Introduction of the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Msgr. Eduardo Chávez Sánchez
Postulator of the Cause of the Canonization of Saint Juan Diego
Denver, Colorado, August 3, 2011
It is a great joy for me to be with you today, representing the Canons of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. I bring greetings from our Rector, Msgr. Erique Glennie Grau.
Today, at the initiative of our Worthy Supreme Knight, we inaugurate the 15th prayer program of the Knights of Columbus conducted using a sacred image as its focal point. In 1979, the first such program was begun, which also focused on Our Lady of Guadalupe. Over the years, the Blessed Mother has been honored by her Knights through these Prayer Programs, under her titles of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Our Lady of Pochaiv, Our Lady of the Assumption, Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Charity. These Orderwide programs of Marian Prayer have gathered together more than 14 million people at some 132 thousand prayer services conducted at local councils and parishes.
Today, we return to our roots and launch another the Knights of Columbus Marian Prayer Program dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
But the images in your hands are unlike any others used before. Not only are they blessed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, but each one was also touched to the original image of Holy Mary of Guadalupe on St. Juan Diego’s tilma, when Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and Supreme Secretary Emilio Moure traveled to Mexico City on June 1. Each image bears the signature of the Rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and was sealed with a bit of soil from the first Church at Tepeyac Hill – the very terrain on which Our Lady appeared to St. Juan Diego almost 480 years ago.
St. Juan-Diego was a humble layman, chosen by God to be the bearer of Our Lady’s image and message. My brother Knights, nearly 500 years later, you are now called, like St. Juan-Diego, to be heralds of the New Evangelization, carrying Our Lady’s beautiful image and message of love far and wide in all your jurisdictions.
On behalf of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I thank you and our Worthy Supreme Knight for taking up this wonderful initiative which will bring Holy Mary of Guadalupe far and wide to a world so much in need of knowing the new hope she represents for us.