When asked to reflect on Our Lady of Guadalupe, I felt confident that I would be able to sit and write effortlessly about the Patroness of the Americas. How could this be a difficult task when I know, so well, the story of Juan Diego and his encounter with the Virgin Mary on the hill of Tepeyac? Nevertheless, the more I thought about it, the more daunting the task felt—fear and discouragement were settling in, but why? After conversing with a Sister, I realized that my approach was misguided; the reflection should pour from my heart, and I should let go of all my worries.
And I remembered a wonderful dream I’d had a few months ago. In the dream, I was led down a cobblestone street into a cathedral, where I admired the significance of the church as well as the beautiful light coming through the stained-glass windows. Suddenly, I heard a woman’s voice, “Look to your right.” There was a wall, covered from top to bottom in red roses, and I knew in that moment that I was in the presence of the Virgin, Our Lady of Guadalupe—Mamá, Pachamama, Earth Mother, the Divine. I was with her and She with me—a Mother-Daughter moment.
As Mary did centuries ago, we, too, live in a time of expectancy in many ways. We are hopeful for the rebirth of a baby that will bring peace and joy to the world, but also a return to a semblance of a Christmas past, filled with loved ones and friends, gatherings big and small without trepidation or panic. During this season, I ask that you join me in taking time to sit quietly and think about Mary’s own fears and worries on her way to Bethlehem. Let us invite her into our hearts and pray for compassion, love, and protection for those escaping violence and persecution, hunger, racism, rejection, abandonment, and disease, for she is truly our merciful Mother.
On October 12, 1945, Pope Pius XII, decreed Our Lady of Guadalupe to be Patroness of all the Americas. Her feast day is celebrated on December 12.
– Yesenia Kopperman, Associate
Yesenia serves as executive assistant to
the congregation’s leadership team