Am I not here, I who am your Mother?
Are you not under my shadow and protection?
Am I not the source of your Joy?
Are you not in the hollow of my mantle,
in the crossing of my arms?
Do you need something more?
Let nothing else worry you or disturb you.
I have loved Our Lady of Guadalupe ever since I was a little girl. I think that this is my favorite apparition. I especially love her words to Juan Diego quoted above. As I have gotten older, her image seems to have followed me everywhere I go.
We're probably all familiar with the story of Juan Diego and the miraculous image, but early in my homeschooling years I found out something new that I thought was fascinating. I read it in a protestant text, The Light of Glory by Peter Marshall, and in relating the incident he didn't connect it to the apparition in any way. I later I confirmed the story by reading the log of Christopher Columbus's journeys to America. Marshall says that when Columbus was returning from his first voyage, he was caught in a great storm and was in great fear of sinking. Columbus gathered the crew for prayer. He took a bean for each member of the crew and marked one with a cross, and they promised the Blessed Mother that if she would save them from the storm, the man who drew the bean with the cross would make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Estradura. Columbus drew the bean. There were two other pilgrimages promised and two other drawings, and Columbus drew one of those, too. Then the storm ceased and, as we know, they returned home safely, and Columbus made his pilgrimage. This really struck me when I read it because it seems as if in a way Our Lady of Guadalupe was invited to the new world. This happened in 1493, 38 years before the apparitions.
Last Sunday, something really nice happened in my PRE class. There were only three students there out of ten, and I talked to them a bit about the motherhood of Mary, and then read them a book about Our Lady of Guadalupe. Sometimes something happens in a classroom and you know that it something more than whatever you are doing. I could see those children, especially one of them, falling in love with Our Lady. After class, this one was waiting for his mother to pick him up, and he came in the cafeteria where we have a large image of the tilma, and he spent about five minutes just staring at it. This is what keeps me in the classroom.
Now that I attend a parish that is more than half Mexican, I've been immersed in a much more intense devotion to La Guadalupana. There will be Mass at my parish tonight, which unfortunately I won't be able to attend, and they will sing and sing and sing, and then they will eat, and eat, and eat. I've learned a lot of songs for the feast day. Here's a video with my two favorites. We sing the first one quite a bit faster, and have a bit of trouble following the melody.