Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Shrine in Mexico City
Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12
On December 9, 1531, an Aztec Indian convert whose Christian name was Juan Diego and whose indigenous name was Singing Eagle set out before dawn to walk fifteen miles to Tlaltelolco, Mexico, to attend Mass. As he was passing the foot of Tepeyac Hill he saw a brilliant light and a glowing cloud encircled by a rainbow at the summit. Juan Diego then heard in his Indian language a woman’s voice asking him to ascend the hill. When he reached the top, the lady, dressed like an Aztec princess, told him that she was the “Holy Mary, the eternal Virgin, Mother of the true God,” saying to him, “I am your merciful Mother, thine, and all the dwellers of this earth.”
- I wear a bracelet everyday with two medals, one being Our Lady of Guadalupe, a gift from Mexico City by my dear friend Sue. On one side is the beautiful image of Guadalupe, on the other side, the words that Our Lady said lovingly to Juan Diego: ¿No estoy yo aqui, que soy tu Madre? In Spanish, the words have a rhythmic, poetic sound. But in English you can still hear the loving care of a Mother for her very own: "Am I not here, your very mother, standing before you?"
Saint Lucy, December 13
A brave Sicilian maiden martyred during Diocletian persecution in the early fourth century, Lucy is one of the most widely and early venerated Christian martyrs. By the sixth century the whole Church recognized Lucy’s courage in defense of the faith. Lucy, whose name means "light,” is usually shown holding a dish with two eyes on it. This refers to a legend in which Lucy's eyes were put out by Diocletian as part of his torture, although the story concludes with God restoring Lucy's eyes.
- Because of the legend surrounding this early saint, since early Christian times St. Lucy has been venerated as the patron of blindness and eye diseases. I've written before about my Papi's issues with this eyes, and I have commended him to St. Lucy regularly. But I'm also struck by her feast taking place at this point in the season of Advent as a good time to ponder--to what aspects of my life have I turned a blind eye? what am I asking God to shed His light on this Advent? St. Lucy, pray for us!