By Mary Sayad


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    DECEMBER 12, 2006

    When Our Blessed Mother appeared to a humble man, Juan Diego, a converted Catholic in Guadalupe, Mexico on December 9, 10 and 12, 1530, she encouraged him to go to the Bishop and request a church to be built on the hill of her apparition. She warned him that it would be a difficult task but she also encouraged him to keep trying. Although Juan Diego tried several times to convince Bishop Zummaraga of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s request, the Bishop doubted him but he requested that Juan bring him proof of Our Lady’s messages.

    At the fourth apparition, Our Blessed Mother instructed Juan Diego to pick flowers from a barren hill and to take them to the Bishop. This was during the cold winter when flowers are not in bloom and that particular hill had only thistles and thorns. Juan did as he was told and found many beautiful roses and picked as many as he could carry and he placed them in his cape (tilma). The Bishop’s servants were not cooperative and didn’t wish to disturb him with Juan’s persistence, but when they realized that he would not leave without first seeing the Bishop, he came down to meet Juan. Upon opening his cape (tilma) all the varieties and colors of roses, fresh and fragrant fell to the floor. The most astonishing part was the image of Our Blessed Mother miraculously embossed on the inside of Juan’s cape.

    After seeing the miracle, the sorrowful Bishop prayed for forgiveness and in time erected a church in honor of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Until today, Juan Diego’s cape with the image of Our Blessed Mother, may be seen in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    To quote Mother Angelica of the Eternal Word Television Network, she reiterates Our Lady of Guadalupe’s wishes and encouragements for us in her monthly letter of December 2006:

    "We need Jesus, but He also needs us. It is not because we can add anything to Him that He needs us, for He is infinite in all His Perfections. He needs us because He wills to do so; He wills that we cooperate with Him for the salvation of the world. Through our neighbor He reaches out and says, ‘I need you.’ ‘I need your words of comfort in my sorrow, your assurance when I am sick, your hope when I am discouraged and your love when the world grows cold --for what you do to the least, you do to Me."

    Beloved Friends,

    Our Lady needs you and me. She needs us to minister to our friends, family and neighbors to continue with her mission of love and charity. While we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, we also demonstrate our gratitude, for gratitude is a derivative of faith. No merit or efforts are ever lost to Jesus and Mary.

    To help stop the anti-life push in the world, the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen encouraged the spiritual adoption of an unborn child. This is done by praying that one particular but unknown child's life be spared abortion and be allowed to continue to live.

    To help accomplish this, it was recommended, an individual say the following daily prayer for a period of one year.

    "Jesus , Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion."

    During your earthly life this spiritually adopted child of yours will be known only to God but in the world to come it is hoped that you will meet the child whose life was spared by your prayers and spend eternal happiness with them.

    Please continue to pray for world peace and for our military. Thank you and God bless you always.

    Your companion in prayer,