On Monday, December 4, Pilgrim Center of Hope hosted an Advent Evening of Reflection with Our Lady of Guadalupe, to begin the novena to Our Lady by learning more about her and her message. Participants enjoyed a presentation by Deacon Gene Townsend and Jeannie Townsend, who serve our ministry as Pilgrimage Group Leaders specializing in Our Lady of Guadalupe pilgrimages.
For those of you who could not join us, we’re pleased to share some of the material to help you prepare for a blessed Advent season!
Prayer – Our Lady of Guadalupe
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, that in thy celestial apparitions on the mount of Tepeyac, thou didst promise to show thy compassion and pity towards all who, loving and trusting thee, seek thy help and call upon thee in their necessities and afflictions.
Never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, either for the common welfare, or in personal anxieties, was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence, we fly unto thee, O Mary, ever Virgin Mother of the True God!
We are full of hope that, standing beneath thy shadow and protection, nothing will trouble or afflict us, nor need we fear illness, or misfortune, or any other sorrow.
Placing ourselves beneath thy maternal gaze and having recourse to thee in all our necessities we need do nothing more.
O Holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer us. (Here mention your petition.)
Five Hail Marys…in gratitude for the four apparitions to Juan Diego and the one to Juan Bernardino.
Suggested Reading & Viewing Materials
Guadalupe—Mother of the New Creation, by Fr. Virgil Elizondo
Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, 10545
This book was written by one of San Antonio’s own. Quoted from the back cover of his book. “Fr. Elizondo [deceased], was a native of San Antonio. He was a theologian, a pastor and popular speaker. Drawing on a lifetime of reflection, Father Elizondo has written Guadalupe, an account of the story and meaning of one of the most powerful religious symbols of our day. For centuries Guadalupe has served as one of the sustaining symbols of Mexican, Latin American and U.S. Hispanic identity and spirituality. Our Lady of Guadalupe has an even wider significance and relevance to the church universal at the dawn of a new millennium.”
A Handbook on Guadalupe, by Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate
Park Press, Inc. P.O. 355 6th Ave. N., Waite Park, MN56387
This is also an excellent book. Quoted from page X of the book. “All agreed that there was a great need for and updated, accurate, and popular handbook [on Guadalupe.] Interest on Guadalupe is at an all-time high. A number of organizations and apostolates have taken her as their special patron, not of least of which is the pro-life movement. . . .To sum it up, we know from personal experience that Our Lady does great things with the most unlikely instruments. The key word in all this is TRUST. As she said to Juan Diego, ‘Trust in me, am I not your mother?’—a lesson which we all learn and put into place.”—The Editor.
Guadalupe Mysteries, Deciphering the Code, by Gazegorz Gorny and Janusz Rosikon
Ignatius Press, 1348 10th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122-2304
Again, an excellent book. Taken from Ignatius Press: Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most beloved symbol of Mexican Catholicism, and devotion to her is widespread in the USA. While she has entranced and encouraged Mexican Catholics for several centuries, believers and even nonbelievers the world over are inspired and intrigued by her. Millions of pilgrims visit her shrine in Mexico City every year. Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis have travelled there to pray for her motherly intercession. And scientists from many disciplines have studied the amazing attributes of her mysterious image. In this glorious, lavishly illustrated book, the renowned author-photographer team Grzegorz Górny and Janusz Rosikon take the reader on an illustrated pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe. They tell the amazing story of her apparition to Juan Diego in 1531 and its dramatic impact upon the destiny of an entire people. They interview the various experts on the image and reveal its symbolic messages, those of the past and those speaking to us today.
Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness, by Dr. Warren H. Carrol
Christendom Press, Crossroads Books, Rt. 3 Box 87, Front Royal, VA, 22630
Dr. Carrol is a noted Catholic scholar. He puts his sharp mind to the task of explaining the dramatic account of the conversion of Mexico from a religion steeped in human sacrifice to Christianity. Our Lady of Guadalupe and her servant St. Juan Diego brought the message of Catholic faith to the indigenous people living in Mexico. The Tilma told the story our Holy Mother, and religious faith, using symbols which were understood by the Aztec priests. Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Juan Diego, and the Franciscan missionaries all played an important role in the conversion of millions of people to the Catholic faith. Dr. Carrol does a brilliant job in providing the historical background for this amazing story.
1531—The Story that is not Finished Yet—DVD, by EWTN
This DVD will take you deeply into the mysteries of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Here is a description from EWTN: “There are stories to be told and this is one of them. Submitted by its protagonists, this film exposes differently what really happened before and after the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico in 1531. This is a film that goes beyond reason, to touch your heart. After watching 1531, your life will not remain the same. Filmed in Spanish, dubbed in English with sub-titles.”
Guadalupe—The Miracle and The Message—DVD, by the Knights of Columbus
Here is another excellent DVD. Taken from the Knights of Columbus web site: The most important event in the evangelization of the New World occurred in December 1531. Over the course of four days, the Virgin Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, appeared to an indigenous convert named Juan Diego. As a result of this encounter, and the image miraculously imprinted on Juan Diego’s Tilma (cloak), nine million Native Americans embraced the Catholic faith, and the Americas began its transformation into “the Catholic hemisphere.” Our Lady of Guadalupe’s message of love had replaced the institutionalized violence of the Aztec culture and built a bridge between two worlds.
Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message, narrated by famed actor Jim Caviezel, traces the history of this transformative event from the 16th century to the present. Featuring interviews with leading theologians, historians and experts on the scientific inquiries into the miraculous image—this gripping film explores both the inexplicable mysteries behind the image, and the continued relevance of the Guadalupe apparition to the modern world.
For Greater Glory—The True Story of Cristiada—DVD
This is a heart rendering story about the Cristeros War fought in Mexico in the late 1920’s. Here is one of the reviews taken from the Internet Movie Database:
“An under the radar film about a subject I knew nothing about that absolutely floored me. It’s a high-quality film with flat out superb performances that makes you contemplate and appreciate faith and freedom like few films have ever managed to convey. Yes, it is a faith based film. If that offends some, then this isn’t the movie or the subject for you. Unlike other faith based efforts, this effort is not cheesy or ham-fisted or even preachy.
“It’s the tale of the Cristeros War (1926-1929); a war by the people of Mexico against the Mexican government who cracked down in brutal ways against the Catholic Church and against religious freedom in general. Andy Garcia is Oscar level good here as General Gorostieta, a man with limited faith who responds and masterfully leads the fight for freedom. It’s intense and, at times, surprisingly violent and impactful. This movie delivers real emotion and doesn’t dodge tough questions about faith. It delivers an exceptional balance of showing why people behave and choose to engage in certain behaviors even when such behavior is contrary to the core of their belief system.
“One thing is certain; no one who has faith will take it or their religious freedom for granted after watching and EXPERIENCING this film. That’s how it registered with me at any rate.”