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Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Zechariah 2:14-17, Or Psalm 1:1 Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
Judith 13:18 bcde, 19
Luke 1:26-38, Or Luke 1: 39-47
There are two choices for today˅s gospel. One tells the story of the Annuncia-
tion, the Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary, ˈHail, full of graceˎˉ and the other
tells the story of Mary˅s visit to Elizabeth who greets her cousin with the words,
ˈMost blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.ˉ In
that same reading, Mary ends with her Magnificat, ˈMy soul proclaims the great-
ness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.ˉ The reading from Revela-
tion has the wonderful description of ˈa woman clothed in the sun, with the moon
under her feetˎ. She was with childˎ.ˉ
I am of Irish decent ˀ a pure Celt. I was born in Boston and grew up in the
Washington, D.C. area. As an adult living in California, I learned of the story of
Our Lady of Guadalupe from a German-American nun with whom I shared office
space. My life has probably never been quite the same again. It˅s not that I
have a great Marian devotion, or that I am totally convinced that the story of Our
Lady of Guadalupe is factual. The theologian, Megan McKenna, tells us that all
story is true, and some of it actually happened. The Church believes there is
enough information to celebrate this feast, and the Pope recently canonized Juan
Diego, a saint of our Church.
The historical setting of this apparition is complicated, and it took place almost
500 years ago. It was a time of great upheavel with the arrival of the conquista-
dores. It was not Christianity˅s proudest moment, but there is little space here to
tell the story in depth. Juan Diego was a poor Aztec who converted to Christianity
and whose name in his native Nahuatl translated
to ˈSpeaking Eagle.ˉ I have read that in that cul-
ture, the eagle is a messenger between holy sky
people and people of earth. The woman, who
appeared to Juan Diego, wore the clothing of an
Aztec princess and around her waist was a belt