Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 12 — Patroness of the Americas
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, near Mexico City, is one of the most celebrated places of pilgrimage in North America. On December 9, 1531, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to an Indian convert, Juan Diego, and left with him a picture of herself impressed upon his cloak.
Later, the picture was placed in a magnificent shrine which the Roman Pontiffs ennobled by granting it a Chapter of Canons for the splendor of Divine Worship. There it became famous for the concourse of people and the frequency of miracles, exciting immeasurably the piety of the Mexican nation toward the Mother of God.
Therefore, the Archbishop of Mexico and the other Bishops of those regions as well as all classes of society regarded her as their most powerful Protectress in public and private calamities and elected her principal Patroness of Mexico.
Devotion to Mary under this title has continually increased and today she is the Patroness of the Americas. Because of the close link between the Church in Mexico and the United States this feast was placed on the American Calendar.
PRAYER God, in Your concern and love for Your people You favored the New World with the appearance of Mary, Mother of Jesus, at Guadalupe. Help the countries of this New World to live with one another in peace, unity, and brotherhood. Amen.