Rediscovering Our Lady of Guadalupe

When I was a kid, my favorite TV show was “Wishbone.” It was a literary show with two parallel stories in each episode. One story followed modern teenager Joe and his friends, observed by Joe’s dog, Wishbone. The other was a classic story that paralleled whatever was happening with Joe that week—and the main male character was always portrayed by Wishbone.

It sounds goofy if you didn’t watch it as a child (a dog Mr. Darcy? but, somehow, it never seemed that crazy to me). I loved it, and it helped nurture the love of books I’d had since I sat in my mother’s lap as an infant, listening to her read “Goodnight Moon” again and again.

My favorite episode of “Wishbone” was about Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego (who was Blessed Juan Diego at the time the episode aired). I haven’t seen it since I was a child, so I can’t unilaterally recommend it; I don’t know how aligned it is to the actual apparition and Church teaching. I do, however, remember loving the story of Mary, Juan Diego, the flowers, and the miraculous image of Mary (pregnant with Jesus) that appeared on Juan Diego’s tilma. I read more about this apparition as a teenager; I even had a book that went into some of the scientific research done on the image on the tilma (though some claims about the tilma are false). What I loved most about Our Lady of Guadalupe and her story is the beauty of the flowers (roses, my favorite) and the tilma and the love Our Lady of Guadalupe shows for Juan Diego, as one of her children.

I never really nurtured my devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. This year, however, leading up to her feast day on Sunday, I’ve felt a rekindling of my love of this story. I love that in the image, Mary appears to be pregnant. I love that she used roses for the miracle. I love that she was persistent in promoting Juan Diego to deliver her message, despite his protestations that he wasn’t the right person for the job. And, I love this statement:

“Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? Let nothing else worry you or disturb you.

What a powerful reminder that we all have a Mother who is caring for us and protecting us, bringing us always closer to God. I don’t know about you, but I need this reminder, straight from Mary’s lips, that I don’t, in fact, need anything more than her and her Son.

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