Friday, December 13, 2013

Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe

The devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe has been in my heart since I was a little girl. The mysticism and intrigue behind the Tepeyac Miracle always sparked my curiosity.

The story goes that in 1531, a man by the name of Juan Diego saw an apparition of a young woman atop the Tepeyac Hill near Mexico City. The girl spoke to him in Nahuatl (Aztec language) and asked him to build a church in that exact location. Juan Diego went to the archbishop at the time, who instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill and ask the lady for a miracle if indeed they were to build a church there in her honor.

On December 12, 1531, the lady appeared again and told Juan Diego to gather flowers from the  hilltop. A puzzled Juan Diego went on to look for flowers in this unlikely place and found beautiful Castilian roses, which aren’t native to Mexico nor would have bloomed in December. He ran to the Archbishop to show him the roses and when he opened his cloak, the flowers fell to the ground and on the cloak appeared a perfect image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which has been exhibited since at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in Downtown LA held a celebration on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 to honor the Miracle of the Tepeyac Hill. I dressed Benny in a Juan Diego outfit and drove us there, to pay homage to Mexico's patron saint and expose my son to this aspect of our Mexican Culture. To the people of Mexico and Latin America, Juan Diego (who was canonized in 2002) represents humility and loyalty.

Benny and I watched the Aztec dancers perform a tribute dance to the Virgin of Guadalupe. We also got to see a piece of Juan Diego’s cloak on display. We noticed when the mariachi arrived, ready to sing “Las MaƱanitas” and asked our holy mother of Guadalupe to watch over us.

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