An old apparition’s message of newness: Our Lady of Guadalupe

I’ll admit, I came a little late to the Guadalupe bandwagon. Between being raised in a fairly traditional Irish Catholic environment and not having a strong personal devotion to Mary, I never paid much attention to this particular devotion or the feast we celebrate today.

But the more I learn, the more I realize this is a devotion I can really get behind.

Virgen_de_guadalupeThe beauty of most of our religious ideas is that they have multiplicities of meaning. What a devotion means to people doesn’t have to be uniform.

That’s why I can say that the Virgin of Guadalupe tells me that the Church can change. Rather than being one of the European porcelain Madonnas, she looks like the people to whom she appeared. She brings together the occupied and the occupiers in her very flesh, manifesting the union of European and Native cultures that has both enhanced and tortured the Americas since the “New World” was “discovered”.

Even though she appeared nearly 500 years ago, she speaks to me of newness, that the church is not a relic but a living, changing entity, and she gives me comfort that no matter where we wander, she and her Son are with us.

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3 Responses to An old apparition’s message of newness: Our Lady of Guadalupe

  1. Jen says:

    Guadalupe’s awesome. I dedicated my dissertation pieces to her. (Actually 15 pieces based on the mysteries of the Rosary.)

  2. Having been raised in an anabaptist (rebaptiser) tradition, which required that I intentionally embrace Mary through much fear and trembling, I’ve come to adore Our Lady of Guadalupe and her messenger Juan Diego. She was the first apparition that I really investigated. She taught me of the relationship of private revelation and the miraculous to the hierarchy and enduring tradition of the church. She taught me to trust that her whole will and intent is to foster the union of every creature to her son. She taught me to engage her embrace and let her fling me into the inferno of the Trinity! O clemens, o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria!

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