This week we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Monday 9th) and this somewhat overshadows Our Lady of Guadalupe (Thursday 12th), the less well known of the two. However, it is the latter I wish to say a few words about.
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St Juan Diego in a vision in the year 1531. The Virgin of Guadalupe holds a very special place in the hearts of the people of Mexico. But this can be said of many people world-wide. Did you know more pilgrims visit Guadalupe than Lourdes or Fatima in any one year?
The Blessed Virgin appeared to St Juan Diego on 9th and 12th December and requested a shrine to be built on Tepeyac Hill, the location of the apparition. This is now a suburb of Mexico City. Many popes have endorsed the authenticity of what happened at Guadalupe, none less than Pope St John Paul II who canonised St Juan Diego and declared Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas.
May she be patroness of our hearts and be with us in a special way during this Advent season when we journey towards Christmas and the Birth of Our Lord.