Drawn to Our Lady

About 4 weeks ago, I started praying the Rosary everyday. I never really thought about having a relationship with Mary until then, but after a while, I noticed something: I noticed that I saw a lot of pictures of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I even had someone give me a necklace with her picture on it. I didn’t think I was connected to her in any way, until I was given the necklace, and someone told me, “I was told you have a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, so I want you to have it.”

I didn’t know that I had a devotion to her, but it was then that I realized that I truly did, and she was revealing herself to me in a specific image: Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Lately, I’ve also become very passionate about life, or being anti-abortion. I just thought that it was because March for Life is coming up, and I’m planning on going.

I was curious, so I researched who the patron of pro-life was, little did I know that it was Our Lady of Guadalupe. The image I had been somehow seeing everywhere.

I also learned about Juan Diego and his story.

Juan Diego was a Mexican man who lived around 1531, during this time in Mexico, people were offering human sacrafices, mainly being infants to pagan gods. On December 9, 1531, he was headed to Mass. As he walked on Tepeyac Hill, he began to hear beautiful music, and he saw a beautiful lady, who called his name, “Juanito, Juan Dieguito.” He approached and she said, “Know for certain, least of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, the true God, through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of Heaven and earth. It is in my earnest wish that a temple be built here to my honor. Here I will demonstrate, I will manifest, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live in this united land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, and of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and I will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities, and misfortunes.”

She told Juan Diego to go tell the Bishop of her desire for the church. The Bishop declined to build a church, so Juan went back to Tepeyac to tell Mary. Mary instructed hin to try again. So, the next day, he did. Although this time it was more difficult to see the bishop, Juan Diego prevailed, and the bishop once more listened patiently. However, the bishop asked him to bring back a sign from Mary to prove the story.  Again, Juan Diego reported the matter to our Blessed Mother, who told him to return the next day to receive the sign for the bishop.

On December 11, Juan Diego spent the day caring for his sick unlcle. He asked Juan Diego to go and bring a priest who would hear his confession and administer last rights. On December 12, Juan Diego set out again, but avoided Tepeyac Hill, because he was ashamed that he had not returned the previous day as Our Blessed Mother had requested. While making his detour, the Blessed Mother stopped him and said, “Hear, and let it penetrate into your heart, my dear little son: let nothing discourage you, let nothing depress you. Let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Also, do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?Mary reassured Juan Diego that his uncle would not die; in fact, his health had been restored.

As for the sign for the bishop, Mary had told Juan Diego to go to the top of the mountain and pick some flowers. He went up to the hill which was dry and barren, a place for cactus and found roses like those grown in Castille, but foreign to Mexico.

Keep in mind that it’s also the middle of winter.

He gathered them in his tilma, a garment like a poncho. He brought them to Mary who arranged them and said to take them to the bishop.

Juan Diego proceeded again to the bishop’s house. After waiting a while for an audience, he repeated the message to the bishop and opened his tilma to present the roses. The bishop saw not only the beautiful flowers, but also the beautiful image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The bishop wept at the sight of the Blessed Mother and asked forgiveness for doubting.

December 9 marks the feast day of Saint Juan Diego and December 12, marks the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

That has got to be my absolute favorite story. It really hit me when it said,

“Hear and let it penetrate your heart, my dear little son: let nothing discourage you, let nothing depress you. Let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Also, do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms?”

The reason it hit me so hard when I read it was because I have been dealing with depression, and two ill uncles. I have also been somewhat discouraged about myself, and worried that Mary isn’t answering my prayers.

Also, when it said, “ Here I will demonstrate, I will manifest, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live in this united land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, and of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and I will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities, and misfortunes.”

I have been seeking her. I have been seeking her and imploring her everyday. By praying the Rosary fervently, a lot of my suffering has diminished.

Also, she is the patroness of the unborn, and I feel like she is calling me to stand up for the unborn and to be their voice.  I know the Catholic Church already teaches that we should do that, but I feel like she’s talking directly to me. Recently I got in a debate with a fellow Catholic about aborition. She talked about how she felt that abortion was okay, and that it wasn’t a big deal. I was outraged. I explained to her that you cannot be Catholic and pro-choice. It’s a contradiction, and the Church doesn’t contradict herself. I cited in the Bible and Catechism of the Catholic Church where it talks about abortion/ killing not being okay. I took that as a sign that I should attend March for Life.

 And please pray to our Blessed Mother, she is so powerful.

Totus Tuus

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