Thursday, December 4, 2014

Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Day 2 of More Feasts! blog tour)

One of my favorite things as our family delves more into celebrating the liturgical year is the honoring of our Blessed Mother all year long. Not only do we have feasts for celebrating the important days in her life on earth (Immaculate Conception, the Visitation, her Assumption, and so forth), BUT we also get to celebrate Our Lady as she has appeared under different titles at different points in history. Our Lady of Guadalupe is one such example and one of my favorites - I even have a lovely painting of her hanging in my dining room.

Don't know her story? Read on...

In the year 1531, Our Lady appeared to a poor, ordinary Aztec Indian: St. Juan Diego, at Tepeyac, a little north of what is now Mexico City. A convert to the Faith, Juan Diego was on his way to chapel when a beautiful lady came to him surrounded by a ball of light and speaking his own tongue. She entreated him to go and tell the Bishop that she desired a Church to be built where she had appeared as a place for people to experience compassion. He immediately obeyed, but the Bishop was skeptical but agreed to meet again. Mary appeared a second time to the poor Indian, this time promising him a sign. 
Finally, the fourth time Mary appeared to Juan Diego, she instructed him to go pick the roses on a nearby hill. Roses in winter in the freezing countryside was a miracle, but Juan went and found the beautiful flowers as she had described. When he opened his tilma to offer the sign of roses to the Bishop, a perfect depiction of how Juan Diego had described Our Lady was instead displayed across the front. To this day, modern science cannot explain how this image came to be on this rough cloak nor how a piece of fabric that should have worn out within 20-30 years is still in perfect condition. 


The symbolism of Our Lady of Guadalupe is rich and so perfect in its storytelling, both to match up with biblical accounts as well as what Aztec Indians believed and thought to be true. For instance, Our Lady of Guadalupe stands in front of the sun - a sure sign to an Aztec of her greatness in comparison to their sun god. By standing on the crescent moon, Our Lady crushes the Aztec feathered serpent moon-god and also fulfills the verse from Genesis where God tells the serpent: "He will crush your head and you will strike his heel."

When I first learned the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe a few years back, I was drawn to her. As the patroness of the Americas and of the Unborn, she holds a special place in my heart. Pope St. John Paul II entrusted those children in their mothers' wombs, especially those at risk of being aborted, under her loving care.

I especially love that even through the ordinary, God not only can do, but chooses to do extraordinary things. St. Juan Diego was just a poor, unnoticed man, but he was faithful and willing to serve. The lives of the Church's time honored saints remind us of this - of the beauty of how God's plan has worked through the ages. 


In our ordinary day to day life, we can keep alive the stories of the saints, bringing the realness of our Faith to our families. This is just one reason I am so excited for BOTH of Haley and Daniel Stewart's cookbooks. They make it so easy for you to celebrate holy men and women right around the dinner table!

In their newest book (that was just released this week!!!), More Feasts, you will find some lesser known saints alongside new ways to observe more popular feast days. 10 new recipes plus activities perfect for families are presented with inspired and encouraging texts from both Haley and Daniel on the art of cooking slow, notes on real food, and spiritual reflections as well. The best part? It's only $3.99, and you can buy it now directly from Carrots for Michaelmas.




Annnnd for the perfect reason to buy it today ---> the first recipe included is in celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe! A slow cooker, real food version of Carnitas? Yup, can't go wrong there. This year, the feast day (December 12) does fall on a Friday, so we will be having a mini celebration and will probably offer up a family rosary in place of abstaining from meat.

Go buy your copy now! (This is my affiliate link, so I do get a portion of each sale, and I thank you for helping our family by making your purchase through it!) The EBook is only $3.99, and if you order before December 15, you can save 25% by using the code HAPPYFEAST when checking out. Feast!, their original cookbook, is also on sale for only $4.99 during Advent! The Stewarts are also graciously offering a copy of their new cookbook: More Feasts! to one of my readers, so make sure to go to the bottom of this post to find out how to enter. 





To round out this post on celebrating this special feast day, here are some other ideas for your family:

Activities + Crafts

Catholic Icing, as always, has several ideas for celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe, including this very creative link to Domestic Church's paper bag tilmas! Not feeling that adventurous? These Mexican tissue paper flowers might be more your speed. And if you only have a moment to hit 'print,' check out these coloring pages from Dibujos Católicos.

Want to learn more about the actual image? I thought this post from Totus Tuss Family and Catholic Homeschool was super informative.


Books



The Beautiful Lady: Our Lady of Guadalupe by Pat Mora and illustrated by Steve Johnson + Lou Fancher


Our Lady of Guadalupe by Francisco Serrano and illustrated by Felipe Davalos + Eugenia Guzman



The Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie DePaola

- - - - -

And now to enter to win your copy of More Feasts!. Leave a comment here with a way you celebrate a certain saint with your family OR a saint you'd be interested in celebrating in a more personal way in your home. Make sure to leave your e-mail address, so you can be contacted! Winner will be chosen at random Wednesday, December 10th at noon EST.






Also, don't forget to get those last entries in for my other giveaway happening through tomorrow: Win a copy of two CCC of America DVDs, including the story of St. Juan Diego!


Disclosure: This post is a part of the 'More Feast!' blog tour. Giveaway copy provided by Daniel and Haley Stewart. All opinions, however, are my own, and I only promote items I would buy myself and am happy to recommend to you!



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This post: Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 4 December 2014 



9 comments:

  1. We celebrate my daughter's name day on January 1, but I'd love to celebrate other Marian feast days through the year! Mainly, I want to get better about telling her stories of saints' lives.

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  2. We celebrate the feast of St. Cecilia by singing! We usually celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe by buying roses and listening (and dancing) to a CD we have by San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble of songs for Guadalupe. I love Carrots' idea of linking stories of saints and food.

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  3. I would like to do more for the following Saints...Joseph...Patrick...Robert...and Michael...and the Saint for our new baby due in March...

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  4. Most of our Saint celebrating traditions are minimal at best (maybe a story out of a saint book). I'd love to do a little more, the saints that come to mind St Monica, St Michael, St Patrick. I'd also love to incorporate more feasts of the Blessed Mother into our celebrations, but husband is slightly less enthusiastic about those, so they'll have to be a personal devotion for the time being (prayers welcomed)
    ~Ruth Anne

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  5. Just thinking about those cook books makes my mouth water! As a convert I am not very strong on the saint celebrations but I really WANT to be. Thanks for encouraging me. I think that sounds like a great way to really grow a Catholic culture in our home. Coming to you from the CWBN!

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  6. We will celebrate St. Lucy by our oldest daughter wearing a white dress with a red ribbon and a greenery crown. She will walk from room to room waking everyone up with a plate of breakfast pastries with a candle in the middle.

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  7. Aside from Blessed Mother feast days, we pay special attention to our children's name day saints... especially St. Terese since roses and eclairs make for a very happy day!

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  8. We try to celebrate many of the "big" saints but would love to do more. I rely on blog posts from numerous sites to help me plan ahead. A favorite of ours is the Feast of the Archangels - blackberry/lemon trifle!

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