December 12th is a huge celebration day for latinos, mexicanos especially, around the world where everyone pauses either morning, noon, night, or overnight to honor her!
On December 12, 1531, as the story goes, a poor Indian named Juan Diego was walking along in a desolate area north of Mexico City, seeking water for his uncle. Suddenly, on a hillside, he saw a vision of a beautiful woman, who directed him to a spring of fresh, cool water. A few days later, in the same spot, the vision appeared again to Juan Diego. This time, she instructed him to go to Mexico City to tell the high church officials to build a church in her name on that site. Of course, the ecclesiastical officials did not believe the poor Indian. Why would the Virgin Mary appear to someone so lowly? They asked for proof. When Juan Diego returned to the hillside and the Virgin appeared again, he asked her for a sign. Suddenly he saw some beautiful red roses, even though roses do not normally bloom in that area in December. He gathered them into his rough Indian tilma (blanket) and took them to Mexico City. When he opened his tilma for the high church officials, they fell to their knees in veneration and amazement. There, imprinted on the humble Indian blanket of Juan Diego, was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, exactly as Juan Diego had seen her. It is said that the image is so perfect in detail that one sees in the pupil of the Virgin’s eye the image of Juan Diego. –courtesy of literacynet.org, Phoenix, Arizona
Go into any Mexican house, business, or car and there is a good chance you will find a picture of La Virgen hung up somewhere, a candle, many times lit, with La Virgen, keychains with La Virgen, small altars honoring La Virgen. Many a man or woman have La Virgen de G tattoos, I once saw a woman who had her entire back tattooed with La Virgen of G. . Of course, one can always find the big celebration on Spanish-language TV at around 10 or 11 at night on Dec 11th and at Midnight Dec 12th, this is the #1 celebration in the world, at La Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City…steps away from Tepeyac, where Juan Diego actually saw her. This celebration is massive and colorful — pilgrims come from all over the world to honor and to thank La Virgen de Guadalupe for her help.
-La Virgen of G is everywhere-
One does not have to be in Mexico City to feel the power of La Virgen de Guadalupe. Go to almost any Catholic church, anywhere, and there is some type of big celebration! Love seeing the little ones dressed up in all of their Juan Diego or Mexican best during this time of year. Growing up in the Torres household, we could be found driving to church, one year in a really foggy night, to get there in time to celebrate “Las Mañanitas” to La Virgen at 5 or 6 in the morning, we used to even dress up back in the day. I’ll never forget one year when I was little, that after Las Mañanitas Mass, that the church was empty, or so I thought. I heard music coming from the church, and, as I looked inside, who do I see but my Dad walking up to the altar, singing “Virgen Guadalupana” all by himself! . As kids at the Ranch, we did countless Rosaries at Grandma Ma Lupita’s house on our knees on that floor. It’s our Grandma’s ‘Santo’ so we ALWAYS remember Mama Lupita on this day!
-La Virgen of G watches over Me-
Last year, 12-12-12 was an extremely emotional and important day for me. I left my office to try to hit one of the many masses in the area and ended up at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, who had been having masses every single hour of the day since 5am. The church was packed beyond belief and I was inside of the lobby area and knew that there was no way that I would get into the actual church itself — but it was very important that I go there and thank La Virgen of G for HANDLING it and taking care of me as I started a new life and for always taking care of my familia! I may not be the most faithful churchgoer but I am convinced that La Virgen of G is, most def, watching over me and in my corner.