Today is the feast day of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of Mexico, Patroness of the Americas.
In honor of today’s feast, I want to share the message of Papa Francisco to the Americas in honor of this feast day, and a rendition of the traditional song sung before la Virgen on this day.
Tomorrow is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas. I would like to greet all my brothers and sisters on that continent, and I do so thinking of the Virgin of Tepeyac. When Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego, her face was that of a woman of mixed blood, a mestiza, and her garments bore many symbols of the native culture. Like Jesus, Mary is close to all her sons and daughters; as a concerned mother, she accompanies them on their way through life. She shares all the joys and hopes, the sorrows and troubles of God’s People, which is made up of men and women of every race and nation.
When the image of the Virgin appeared on the tilma of Juan Diego, it was the prophecy of an embrace: Mary’s embrace of all the peoples of the vast expanses of America – the peoples who already lived there, and those who were yet to come. Mary’s embrace showed what America – North and South – is called to be: a land where different peoples come together; a land prepared to accept human life at every stage, from the mother’s womb to old age; a land which welcomes immigrants, and the poor and the marginalized, in every age. A land of generosity. That is the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and it is also my message, the message of the Church. I ask all the people of the Americas to open wide their arms, like the Virgin, with love and tenderness.
And here is a rendition of Las Mananitas, as sung at the Basilica in Mexico City in 2012 on her Feast day:
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, pray for all your children, now and in the hour of our death.
Update: for a summary of the story of St. Juan Diego and the Virgin, and another version of Las Mananitas, see my post from last year.