Monday, December 15, 2014

Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebrated at St. Bernard Prep

On Friday, December 12, St. Bernard Students began their day by packing into the Abbey Church to pray, using the rosary to remember the blessings of God, to thank him, and to ask his help.
After prayers in the church, all went to the “Brahma Room of the school dining hall where the Spanish Class presented a short play, “Our Lady of Guadalupe” under the direction of Mrs. Katie Aguilar. 
The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe  began on the morning of December 9, 1531, when a native American, an Aztec, named Juan Diego witnessed an apparition of a maiden at the Hill of Tepeyac, in what would become the town of Villa de Guadalupe on the outskirts of Mexico City. Speaking to him in his native Nahuatl language, the maiden asked that a church be built at that site in her honor.

Because of her words, Juan Diego recognized the maiden as the Virgin Mary. Juan Diego recounted the events to the Archbishop of Mexico City, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, who instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill and ask the "lady" for a miraculous sign to prove her identity. The first sign was the Virgin’s healing Juan's uncle. Then the Virgin told Juan Diego to gather flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill, where he found Castilian roses, not native to Mexico, blooming miraculously in December on the normally barren hilltop. So that he explain the miracle to the bishop, Juan Diego picked the flowers and put them in his tilma or cloak.  Juan Diego rushed into Mexico City and was taken to the bishop.  When Juan opened his cloak before Bishop Zumárraga, the roses fell to the floor, and on the fabric was the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Virgin of Guadalupe.  That day was December 12, 1531, just a few decades after Columbus discovered the New World; the image of Mary is still on the cloak of Juan Diego. 
The Spanish conquerors of Mexico had brought the Christian Faith to the New World, but they also brought death and destruction, so the natives were resistant to that Faith.  But now the very mother of Jesus appeared as one of them, speaking their language and she appeared not to a Spaniard but to an Aztec.  In less than a decade after the miracle, more than 8 million native Mexicans converted to the Christian Faith.  

Following the students’ presentation, all enjoyed homemade hot tamales, conchas, and Mexican hot chocolate provided by parents and grandparents of SBP Mexican students.

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