In Her Presence, Jesus Christo
And as soon as the Virgin Mother had heard Juan Diego’s words, she thus replied:
“Listen, put it into your heart, my youngest and dearest son, that the thing that frightened you, the thing that afflicted you is nothing. Do not let it disturb you. Do not fear this sickness, nor any other sickness, nor any sharp and hurtful thing, 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, disturb you…” Nican Mopohua. Words of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego at Tepeyac, December 1531.
As Catholics, the most important event in the histories of the Americas defies all words, for still it is among us miraculously ever-present in its first occurrence upon the Tilma of St. Juan Diego for each and everyone to behold. This greatest of our Catholic treasures is represented in the Image of Our Lady with Child in her advocation of Our Lady of Guadalupe; Indigenous, Mestizo, Indo-American, Ibero-American,EuroAmerican—from the Tepeyac in Central México onward to every direction north, south, east and west. Herein lies our Catholic Marian tradition and the essence of our first Advent.
In the American Continent the Virgin Mother with Child appears on the hilltop of the Tepeyac to a 57 year old neophyte and widower, St. Juan Diego during the octave of the Immaculate Conception, December 1531. His dialogue with our Blessed Mother, the task she entrusts him with is timeless and also ours to bequeath to our children’s children. To witness therefore this present-history is to know by heart the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and to welcome its endearment even amid the distinct anachronisms present between the symbolism of the Image and the digital milieu of the XXI century. Yet, to fully embrace the Marian message at Tepeyac is to make ready “a special place” within our hearts for the Holy Trinity to reside. In the Image we contemplate the mystery of the way of Beauty, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”. Blessed Mary Ever Virgin, The Immaculate Conception appears to St. Juan Diego in 1531 and signals us to prepare the way for the Coming of Jesus; this is our Advent Story!
As Our Lady and Mother of Guadalupe, she appears in highlights of Nahuatl finesse amidst her Jewish exquisite face, her hands in prayer, her loving maternal gaze in a way that no painter however gifted could ever have imagined humility, tenderness or compassion. She is standing upon the crescent moon and in front of the Sun, aloft on the wings of an angelic being; her step in motion to assist us as only the Mother of God, Mother of the Word Incarnate and Spouse of the Holy Spirit, does. Gently above her waist, a deep-purple tie w/bow signals she is with Child. Dressed in the regal majesty of Aztec color, she is wrapped with the exact Constellations of the Winter-morning Solstice of the year 1531. The apparitions, her Image and message have been pivotal for the evangelization and conversion from the onset to our present time. Precisely as Juan Diego unfolded his cloak or tilma in the presence of the Bishop and his immediate household, the gift of flowers becomes a prelude to the imprint of Our Lady’s Image. It holds for us the exactness of what occurred on the morning of the 12th of December 1531. The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego at the height of the Advent Season beckons thus a preparation for the Birth of the Christ Child; to love Him intensely is to ‘prepare the way’ as we too — with all of Heaven, embrace this moment of our history in the Americas to welcome Him, the King of Kings within the manger of our own heart. Thus, Via pulchritudinis, Mary, Blessed Mother Ever Virgin comes as our Mother too at Tepeyac.