(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday, 12 December 2018)
M: Recordamos que estamos en la presencia sagrada de Dios.
D: Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.
D: God will surprise you sometimes. Throughout the course of history, He often chooses the lowly and outcast to deliver his message of love to the powerful. 487 years ago outside of Mexico City, the Virgin Mary appeared to a Native American Aztec youth named Juan Diego on Dec. 12th.
M: Even though Juan Diego spoke Nuahtl, the language of the conquered Aztec Indians, la Vírgen María spoke to him in su propia lengua– in his own language. This was not the Mary you’re used to seeing portrayed in European Renaissance art-with blond hair and dressed in blue.
D: No. This was La Morenita, a dark-skinned appearance of Mary with whom Juan Diego could identify, because she spoke his language and she looked like him.
M: La Morenita commanded Juan Diego to go to the Mexican Bishop Juan Zumárraga, and have him build a church on Tepeyac hill in Our Lady’s honor.
D: The bishop refused, demanding proof from this native American that he really did see and talk to la Vírgen María.
M: La Vírgen appeared again to Juan Diego and said, “¡Vén aquí, Diegito! Míra las rosas. ¡Llévalos al obispo como prueba de mi aparición!”
D: “My dear Diego-come here and take these roses to the bishop as proof of my appearance to you.” He thought that this miracle- blooming roses in the December cold- would be the proof he needed to convince the doubting bishop.
M: Juan cut the roses and carefully wrapped them in his tilma, his native cloak, and took them to the bishop.
D: When Juan unfolded his tilma before the bishop, the flowers had disappeared and had transformed themselves into the same image of the Virgin Mary that he had seen earlier. La morenita, was now imbedded into the threads of his cloak.
M: This 483-year old cloak can still be seen today in la basilica de nuestra señora de Guadalupe en la ciudad de México. Today thousands of Americans from the Western Hemisphere will come to this same spot to offer up their prayers and petitions to God and Mary.
D: La Virgen de Guadalupe unites us spiritually throughout the Americas, as the patroness of both North and South America.
M: Our Lady of Guadalupe has been adopted as a patroness of the Pro-Life movement and of Latino migrant workers who labor in the fields of California, Arizona and Texas. Saint Juan Diego is a model of persistence. Sometimes we have to work hard to share God’s message with the close-minded.
D: Throughout the course of Christianity, whether at Fatima, Lourdes, LaSalette, or Tepeyac hill, Mary has spoken to us as God’s messenger, to help all peoples in whatever situation they find themselves; with whatever needs they have.
D: Let us pray:
Loving God, you first sent Mary, Mother of God to bring your own Son, Jesus, into the world 2,000 years ago. You have sent the Mother of Jesus to us throughout salvation history to comfort us in our sorrows and to help us turn our hearts to Jesus.
M: Por favor Dios, open our eyes here at LaSalle Academy, so that we may see how you reveal yourself to us today. Help us to see you, Señor, in those we meet today.
D: Help us to see you in the scriptures we read today and in the religious teachings we will ponder. Querido Señor, dear Lord, as we notice more and more your loving presence here at LaSalle, may we be transformed during this Advent season, to be Christ’s light for others.
M: ¡San Juan Diego, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y San Juan Bautista de Lasalle,
D: ¡Ruéguen por nosotros!
M: Juan Diego, Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. John Baptist de LaSalle,
D: pray for us!
M: ¡Víva Jesús en nuestros corazones!
D: ¡Para siempre!
M: Live Jesus in our hearts!
(M) Mercedes DiMascio (Chairperson–World Languages Department) and (D) David Martinez (Religion Department)