In 1531, the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego, an indigenous Mexican farmer. During that first sacred encounter and in several more apparitions over the next few days, Mary spoke to Juan Diego in his native Aztec language and asked him to petition the bishop to build a church. She instructed him to bring roses to the bishop, and when he opened his cloak to drop the flowers before the bishop’s feet, all those present were stunned to see Our Lady’s image painted on his cloak.  This painting is known as our Lady of Guadalupe with her feast day celebrated on December 12th.

A replica of that image now adorns a wall on the back of one of the Casa Franciscana Mission’s old buildings.  It is located in the narrow street that is used frequently by children and teenagers.  If you spent some time in this calle (street), you could not help but smile!!  Children are yelling, running, fighting, throwing things.  Suddenly, as they come to the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, they stop, make the sign of the cross and sometimes even proceed with arms around each other!  There seems to be a special benevolence in this little place in the midst of poverty and trash

We hope that, in this time of aloneness, unemployment and all manners of suffering you have a special little place where you can go to find a moment of peace and warmth.  Use this picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe to help prepare for Christmas.  Pray to her for grace to weather these perplexing times.  Pray to her for the children of the poor who run through this narrow street in Guaymas. 

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