Our Lady of Guadalupe and ‘the prophecy of an embrace’

As I was reflecting on today’s feast, I thought through the beautiful story of Our Lady appearing to Juan Diego in 1531 and how her tender care abolished human sacrifice and inspired the conversion of 9 million Aztecs in Mexico. But what I thought about more  were the words Mary spoke to Juan Diego in a moment of his uncertainty when his uncle was ill: “Am I not here, I who am your mother?

Mary is our mother, too. As she reminded Juan Diego, she holds us “in the hollow of [her] mantle, in the crossing of [her] arms.” She gently guides us, protects us and leads us to her son.

In his message for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pope Francis referred to the image of Our Lady that appeared on Juan Diego’s tilma as “the prophecy of an embrace.” That embrace is one of “a concerned mother.” As the pope noted, Mary “shares all the joys and hopes, the sorrows and troubles of God’s people.” She is, after all, co-redemptrix, mediatrix of all graces and advocate, constantly interceding for us.

This is a beautiful relationship to cultivate during the Advent season. Who better to help us prepare for the coming of Christ than his own mother? She carried him for nine months, raised him and walked with him to Calvary

Through praying the Rosary, meditating on her presence in Scripture, invoking her aid, meditating on her seven sorrows or even consecrating ourselves to her heart, she can help us say “yes” to her son and grow deeper in our relationship with him.

Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.

Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe, mystical rose, make intercession for our Holy Church, protect the pope, help all those who invoke you in their necessities, and since you are the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from your most holy son, the grace of keeping our faith, sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, burning charity, and the precious gift of final perseverance.

Amen.