Today December 12, 2017
is the Feast Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe.
Here in Cebu City, Philippines,
is centered in Guadalupe Church.
Catholics gather around here
to venerate the images
especially of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
As early as 7:00 AM
of December 12,
portion of the V. Rama road
leading to the Guadalupe church
is closed to passenger vehicles
and Catholics can visit the church
by Habal-habal (passenger motorcyle)
or by private vehicles.
The day before the feast,
on December 11,
there was a Holy Procession
along the most part V. Rama road
and image of the Blessed Virgin
was paraded around to the people.
Houses and establishments
along the route
and brought out their very own
Marian images too.
Our Lady of Guadalupe,
also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe,
is a Roman Catholic title
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
associated with a venerated image
enshrined within the Minor Basilica
of Our Lady of Guadalupe
in Mexico City.
The basilica is the most visited
Catholic pilgrimage site in the world,
and the world's third most-visited sacred site.
Pope Leo XIII granted the venerated image
a Canonical Coronation on 12 October 1895.
Official Catholic accounts
state that the Virgin Mary
appeared four times before Juan Diego
and one more before Juan Diego's uncle.
According to these accounts
the first apparition occurred
on the morning of December 9, 1531,
when a native Mexican peasant
named Juan Diego
saw a vision of a maiden
at a place called the Hill of Tepeyac,
which would become part
of Villa de Guadalupe,
a suburb of Mexico City.
Speaking to Juan Diego
in his native Nahuatl language
(the language of the Aztec empire),
the maiden identified herself
as the Virgin Mary,
"mother of the very true deity"
and asked for a church to be built
at that site in her honor.
Based on her words,
Juan Diego then sought out
the archbishop of Mexico City,
Fray Juan de Zumárraga,
to tell him what had happened.
As the bishop did not believe Diego,
on the same day,
Juan Diego saw the Virgin Mary
for a second time (the second apparition);
she asked him to keep insisting.
On Sunday, December 10,
Juan Diego talked to the archbishop
for a second time.
The latter instructed him
to return to Tepeyac Hill,
and ask the lady
for a miraculous sign
to prove her identity.
That same day,
the third apparition occurred
when Diego returned to Tepeyac
and encountering the Virgin Mary,
reported the bishop's request for a sign;
she consented to provide one
on the following day (December 11).
By Monday, December 11,
Juan Diego's uncle Juan Bernardino
had fallen sick
and Juan Diego was obliged
to attend to him.
In the very early hours of Tuesday,
Juan Bernardino's condition
having deteriorated overnight,
Juan Diego set out to Tlatelolco
to fetch a priest
to hear Juan Bernardino's confession
and minister to him on his death-bed.
In order to avoid being delayed
by the Virgin
and ashamed at having failed
to meet her on the Monday as agreed,
Juan Diego chose another route
around the hill,
but the Virgin intercepted him
and asked where he was going (fourth apparition);
Juan Diego explained what had happened
and the Virgin gently chided him
for not having had recourse to her.
In the words which have become
the most famous phrase
of the Guadalupe event
and are inscribed
over the main entrance
to the Basilica of Guadalupe,
"Am I not here, I who am your mother?".
She assured him
that Juan Bernardino
had now recovered
and she told him to gather flowers
from the top of Tepeyac Hill,
which was normally barren,
especially in December.
Juan followed her instructions
and he found Castilian roses,
not native to Mexico,
The Virgin arranged the flowers
in Juan's tilma, or cloak,
and when Juan Diego opened his cloak
before archbishop Zumárraga
on December 12,
the flowers fell to the floor,
and on the fabric was the image
of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The next day,
on December 13,
Juan Diego found his uncle
as the Virgin had assured him,
and Juan Bernardino recounted
that he too had seen her,
at his bed-side (fifth apparition);
that she had instructed him
to inform the bishop of this apparition
and of his miraculous cure;
and that she had told him
she desired to be known
under the title of Guadalupe.
The bishop kept Juan Diego's mantle
first in his private chapel
and then in the church on public display
where it attracted great attention.
On December 26, 1531
a procession formed
for taking the miraculous image
back to Tepeyac
where it was installed
in a small hastily erected chapel.
In course of this procession,
the first miracle was allegedly performed
when an Indian was mortally wounded
in the neck
by an arrow shot by accident
during some stylized martial displays
executed in honour of the Virgin.
In great distress,
the Indians carried him
before the Virgin's image
and pleaded for his life.
Upon the arrow being withdrawn,
the victim made a full
and immediate recovery.
The shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe,
at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City, Mexico
is the most visited
Catholic pilgrimage destination
in the world.
The Virgin of Guadalupe
is considered the Patroness of Mexico
and the Continental Americas;
she is also venerated by Native Americans,
on the account of the devotion
calling for the conversion of the Americas.
Replicas of the tilma
can be found in thousands of churches
throughout the world,
and numerous parishes bear her name
like here in Cebu City, Philippines,
the Church Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe,
the Patroness of Cebu.
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