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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of America

By: Sister M. Lourdes Macias

The Blessed Virgin Mary, in her apparition as the Virgin of Guadalupe, appeared not only to the Mexicans in 1531, but also to all of America. In her first apparition, on December 9, the Virgin of Guadalupe stated: “I greatly desire that a temple be erected here for me to show and give all my love, compassion, help and protection, for I am your pious Mother, to you and to all of you together, the inhabitants of this land…” (Nican Mopohua).

Lady of Guadalupe

At that historical moment, Mexico did not exist as a nation. Almost the entire continent had been colonized by Spain, and part of it by Portugal. But the first missionaries, despite their tireless efforts, were unable to ignite the fire of the Gospel in the hearts of the natives, who continued to cling to their gods. But when the Mother of God appeared and left her image imprinted on the ayate, the native Americans began to convert to Jesus Christ at an astonishing rate: in less than 20 years, 9 million inhabitants had already embraced Christianity.

Fray Martin de Valencia, in his Memoires, tells how in 1532 the Indians themselves were already coming in great numbers to desperately request for their Baptism because they wanted to become Christians.

On May 25, 1754, Pope Benedict XIV named the Virgin of Guadalupe as Patroness of New Spain, and it was then that he uttered in Latin those words of Psalm 147: Non fecit taliter omni nationi. This means: “He did not do so with any nation”.

On August 24, 1910, Pope Pius X declared the Virgin of Guadalupe “celestial Patroness of Latin America”.

And what are the parallels between Guadalupe and Schoenstatt?

Lady of Guadalupe

In the Nican Mopohua which is where it is described how the perfect Virgin Mary Mother of God, our Queen, miraculously appeared there in Tepeyac, known as Guadalupe, asks Juan Diego to inform the Bishop:

“I very much desire that here you provide me with a house, that you erect a temple for me on the plain.”

In Schoenstatt, Mary also chose a house for herself, a place where, as in Guadalupe, she can give us a home. A place where we can be ourselves and where we can open our hearts where she can dwell and exert her influence. A home, a Shrine where we can be rooted and belong.

And in the Nican Mopohua Mary further states: “I will give to the people all my personal love, my compassionate gaze, my help, my salvation: for I am truly their Compassionate Mother… for there I will listen to their weeping, their sadness, and I will heal all their different sorrows, their miseries, their pains.

In Schoenstatt, Mary manifests herself as our Mother, but also as our educator. She is always there and as a good Mother she wants us, her children, to always strive to be better and with her help to transform our inner selves.

And Juan Diego goes to see the Bishop after hearing the words of his Heavenly Queen: “and from this you will well deserve that I repay your fatigue, your service by which you are going to request for the matter I am sending you.  You have already heard, my youngest son, my inspiration, my word; now go, do your part“. (Nican Mopohua)

And Mary does the same in Schoenstatt, she sends us, she trusts us and only asks us to do our part, she is by our side doing hers.

In the Covenant of Love with her, we recognize her as our Mother: “…I, personally, the ever-virgin Holy Mary, I, who am the Mother of God, send you.” (Nican Mopohua)  We know that we are her beloved children. We are never orphans.

Virgen de Guadalupe

When one visits the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, as one enters, one is met with the words, “Am I not here who am your Mother?

Mother, thank you for your choice! Form us according to your image, yes, transform us so that we may become more and more like you.

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