Every December 12 there is a special feast day celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe.
If you are not familiar with this image and the story surrounding its origin, I encourage you to read here, where it explains how the Mother of God first appeared to a poor farmer named Juan Diego on December 9, 1531 in Mexico. ( If you click on the links above, they will take you to a summary for younger children. I am sharing this link to share with my own children, but it also does a nice job of summarizing Juan Diego’s life changing experience in a simple and short way.)
The image above was what appeared on Juan Diego’s tilma when the bouquet of roses cascaded down from Juan Diego’s cloak as he was showing others who were skeptical about his story.
A few years ago our family went to Mass to celebrate this feast day at a church named “Our Lady of Guadalupe”.
The altar was filled with hundreds and hundreds of roses and was so beautiful. When our Blessed Mother appeared to Juan Diego at the hill of Tepeyac, there was a field of roses where roses did not bloom naturally before or during the season of winter. Hence, when people celebrate this feast day, many decorate their homes and churches with roses.
After Mass one year we went to a Mexican restaurant with 6 adults and 13 children! (3 families total). I brought a candle with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on it and burned it during our dinner to help celebrate such a special outing with family and friends.
We enjoy reading The Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie de Paola each year because Juan Diego’s story about how he was blessed by Mary’s presence is too miraculous not to share with my children. When I read this book, I am always so impressed by the great faith and persistence Juan Diego had even when others doubted his story and experience.
The image from Juan Diego’s tilma is on display in Mexico and has not deteriorated since the 1500s when the image first appeared. There are many other miraculous facts about this image. To read some of these facts, you can read the post, “Little Known Facts About Our Lady of Guadalupe”.
You can also read “Our Lady of Guadalupe ‘completely beyond’ scientific explanation, says researcher“, which is an article that explains how researchers to this day say “there is no scientific explanation for the 478 years of high quality-preservation of the Tilma or for the miracles that have occurred to ensure its preservation. ”