December 12, 1531, Our Lady appeared to St. Juan Diego on a hill in Tepeyac, Mexico. Juan was a simple, poor Christian convert. The Aztecs were involved in the horrible practice of human sacrifice. Missionaries had had very limited success in bringing the Indians to the true faith. Our Lady appeared amid a light that outshone the sun. She spoke with great gentleness and love. She asked that Juan bring a message to his Bishop. The Bishop asked that Juan return with a sign. Later as he passed the hill he heard a sweet voice call out to him. "Go to the hilltop and find some roses. Bring these to the Bishop as the sign I wish to give." Juan knew that roses would not grow naturally at this place--especially in December. In faith he set out. Finding them as Our Lady promised, he gathered them in his tilma, a rough cloth garment. Juan brought them to the Bishop, and as he let them flow to the floor, all present dropped to their knees in awe. There on the tilma they saw a beautiful image of Our Lady. The Bishop now believed! The Indians turned away from the sacrifice of humans. In the 7 years that followed the apparition, 8 million Indians embraced the Christian Faith.
"I am your merciful mother, the mother of all of you who live united in this land,
and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have
confidence in me.
Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities, and misfortunes."
--Mary's words to St. Juan Diego
When Our Lady appeared to St Juan, The Indians of the area were used to reading a picture language. As they viewed this image they could read a lesson
in the Christian faith. The symbolism was clear. Our Lady was carrying her
unborn Son, she stood over the defeated "gods" of their time, wore the cross of Christianity, and showed her love by appearing as one of their race.
Our Lady appearing with the unborn Lord
is known as the Mother of the Unborn,
Patroness and Protector of Life.
Begin each day with this beautiful prayer composed by
John Paul II, in
O Mary, Bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the Living, to you do we entrust the cause of Life. Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy. Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of Life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives, and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.
HAIL MARY--GLORY BE--OUR FATHER
Daily PRAYER INTENTIONS
1. May all grow in their awareness of the awesome, beautiful gift of human Life.
2. That those in the abortion industry will be converted and come to know the joy of appreciating the sanctity of Life.
3. That those carrying the sadness of involvement in a past abortion may come to know the Lord's loving mercy through the Holy Sacraments of the Church.
4. That we may be blessed with strong leaders who will work to protect human life, from conception to natural death.
5. That all medical professionals will use their skills to heal and to preserve Life.
6. That the laws of our country will change to protect the gift of Life.
7. That all those who find themselves in crisis pregnancy may find the courage and support to bring their children to birth.
8. That married couples will remain open to the gift of new Life.
9. That the Holy Spirit will fill the hearts of all the faithful and strengthen them to work for the cause of Life.
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