Our Lady of Guadalupe is often referred to as the Patroness of the Americas. In many of the Catholic Churches throughout North and Central America her image, be it a painting or statue, is displayed somewhere on the parish grounds if not the church itself. This is especially true in California, with a large Mexican population.
Like the Shroud of Turin, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe appears on a cloth. The cloth is made from cactus fiber. The image should have faded, and the tilma decomposed no more than 20 years after it was woven. Yet both exist today. Testing has shown that no natural or animal colorings were used to create the image. No brushstrokes can be found. Its existence, like the staircase in Santa Fe, cannot be explained.
When Mary appeared to Juan Diego, it was at a time of great conflict and bloodshed in Mexico. Many of the inhabitants were Aztecs, with their own religion and forms of worship. The Aztec gods demeaned human sacrifices. When the priests arrived to the New Spain, conversion was not easy. The conflicts were often bloody. Juan was a convert. He was a simple man, not well educated but filled with a deep love of faith. On the morning of Saturday, December 9, 1531, as Juan was on his way to the Franciscan missionary’s church in Tlateloco from his home in Tupetlac, he met a woman. As Juan passed a hill, suddenly songbirds began to sing in harmony. Then a sweet voiced called him in his native tongue. He followed the beautiful voice to a glowing figure on the hill. She told him who she was, and asked that he tell the Bishop to construct a shrine on that spot to help in a peaceful conversion of the Aztec people to her son. Juan rushed to see the Bishop, and shared his story. However; the Bishop was not so quick to agree. Always the diplomat, the Bishop asked Juan to return another day, as no decision would be made today.
Juan was disappointed. He went back to the woman, and told her she had chosen the wrong messenger. She should choose another, more noble, more worthy of such an important message. She insisted he was the one who needed to bring the message to the Bishop.
So Juan went back yet again, asking once more that a shrine be built. Time and time again, the Bishop found cause to refuse. Finally the Bishop instructed Juan to go back to the woman and insist that before a shrine could be constructed, the Bishop needed a sign. She would need to perform a miracle – offer a sign as proof. And so she did. Our Lady told Juan to pick roses that had suddenly bloomed on the hill. It was December, roses should not have been in bloom. What made these flowers even more amazing was that they did not grow in Mexico, but in Spain. She knew the Bishop would recognize the flowers from his homeland.
Juan gathered the flowers in his tilma (cloak) to bring to the Bishop. When he opened the tilma, not only were there flowers but the image we now recognize as Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Bishop ordered the shrine as requested. While the roses were a miracle, it was the image of our Lady that caused the Bishop and his advisors to fall to their knees in prayer. For she was the Mother of God, come to bring peace to a place that had seen much sorrow. The image was a pictograph that spoke to the Aztec people in ways the Bishop and the priests could not. Today faithful from all around the world make a pilgrimage to see Our Lady.
Double Wrap Spicy Tacos
10 Stand n’ Stuff Corn Taco Shells (Old El Paso)
10 snack size Flour Tortillas
2 cups shredded Iceberg Lettuce
1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Pork Chorizo
2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
1 (16 oz) can Refried Beans
2 cups shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup Tomato Salsa
Heat oven to warm, about 225 degrees. Arrange taco shells on a baking sheet, place in the oven. Lightly spray tortillas with cooking spray. Warm tortillas in a dry skillet over low heat just until pliable. Keep tortillas warm in foil in a warm oven.
Shred lettuce. Set aside.
Brown the meats together in a skillet. Drain well, season with taco seasoning and a little water to keep moist. Let meats simmer.
While the meats simmer, warm the refried beans for about 3 minutes in a microwave safe bowl. Thin beans with a little water or bacon drippings to make spreading easier.
Remove tortillas and shells from the oven. Spread warm beans on a tortilla, then sprinkle with cheese. Stand taco shell in the center of the tortillas, gently press the tortilla onto the sides of the taco shell. Fill taco shell with beef and more cheese. Place on the baking sheet, repeat with remaining tortillas and shells.
Cover baking sheet with foil, return to the oven to heat-through, maybe 5 or 6 minutes. Remove from oven, top with lettuce and salsa.
Serve with your favorite sides such as Mexican Rice and Margaritas. Enjoy!
5 thoughts on “Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration”
I can still hear my Mother tell this story. Thank you for reminding me. So fitting that the day of her rosary, I found one sunflower growing out of nowhere in January and my daughter found one yellow rose. I keep those photos as a reminder of her promise to always be with me. Her faith was unmeasurable and unwavering….
I’m so glad you were reminded of someone you loved so much. Our Blessed Mother works that way some times.
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These would go so well with a couple of Margaritas, wouldn’t they Rosemarie
That they did!
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