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.
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.
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!
Don't miss a post! Subscribe via the RSS or email links in the top righthand corner.
All rights reserved. ©Sarah G. Ortiz
::This blog post may contain Amazon Affiliate links.
By clicking through to make a purchase, you help to financially support TO+M::
This post: Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 4 December 2014