OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE PATRONESS OF THE UNBORN
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 killedby indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.
The miraculous image produced on the apron or tilma of Saint Juan Diego is rich in symbolism. The luminous light surrounding the Lady is reminiscent of the “woman clothed with the sun” of Rev. 12:1. The light is also a sign of the power of God, who has sanctified and blessed the one who appears…. more powerful than the sun god of the natives.
The girdle or bow around her waist is a sign of her virginity, but it also has several other meanings. The bow also demonstrates plenitude and fecundity to the native Indians. The high position of the bow and the slight swelling of the abdomen show that the Lady is “with child”.
At the time of Mary’s appearance 1531, Mexico was in the throes of human sacrifice where blood of infants were offered up to appease the pagan gods. When Mary appeared, she brought a message of compassion, “I am the 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 their suffering, necessities, and misfortunes.”
Mary holds within her the unborn Christ proclaiming the sanctity and blessedness of life within the womb. In her appearance to Juan Diego there is such simplicity and reverence expressing calm in a turbulent world. She patiently bears our Savior and soon humanity will be reunited in relationship with divinity. Within just a few years, 11 million native Americans were converted, and the practice of human sacrifice stopped, along with the promotion and practices of Cultures of Death.
No more did the people need to cower in abject terror before the bloodthirsty gods who demanded the death of their children. They found refuge beneath the gracious protection of a gentle Mother. How much we need her intercession today. Since 1973 Roe V Wade there have been over 60 million abortions in the United States, alone and over a billion worldwide.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.”
As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms. Another way to take part is through participating in special events to observe the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Call your local diocese or parish to find out what events might be taking place in your area.
Contact your representatives state and federal. While our efforts to change hearts, minds and laws through courageous public witness are essential to ending abortion, our most powerful weapon is prayer.
Pope Benedict XVI, Emeritus addressed lawmakers about this issue, “Children truly are the family’s greatest treasure and most precious good. Consequently, everyone must be helped to become aware of the intrinsic evil of the crime of abortion. In attacking human life in its very first stages, it is also an aggression against society itself. Politicians and legislators, therefore, as servants of the common good, are duty bound to defend the fundamental right to life, the fruit of God’s love.”
We must shout it from the rooftop “that all life is sacred.”We are all evangelizers by virtue of our Baptism. All of us are commissioned through our baptism to be other Christs in the world. Baptism means for us exactly what it meant for Jesus when He was baptized by John before entering His public ministry. His baptism was his initiation. He emerged from the water commissioned by the Father to do His work. Similarly – In our own waters of baptism – we have been initiated, called, and commissioned. Trusting in God we must fearlessly go forward in our quest to support a culture of Life.
Abortion is often a temptation when expectant mothers face the challenges of loneliness, of spiritual emptiness, of unstable relationships and absent families. Poverty is often a factor in choosing abortion, but spiritual poverty, isolation, and hopelessness are far more powerful factors. The Lord calls on all of us to be present in support in the lives of women and families who might be tempted to consider abortion.
The earliest Christians used as their “moral guide of behavior” the admonition God made to his chosen people, through Moses, His Prophet, Deuteronomy 30:19. I” am offering you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live…
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