Our Lady of Guadalupe inspires devotion Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Susanna Herro, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008 -- 1:00 AM

Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrations

ALBANY — St. Patrick Church, 410 E. State St., Friday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m. Mass in Spanish with a light reception to follow.
BLOOMINGTON — St. Mary Church, 535 Congress St., Friday, Dec. 12, 12 noon Mass.
JANESVILLE — St. Patrick Church, 315 Cherry St., Thursday, Dec. 11: 6:30 p.m. Confession available; 6:45 p.m. Bilingual Mass, with South Beloit Hispanic Choir leading in song, followed by procession of the Our Lady of Guadalupe image to the fiesta in the school cafeteria; with St. John Vianney Parish and Janesville-Milton cluster.
JEFFERSON — St. John the Baptist Church, 214 N. Sanborn Ave., Sunday, Dec. 14, 10:30 a.m. bi-lingual Mass with the Madison Hispanic Choir followed by Mexican-American Dinner and folk dances.
MADISON — Holy Redeemer Church, 120 W. Johnson St., Thursday, Dec. 11: 9 p.m. Festival in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe begins in auditorium (third floor of old school); 10:30 p.m. Mass in Spanish; 12 midnight Mañanitas; Friday, Dec. 12: 5:15 p.m. Bilingual Mass; 8 p.m. Mass in Spanish, with reception in parish hall following.
MADISON — St. Joseph Church, 1905 W. Beltline Hwy., Thursday, Dec. 11: 7 p.m. Serenade, Holy Rosary, Dances; 9 p.m. Mariachi; 10:30 p.m. Mass followed by Mañanitas ending around 1 a.m.
MADISON — St. Patrick Church, 404 E. Main St., Friday, Dec. 12, 12:15 p.m. Mass in English with Bishop Robert C. Morlino.
MADISON — St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 602 Everglade Dr., Friday, Dec. 12, 5:50 p.m. Final Jubilee Year event with Mass, including Aztec dancers and a Mariachi band followed by a feast and fiesta.
WATERTOWN — St. Henry Church, 412 N. 4th St., Sunday, Dec. 14, 2 p.m. Spanish Mass with Mariachi music followed by Mexican food, Mariachi music, and folk dances.
In 1531, Juan Diego, a convert in Mexico, met a beautiful woman who said, “My dear little son, I love you. I desire you to know who I am. I am the ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who gives life and maintains its existence. He created all things. He is in all places. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth.

“I desire a church in this place where your people may experience my compassion. All those who sincerely ask my help in their work and in their sorrows will know my Mother’s Heart in this place. Here I will see their tears; I will console them and they will be at peace.”

Juan Diego, who is now St. Juan Diego (Feast Day: December 9), felt himself unworthy to convince the bishop of this enormous request, but he went on the mission, as he was asked.

Later, as proof, the lady gave him roses to take to the bishop, which he placed in his tilma, a garment like a poncho. When he showed the bishop the roses, an image of the beautiful lady appeared on the tilma. The image convinced the bishop that the request was, indeed, from our Holy Mother and a church was built on the spot.

Over the centuries, the image has not faded and it is still not known how the image was produced. Scientific studies have been made. In 1977 infrared photography and digital enhancement techniques were used to study the image, which is conserved in a large cathedral near Mexico City.

This has become one of the most-frequented religious pilgrimage places in the Western Hemisphere. The image from the tilma, representing Mary as a young pregnant woman, is a reminder of her special care for her children in the New World.

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas, is December 12 and will be celebrated in many ways and in many parishes in the Diocese of Madison.

The celebration often begins the evening before with prayers, singing, and refreshment. All are welcome to share in the many celebrations throughout the diocese in English, Spanish, and bi-lingual celebrations.

At right is a partial listing of celebrations. Please check with your local parish, too.

Susanna Herro is director of the Office of Justice and Pastoral Outreach of the Diocese of Madison.