to be baptized with the Christian name of Juan Diego; and it was to him that the Mother of God, who crushes the Serpent, was to appear on the nearby hill of Tepeyac as Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

 “When they were ready to go inland, Martin of Valencia and his eleven Franciscan apostles set out on the 200-mile journey to Mexico City, across the mountains and deserts, in thin brown robes, barefoot. For the next two hundred and fifty years, every Franciscan missionary entering Mexico for the first time walked the 200 miles from Veracruz to Mexico City barefoot. It was done when Fray Junipero Serra, the apostle of California, arrived in the eighteenth century.”

“As the people of England went out of the Church Christ founded, the people of Mexico came into it. The consequences to the Church of the loss of England reverberate down the centuries; she has suffered few greater losses in the whole of the Christian era. The consequences to the Church of the conversion of the majority of the population of the New World who live south of the United States still lie mostly in the future. But no part of the world is more Catholic, and few equally so –and that is, above all, the gift of the Virgin of Guadalupe.”

Two other books on Our Lady of Guadalupe worth reading:

  1. The Wonder of Guadalupe by Francis Johnston
  2. Our Lady of Guadalupe – Mother of the Civilization of Love by Carl Anderson & Msgr. Eduardo Chavez

If you know of other books, please list them in the comment box below.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas…PRAY FOR US!

“Mondays With Mary” – Our Lady of the Americas and the New Evangelization

In 1999, Blessed John Paul II wrote the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America (The Church in America).  This document was to unite the particular (local dioceses) churches in the America’s – North, Central, and South. It is a call to encounter the living Christ who in turns brings conversion, communion and solidarity to the Church in America. At the heart of this document is the new evangelization. “As I have said…the new and unique situation in which the world and the Church find themselves at the threshold of the Third Millennium…the mission of evangelization today calls for a new program which can be defined overall as a “new evangelization””(Christifideles Laici). 

An important component of the new evangelization in America lies with the Virgin of Guadalupe. She is the fundamental piece that helps us all, not only on this continent, but also in all the Church. It is through Mary that we encounter Christ. Mary, as a good and faithful Queen Mother, leads us always to her Son and Our King, Jesus Christ. She never seeks her own glory, but is always pointing to Jesus. When she appeared to St. Juan Diego in 1531, she comes as an Aztec woman who is pregnant with child. That child is Jesus Christ. It is through the power and grace of Christ that the country of Mexico converts to Catholicism for it was Mary who led Mexico and pagan Aztecs to her Son.

Below are the words of Blessed John Paul II from Ecclesia en America 11 –

How can we fail to emphasize the role which belongs to the Virgin Mary in relation to the pilgrim Church in America journeying toward its encounter with the Lord? Indeed, the Most Blessed Virgin “is linked in a special way to the birth of the Church in the history…of the peoples of America; through Mary they came to encounter the Lord.”

Throughout the continent, from the time of the first evangelization, the presence of the Mother of God has been strongly felt, thanks to the efforts of the missionaries. In their preaching, “the Gospel was proclaimed by presenting the Virgin Mary as its highest realization. From the beginning – invoked as Our Lady of Guadalupe – Mary, by her motherly and merciful figure, was a great sign of the closeness of the Father and of Jesus Christ, with whom she invites us to enter into communion.”

The appearance of Mary to the native Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531 had a decisive effect on evangelization. Its influence greatly overflows the boundaries of Mexico, spreading to the whole continent. America, which historically has been, and still is, a melting pot of peoples, has recognized in the mestiza face of the Virgin Guadalupe is venerated as Queen of all America.

With the passage of time, pastors and faithful alike have grown increasingly conscious of the role of the Virgin Mary in the evangelization of America. In the prayer composed for the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, Holy Mary of Guadalupe is invoked as “Patroness of all America and Star of the new evangelization.” In view of this, I welcome with joy the proposal of the Synod Fathers that the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother and Evangelizer of America, be celebrated through the continent on December 12. It is my heartfelt hope that she, whose intercession was responsible for strengthening the faith of the first disciples (cf. Jn 2:11), will by her maternal intercession guide the Church in America, obtaining the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as once did for the early Church (cf. Acts 1:14), so that the new evangelization may yield a splendid flowering of Christian life.

The Virgin of Guadalupe has been important in my own life since I was 17 years old when I visited the shrine in Mexico City. As one who has lived in the Southwestern United States for most my life, I have seen the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe many times. In my high school theology classroom, I have an image of her that is always in a prominent place.

 

 

 

 

I urge you to learn more about Our Lady of Guadalupe and pray for her intercession during this Fortnight for Freedom (June 21-July 4). She was called upon many times during the Cristeros War in Mexico and I have no doubt she come and aid us as well at this time.