Brother Lawrence said, “that our thoughts spoil everything, that the trouble begins with them as soon as we perceive they are not necessary to what we are doing at the time nor to our salvation, and resume again our conversation with God wherein we attain our greatest well being…
That all possible mortifications would not erase a single sin if divorced from the love of God. That we should await, without anxiety, the remission of our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ, while trying to love him with all our heart; that God seemed to choose the greatest sinners, rather than those who had lived in innocence, to bestow his greatest graces on, for by this action was clearly revealed his ineffable goodness.
That he gave no thought to death, nor to his sins, nor to paradise, nor to hell but only to doing little things for the love of God since he was incapable of doing great things; that whatever happened to him after that would not bother him since it was God’s will.”
Through fervent piety and an efficacious desire to serve others we will be able to carry out the re-evangelization of the world, as Pope John Paul II prays: Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas...behold how great the harvest is. Intercede before the Lord for us so that our hunger for sanctity in the world may increase… May we give all we can to carrying out this task, especially to the people we find at our side every day. Many seek to know the path to God, yet do not know the way. Each one of us, in our specific place in society, can point out to many others the straight path to union with Christ through devotion to Our Lady. Our word and our example of devotion to her will be the most efficacious witness we can render. Queen of Apostles, accept our complete readiness to work for the restoration and fulfillment of your Son.
ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH
AUGUST 30, 2003—9:00 a. m. - 12 midnight
AUGUST 31, 2003—8:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.
The reliquary or locket that is suspended on the chain on the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe contains five relics. The Archbishop of Mexico City gave them to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1941 in appreciation of the important official visit of Los Angeles Archbishop Cantwell to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. His pilgrimage helped to reopen doors between the two countries that had been closed by the repressive Mexican Socialist government that had brutalized the Catholic faithful, including the murder of priests.
CENTER: Relic of Juan Diego’s tilma, which contains the miraculous imprint of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Mexico. Displayed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, the tilma is the most recognized Christian symbols in the Western Hemisphere.
UPPER RIGHT: Relic of St. Francis Borgia. Duke Francis of Gandia was a young Christian nobleman of the famous Borgia family, cousin to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He was also a true man of God. When the duke’s wife died, he gave his office to his eldest son and became a Jesuit priest in 1550. He practiced great humility and accomplished great works for God, including spreading the Society of Jesus across Spain and Portugal. He was known as “the duke turned Jesuit” and was called upon to speak, leaving strong impressions on many highborn youth who followed him into the Order. In 1566, St. Francis was made the Superior General of the Jesuits and sent missionaries all over the world, spreading the faith to many lands.
LOWER RIGHT: Relic of St. Teresa of Avila. Born of noble parents in Spain, Teresa joined the Carmelite Order and reformed it, and built many convents. She lived a life of constant prayer and brought many souls to Jesus. After an apparition of Jesus and many saints, her soul was taken to heaven in 1582. St. Teresa, renowned for her writings on mystical theology, is one of three women who are doctors of the Church.
LOWER LEFT: Relic of St. Francis Xavier. Born of noble parents in 1506, Francis became a teacher. He joined St. Ignatius Loyola and four other young men and formed the Society of Jesus to work for the conversion of souls. Francis went to India and Japan where he converted thousands of pagans until his death in 1552. He is the Patron of Foreign Missions.
UPPER LEFT: Relic of St. Ignatius Loyola. Ignatius was a soldier who undertook a long recovery from a badly broken leg. At that time he read a book about the lives of the saints and decided to change his life to one of service in the name of Jesus. In Paris, he founded the Jesuit Order to teach, educate, and evangelize during the Protestant Reformation when many were falling away from the Church. He even sent Jesuits to bring the faith to the Indians of the New World. Ignatius was almost totally blind when he died at the age of 65 in 1556.THE IMAGE OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
The miraculous image produced on the apron or tilma of Blessed Juan Diego is rich in symbolism. The aureole or 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. The rays of the sun would also be recognized by the native people as a symbol of their highest god, Huitzilopochtli. Thus, the lady comes forth hiding but not extinguishing the power of the sun. She is now going to announce the God who is greater than their sun god.
The Lady is standing upon the moon. Again, the symbolism is that of the woman of Rev. 12:1 who has the "moon under her feet". The moon for the Meso-Americans was the god of the night. By standing on the moon, she shows that she is more powerful than the god of darkness. However, in Christian iconography the crescent moon under the Madonna’s feet is usually a symbol of her perpetual virginity, and sometimes it can refer to her Immaculate Conception or Assumption.
The eyes of Our lady of Guadalupe are looking down with humility and compassion. This was a sign to the native people that she was not a god since in their iconography the gods stare straight ahead with their eyes wide open.
The angel supporting the Lady testifies to her royalty. To the Meso-American Indians only kings, queens and other dignitaries would be carried on the shoulders of someone.
The angel is transporting the Lady to the people as a sign that a new age has come. The mantle of the Lady is blue-green or turquoise. To the native people, this was the color of the gods and of royalty. It was also the color of the natural forces of life and fecundity. In Christian art, blue is symbolic of eternity and immortality. In Judaism, it was the color of the robe of the high priest. The limbus or gold border of her mantle is another sign of nobility.
The stars on the Lady’s mantle shows that she comes from heaven. She comes as the Queen of Heaven but with the eyes of a humble and loving mother. The stars also are a sign of the supernatural character of the image. The research of Fr. Mario Rojas Sánchez and Dr. Juan Homero Hernández Illescas of Mexico (published in 1983) shows that the stars on the Lady’s mantle in the image are exactly as the stars of the winter solstice appeared before dawn on the morning of December 12, 1531. The color of the Madonna’s dress is rose or pale-red. Some have interpreted this as the color of dawn symbolizing the beginning of a new era. Others point to the red as a sign of martyrdom for the faith and divine love.
The gold-encircled cross brooch under the neck of the Lady’s robe is a symbol of sanctity. The girdle or bow around her waist is a sign of her virginity, but it also has several other meanings. The bow appears as a four-petaled flower. To the native Indians this was the nahui ollin, the flower of the sun, a symbol of plenitude. The cross-shaped flower was also connected with the cross-sticks which produce fire. For them, this was the symbol of fecundity and new life. The high position of the bow and the slight swelling of the abdomen show that the Lady is "with child." According to Dr. Carlos Fernández Del Castillo, a leading Mexican obstetrician, the Lady appears almost ready to give birth with the infant head down resting vertically. This would further solidify her identification with the woman of Rev. 12 who is about to give birth.