The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe commemorates the 4 apparitions of Mary in 1531 to the peasant Juan Diego on Tepeyac hill near Mexico City. Appearing like a Mexican princess, Mary told him that a church should be built there. When Juan told the bishop, he demanded proof. Mary sent Juan to gather some roses (unusual in December) to present to the bishop. When Juan opened his cloak to give the roses to the bishop, they also discovered a painted image the Blessed Virgin imprinted on the cloak, which is now preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Under this title, Mary was declared patron of New Spain (1710), of Latin America (1910), queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas (1945) and patroness of the Americas (1999).
Pope Francis reminds us that “like Jesus, Mary is close to all her sons and daughters; as a concerned mother, she accompanies them on their way through life. She shares all the joys and hopes, and sorrows of God’s people, which is made up of men and women of every race and nation.”
“O Gracious and Loving Mary, Lady of Guadalupe, through your presence make us aware of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. May Christ send us blessings of peace and harmony, and may we receive love and the healing we need to get closer to him.” —Pope St. John XXIII (October 12, 1961)