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Archived Online Discussion
Topic: Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love
Date: 5-6 pm (ET)
on Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Carl A. Anderson
Supreme Knight
Carl A. Anderson:
Welcome to our review of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love.

SK Dave Vincenty, FN, PGK, FA
Santa Clara, CA, USA
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared almost 500 years ago and brought Christianity to the New World. Dare we hope and pray that she might appear again to create a new mass conversion of souls lost to hate in the Islamic world, and paving the way to a new unity among God's children? I understand that Muslims recognize Mary and the virgin birth.
Carl A. Anderson:

Our Lady has appeared at key moments in history, and in key places, but I don't think anyone can predict where or when she will appear. Her message at Guadalupe was certainly a message for each of us, calling each of us to hope, to love, to the Gospel, and above all to union with her son, Jesus. But that message of love, of a love that overcomes violence remains a relevant message today throughout the world, and it is our job to witness to that love as Catholics. We must - wherever we find ourselves - lead by example, and show that love: our love of God and of neighbor can create more change than hatred. If each of us were a beacon of love, the world could see in us - by our example - hope for a better, more just future.

Chris Kennedy
Highlands Ranch, CO, 80130
The identity of the Roman Catholic church is moving away from it's European Roots. Does Our Lady of Guadalupe have a lesson for us on the identity of the Church in this new identity and how does that apply to the Knights.
Carl A. Anderson:

In this book, Father Chavez and I discuss the American hemisphere as a continent of baptized Christians, and a continent that serves as a hope for Christianity worldwide. Certainly we are in a unique position. Europe seems to be moving away from its Christian roots with - among other markers - a steep decline in Mass attendance. But here, in this hemisphere, in nearly every country of this hemisphere, the faith is more vibrant. So we have to take that responsibility of the "new evangelization" seriously. Much of the world looks to the Americas for so many things in modern culture. We must make certain that they can look to this hemisphere for an authentic "yes" to Jesus Christ. They should be able to see in our example, the hope that living a Christian life brings.

As Pope John Paul II noted on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1997: "Mary, Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of all America, help us to be faithful stewards of the great mysteries of God. Help us to teach the truth your Son proclaimed and to spread love, which is the first commandment and first fruit of the Holy Spirit. Help us to confirm our brothers and sisters in the faith. Help us to spread hope in eternal life. Help us to guard the great spiritual treasures of the members of God's people who are entrusted to us." This is the leadership and witness that all Catholics in the American hemisphere are called to.

Springfield Illinois
Pope Pius XII declared the Virgin of Guadalupe "Queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas" in 1945, and "Patroness of the Americas" in 1946. When and why was she given the added title 'Patroness of the Unborn'?
Carl A. Anderson:

Some titles of Our Lady of Guadalupe have been given by Popes over the years, while others have been popularly attributed to Our Lady of Guadalupe by the faithful. A good timeline of Our Lady of Guadalupe, including many of the titles she has been given is available at


Angelica Lopez
Thank you for this wonderful book on Our Lady. I learned so much. What does Our Lady of Guadalupe message means for the pro-life movement today?
Carl A. Anderson:

I think that Our Lady of Guadalupe's message is very relevant to the pro-life movement today because it is a message of love. In Aztec culture, the belief was held that human sacrifice was necessary to ensure the survival of civilization. Human sacrifice was not an end in itself, but a means based on a theology that didn't have a proper respect for the human person. In our society, abortion is not often an end in itself, but a means. As Pope John Paul II noted in Evangelium Vitae: "There are situations of acute poverty, anxiety or frustration in which the struggle to make ends meet, the presence of unbearable pain, or instances of violence, especially against women, make the choice to defend and promote life so demanding as sometimes to reach the point of heroism."

John Paul went on to give the solution: building "a civilization of love and life." In other words, misguided "solutions" that don't adequately understand the dignity of the human person can only be countered by our authentic - lived - message of love. That is the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

San Jose, CA
What do you think is the most important part of the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe? You list many aspects of her message, but does one in particular strike you?
Carl A. Anderson:
I think that the title of the book really sums up what Our Lady of Guadalupe has called us to: "a civilization of love." Her message is one that draws us to her son and asks us to live out the Gospel in our daily lives. That message can be summed up in Christ's commandmants to love God with our entire being, and to love our neighbor as ourself. That is what it means to build a civilization of love, and that is the message that has shaped our hemisphere for nearly 500 years, and continues to shape it today.

Tim Kippet
South Carolina
You mentioned in your book that Our Lady of Guadalupe differs from other Marian apparitions in that it does not contain any warnings to Juan Diego. In what other significant ways, in your opinion, does the message and meaning of our Lady of Guadalupe appearance in Mexico differ from here appearance at Fatima and Lourdes?
Carl A. Anderson:
One difference that comes to mind immediately is the fact that at Guadalupe - unlike at Fatima and Lourdes - Our Lady left us her very image. Not only that, but over the years, she has continued to protect it: from acid spills, bombings, and the decay we would expect with age. In short, she not only came to Tepeyac and to our hemisphere, but in a very special way, she remained.

Greg Quibbel
Etoile, Texas
As a Knight of Columbus, part of our mission of charity, from our founding, is the care for the poor and the immigrant. Today, we see large number of mostly Catholic Mexican immigrants struggling to make it in American society. How does the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe speak to us as Knights as well as Americans?
Carl A. Anderson:

As we noted in our chapter, "The Christian Hemisphere," what is often most striking about Our Lady of Guadalupe is the fact that she brings people of every background together. We saw this at our Guadalupe Festival and Marian Congress this summer in Phoenix, Arizona. We see this each year as millions from throughout the hemisphere visit her shrine in Mexico City. Likewise, we discussed the exhortation of the American bishops at the Synod for America, a decade ago, who noted: "We believe that we are one community, and, although America comprises many nations, cultures and languages, there is so much that links us together and so many ways in which each of us affects the lives of our neighbors."

It is important for us to remember that as Christians, we are called to unity in faith. And as we have seen in diocese after diocese, Hispanic immigration can offer a revitalization of the Church here in the United States, but only if we live up to our responsibility of helping our fellow Catholics keep and grow in their faith, will the promise of this revitalization be realized.

Carl A. Anderson:

Thank you for your participation in this great discussion.  Join us again on January 21st for a discussion of Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand's book Marriage - The Mystery of Faithful Love.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.

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