Our Lady of Guadalupe

Virgin of Guadalupe framedHappy Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe! Today we honor the apparition that appeared to Saint Juan Diego in 1531. Under the Title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, she was named Patroness of Mexico City in 1737, Patroness of Latin America in 1910, Patroness of the Philippines in 1935, and Patroness of the Americas in 1946.

To prove her authenticity to the local bishop, Our Lady instructed Juan Diego to collect in his tilma (cloak) the out-of-season roses that were growing at her feet. When Juan Diego opened hisĀ tilma to drop the roses before the bishop, both men were astounded to see an image of Our Lady painted on the cloak. That image still exists today, 486 years after the events, defying all explanations for its creation and preservation. (For more about this remarkable image, including scientific documentation of a baby’s heartbeat in the area where its womb would be, click here.)

A MARIAN MOMENT

What’s a “guadalupe”? The word Our Lady actually used was the Aztec “coatlaxopeuh” (pronounced “guadalupe”), which means one “who crushes the serpent”. This is apparently a reference to Genesis 3:14-15 – “And the Lord God said to the serpent … ‘I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed. She shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.'” It is worth noting that the Aztec empire used to sacrifice 50,000 human lives each year to their serpent god, Quetzalcoatl. Our Lady was essentially crushing that religion and its god, attracting 8 million converts in the 7 years following her apparition!Virgin of Guadalupe

“My little son, do not be distressed and afraid. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the fountain of your joy? Are you not in the fold of my mantle, in the cradle of my arms?” – Our Lady of Guadalupe

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Immaculate Conception feast dayHappy Feast of the Immaculate Conception to all my Catholic fans! The term describes the beautiful gift given to Our Lady that ultimately became a gift for all of us. And thanks again to Give Us This Day for publishing my illustration to accompany today’s prayers!

For anyone who likes my illustration, an original piece based on this design is now available! And until December 25 you can use coupon code CHRISTMAS to get 20% off of this or any piece in my Etsy store!

A Marian Moment

What’s an “immaculate conception” anyway? You’ve probably heard that Mary was “conceived without sin” and that she’s “full of grace”. These terms mean that Mary was prevented from being born with or developing a sinful nature. Her sinlessness allowed her to pass on to Jesus a sinless humanity. Mary’s conception paved the way for the Incarnation!

Happy Advent!

The generative light of the Spirit enfolds you
Escorting the noble Christ, mirror image of the Father.
The door of the sacred house was firmly barred
But now your Prince steps o’er the threshold.Holy Mother and Child canvas print

This is my own translation of the second stanza of Verbum Salutis Omnium, a 10th century Advent hymn. It will appear on my Christmas cards this year.

Advent is easily my favorite time of year. Christmas itself can be overwhelming, but I love the gentle buildup of hope that defines Advent.

There’s still time to purchase art, such as this canvas print. It would make a lovely gift or a beautiful decoration for your home.