Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

~The following is a post from this date last year with some revisions:

When I think of Our Lady of Guadalupe which the Church commemorates today, one aspect of the story captures my attention.  I am always fascinated by the bundle of winter-blooming roses that Our Lady presented to the bishop of the region; which was a sign that she was truly appearing to the peasant, Juan Diego. All accounts of the story note that the bishop was shocked by the appearance of the roses in mid-December. This was long before FTD, and international plane and automobile sourced flower deliveries. The bishop was most likely hunkered down for a flower-free winter, when did appear that mysterious bundle of delightful flower-filled branches in the arms of the humble peasant, Juan Diego. It would have been lovely to see the bishop’s face at the moment when the roses were unveiled. The secondary appearance of the image of Our Lady on Juan’s tunic, hidden at first by the roses, took the moment to another level of surprise, I am certain; and it is most heartening to see how Our Lady took such great pains to make known the message of the Good News.

The story of the apparitions of Guadalupe, and the winter- blooming roses is quite famous. I like, also, as the story goes, that Our Lady personally arranged the roses in Juan Diego’s tunic, making them lay properly, arranging them to their best advantage; doing what women like to do: flower arranging.  Our Lady must love roses; and in Catholic art and tradition, the beauty of the rose has traditionally represented her, and her Son, Christ Jesus.

Yes, Our Lady is a spotless rose.

And, her Son is a rose which blooms in December.

Which leads me to think of the Christmas song, Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming:

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung.
It came, a flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

This Flow’r, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.


From sin and death He saves us, and lightens every load.”

This summarizes the Good News.

The Good News has not changed.

The message of Guadalupe, though given in 1531, has not changed: we have, as our Mother, the Immaculate Conception, who bore for us a Savior, and from sin and death He saves us, and lightens every load (paraphrase).

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Spotless Rose; Virgin Mother of Our Savior, Christ Jesus, pray for us.

May you have a good day.