In yesterday’s blog, I told you that I was reading a book called John of God, and I also shared that I had experienced a spiritual weekend. The book is a pretty spectacular read, but the spiritual weekend was even more so!
Today I’d like to share my other spiritual moment called The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, celebrated by Mexicans and the Catholic Church on December 12th of every year.
Being of Mexican descent, I don’t remember a time that our family ever paid as much attention to this spiritual feast as the Hispanic community in my current church does.
This spiritual event is a feast commemorating a day nearly 500 years ago that Mexicans believe the Virgin Mary appeared to an Aztec peasant in Mexico. His name was Juan Diego.
The story goes like this.
Diego experienced a vision of a young woman, surrounded by light, appearing to him on a hill near Mexico City. She asked him to build a church right on the spot they were standing. After Diego reported his experience to the church, the local Bishop didn’t believe him and asked for proof to support his claim.
The young woman appeared to Diego again and asked him to go where he would find roses (wintertime in Mexico) from the Bishop’s hometown. Diego did as she asked, cut the roses and placed them in his apron to return to the Bishop as proof.
When Diego showed the Bishop the roses, a picture of the blessed Virgin Mary was left imprinted on the apron. This was all the proof the Bishop needed.
It was also all the proof I needed after attending a special veneration of Our Lady of Guadalupe at my local Catholic parish.
I spent Sunday evening for five hours (two of the five hours meditating in the church after the ceremony) honoring Our Lady with a special mass, a walking rosary on church grounds with throngs of young and old, children dressed in Aztec garb paying homage through dance, and a Mariachi band, playing beautiful music at the altar, celebrating this cherished feast.
I have rarely been surrounded with so much respect, love and adoration for Our Lady of Guadalupe.
After my parents arrived in the United States during the 1940s-1950s, it’s as if they left their beloved Mexico behind in the dust. They had most of my sisters and brothers in America, and we lived a typical American life. We weren’t the richest of the rich, but we also weren’t the poorest of the poor. I guess it’s all about perspective.
I couldn’t help but feel my parents with me, smiling all the while, as I basked in the beauty of this celebration. I had my own visions of what life must have been like for them. During meditation, it occurred to me that they subtly must have permeated my being with a longing they must have felt to return to their own roots. I cried.
Today my blog is about honoring and thanking my parents and Our Lady of Guadalupe for providing me a life that teaches me to restore my soul and a longing to remember a place called home. I hope this article reaches to the highest heavens to thank my mom and dad for giving me life.
Until tomorrow, I send you my familial blessings and wishes for a prosperous and abundant life!