In the Catholic Church, today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We celebrate the Blessed Mother's visit to St. Juan Diego in Mexico. Many Hispanic Catholics begin celebrating the feast with a predawn serenade known as "Las Mananitas". The celebration may include a dramatization of the appearance, a mariachi band, the rosary prayer, and a celebration of the Holy Mass.
On December 9th, 1531, while Saint Juan Diego was on his way to Mass, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him and spoke to him on Tepeyac Hill. This is what she said:
Know for certain, littlest of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the true God through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of Heaven and Earth. I wish and intensely desire that in this place my sanctuary be erected. Here I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the merciful Mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me.
Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes. In order that my wish may be fulfilled, you must go to Mexico City, to the house of the Bishop and tell him that I sent you, that it is my desire to have a house built for me here, that my Temple be raised on the plain. Tell him what you have seen and heard and be sure that I shall be grateful to you for doing what I ask. I shall make you happy and reward you for the service which you render to me. And you will have great merit, for I will compensate your weariness, your work in procuring that for which I have sent you as messenger. You have heard, my least son, my desires, my work; go and do your part.
Have a blessed week.
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