Later deemed the Patroness of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Saint Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531.
This was the same century in which Martin Luther led a revolt from the Catholic Church. So, while he led millions away from the Catholic Church, our Blessed Mother, Mary led millions in on a different continent.
PATRONESS OF THE UNBORN AND THE AMERICAS
At the time of Mary’s apparition to the layman, Saint Juan Diego, the Aztecs in Mexico were sacrificing human babies to their gods. In an effort to appease their deities, the Aztecs were slaughtering children. Our Lady had seen enough, and she stepped in.
A whole group of people sacrificing their children… does that sound familiar? Sure, the deities for whom the children were killed may be a bit different, but the idea remains the same. Today, people likely are not killing children to stave off an earthquake or to produce rain for crops. But they are killing them in the name of promiscuity, consumerism, and selfishness.
THE RICH SYMBOLISM OF THE OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE IMAGE
Our Lady chose to appear with a lot of symbolism to point the people of that area to her Son, and to the one, true faith, the Catholic Church. Her image miraculously was placed on Saint Juan Diego’s tilma for him to show to the local bishop. The image is preserved on his sack cloth, miraculously, to this day.
Here is a breakdown of the symbolism of the image, thanks to the Our Lady of Gaudalupe Catholic parish in Austin, TX.
The brilliant light surrounding her would remind the natives of their highest god, Huitzilopchtli. Her being in front of the light would symbolize her being greater than their sun god.
Her standing on the moon would show she is greater than their god of darkness. As well, this symbolizes that Mary is the one for whom Saint John the Apostle saw in his vision in Revelation 12:1. Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant.
The locals in Mexico knew that royalty were the only ones worthy to be carried on someone’s shoulders. For an angel to be lifting Mary above his shoulders would point to her royalty.
The girdle or bow around her symbolizes her being with child. The bow being in the shape of four leaves would remind the native Mexicans of their symbol for plenitude, the flower of the sun, called nahui ollin.
Our Lady’s mantle held rich symbolism as well to point to the fact that a greater God should be worshipped than the ones they followed. The turquoise color was a color of royalty and of gods. It was also a color of new life and fecundity. Even the gold border on the clothing symbolized the same things.
The color of her dress being red could be a symbol of the dawn of a new era for the Mexican people. It could also point to the martyrdom to which the Catholic faith sometimes calls people.
Our Lady’s hands are held together in prayer, to further symbolize she is not to be worshipped. Instead, she is coming as a messenger for the true God.
Someone has actually taken a close-up of Our Lady’s left eye. In it you can see a reflection of Saint Juan Diego!
Finally, the stars on Our Lady of Guadalupe’s garment (as well as the angel) symbolize her being from heaven. The stars are actually arranged to match the winter solstice where she appeared on the morning of December 12, 1531.
A PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Mary appeared in Mexico City, near the center of the two largest continents in the Western Hemisphere. As a result, the Church considers her the Patroness of the Americas.
We would do well to invoke her intercession today and throughout the year. Our society too is sacrificing children to abortion and abortifacients on a daily basis.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, and Patroness of the Unborn, pray for us!
A PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Let us asked for Our Lady of Guadalupe’s intercession. Here is a prayer from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Virgin of Guadalupe,
Patroness of unborn children,
we implore your intercession
for every child at risk of abortion.
Help expectant parents to welcome from God
the priceless gift of their child’s life.
Console parents who have lost that gift
and lead them to forgiveness and healing
through the Divine Mercy of your Son.
Teach us to cherish
and to care for family and friends
until God calls them home.
Help us never to see others as burdens.
Guide our public officials
to defend each and every human life
through just laws.
Inspire us all to bring our faith into public life,
to speak for those who have no voice.
We ask this in the name of your Son,
Jesus Christ, who is Love and Mercy itself.
What are your thoughts on the rich symbolism of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe?
What do you think of the comparison of the ancient Aztec culture to our present day society?
Please sound off on these or anything else below!