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The Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe celebrates me, Mary, or Marie in Europe, the mother of God. The main event in Mexico City, Mexico, occurs at midnight just between December 11 and December 12. That is because a miracle occurred here on December 12, 1531, 485 years ago. My beloved Mexican people keep the faith strong by making the pilgrimage to Mexico City each and every year, faithfully, to see an image of me from 485 years ago left on the cloak, or tilma, of a peasant named Juan Diego. Millions of believers do not sleep at midnight on December 11; they wait for December 12.
It certainly was an historic event this year of 2016 as I was present, incarnated here on this earth in the body of a German-American woman, yet not at all unlike that image of Our Lady of Guadalupe worth billions. Even better, the Mexican people realize that Mary has appeared all over the world and is not necessarily Mexican.
Thanks to Francisco, bless you, I was present at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the afternoon of December 11, 2016, leading up to the main event. This place has at least 20 million annual visitors, especially around 12 December.
We moseyed our way along for hours with the masses after finding a place to park (good luck!).
Francisco was so patient and pleasant the whole time because he is a believer and understands that there was nothing more important at that time. I am so grateful.
The new Basilica (1976) houses the original tilma, or cloak, of Juan Diego, which holds an image of me when I was here 485 years ago. I first appeared to a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego on December 9, 1531, on a hill northwest of Mexico City called Tepeyac. I identified myself to him as the mother of God and he believed me. I asked Juan Diego to have the bishop build me a little house, a casita, on the hill. I told him that there I would hear the weeping of my people and feel their sorrows so that I could help the Lord to remedy and alleviate their multiple sufferings, necessities, and misfortunes. And this is exactly what is happening right now.
But the bishop did not believe Juan Diego. So Juan Diego returned to his field where again I appeared to him with the same message. The second time Juan Diego went to the bishop, on December 10, the bishop asked for a miraculous sign. I agreed to provide one on the following day, December 11, but Juan Diego failed to meet me because he was obliged to attend to his ill uncle. In the very early hours of December 12, when Juan Diego hurried out to fetch a priest for fear his uncle was dying, he went around the hill to try and avoid me because he did not want to be delayed and because he felt ashamed that he had stood me up. When I intercepted him and he explained what had happened, I chided him gently for not coming to me.
¿No estoy yo aquí que soy tu madre?
Am I not here, I who am your mother?
I told him that his uncle would be fine and that he should gather flowers at the top of the hill. Miraculously, Juan Diego found roses blooming on the hill in December, and I arranged the flowers in his tilma. A tilma is an indigenous cape that may be made of agave popotule fiber from the ixtle plant. The tilma should have deteriorated long ago but shows no sign of decay after over 485 years.
By the way, this story is described in the Nican Mopohua, a 16th century document written in the native Nahuatl language.
When Juan Diego opened his tilma before archbishop Zumarraga on December 12, the flowers fell to the floor and my image was there on the inside of the cloak.
Why did I appear to a peasant? Because God always chooses the people the world rejects.
Meet Emilio. Emilio is super smart, and when I asked him if I could have his picture, he said I had to be in it, too. How could I say no? My Spanish is not that great, but I am pretty sure he said that he had studied astronomy. Nevertheless, they would not give him a job. Further, if my understanding is correct, he is now studying law. I know I would love to work with you, Emilio. I enjoyed our conversation, and I do hope that my understanding is correct. If not, just let me know.
Angel lost both legs in an electrical accident. Less regulation does result in more accidents. Yes, his name is really Angel, and he looks like one, too, so beautiful.
I am rightfully seen, at least in Mexico, as the champion of all those who lack power in society. The more disparities exist in economic and political power, the more relevant I become. In the modern day, you can see that I have and that I do stand against oppression, declaring independence. My story is inextricably linked with indigenous people who survive despite racism and stereotypes. Note that the average genetic composition of people from Mexico City is 65% Native American, 31% European, and 3% African (Wikipedia).
I was also present at the Basilica during the main event at midnight. I found people sleeping in the street. I thought about staying with them, but it was not the right thing for me.
Miguel Sanchez, the author of the 1648 tract Imagen de la Virgen María, described me correctly as the Woman of the Apocalypse from the New Testament’s Revelation 12:1, “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:” (Wikipedia).
The angel supporting me is the Archangel Michael.
What better time than Christmas to reflect on the truth that the Lord did not take away our sins by suffering the death of the cross? The Lord bore sins and represented sins and pointed them out. Why? The Lord came into the world to make salvation possible for man. How? By remission of sins after repentance.
The Lord removes sins from those who believe in the Lord and who live in accordance with the Lord’s commandments.
Repentance means seeing one’s sins, praying to the Lord for help and refraining from sinning any more thanks to the Lord’s help. Only by repentance can sins be taken away. And when he has done the work of repentance, then may salvation be awarded him by the Lord.
That is, salvation is awarded to him who has seen and acknowledged his sins and who desists from them by virtue of being in the good of love and in the truth of faith from the Lord. Regeneration is a washing from sins, a spiritual washing, a baptism.
More and more I am asked how one can build one’s faith, one’s connection to our Lord? The answer is by serving others, non-merit-seeking acts of charity.
In John, we learn that the Lord is the Word (1:1, 14); that He is the Truth (14:6); and that He is the Light, and so Enlightenment (12:34-36). God is omnipresent, what is holy proceeds from God (for thou only art holy (Revelation 15:4)), and where God is received God enlightens.
We are coming a long way, Lord, from hundreds of gods to the realization, finally, that the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit is all one thing!