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Archived Online Discussion
Topic: Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love
Date: 5-6 pm (ET)
on Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Carl A. Anderson
Supreme Knight
Msgr. Chávez
Postulator - Saint Juan Diego
Carl A. Anderson:
Thank you all for joining us this evening as we discuss "Our Lady of Guadalupe."

James Machan Hughes council 1005
Cicero, Illinois U. S. A.
Dear Supreme Knight;
Is this book available in spanish ?
Could our council get this book on consignment to sell at our church ?
We would want it to be in English and spanish.
Thank- You.
Carl A. Anderson:
The book will be available in Spanish within the next year. Certainly you are welcome to sell the book at your parish as long as your pastor is open to that.

David Baba
San Clemente
It appears that Juan Diego would have had no formal Art training or ability to create the image in the Tilma. Is there evidence of any members of his community that would have this ability and did the materials or style even exist? This was an excellent book and faith building example of the Love of God for his people. Thank You!
Carl A. Anderson:
As the book notes, both early and modern scientific studies of the tilma have shown that the origin of the image it bears is beyond the ability of any human being. I would suggest looking at pages 28 - 31 for a more complete treatment of the various studies and their conclusions. All of these studies - including the modern ones - indicate that no 16th or even 21st century human being could have created such an image.

Former State Warden Robert B. Camilleri
Honolulu, Hawaii
Why do you think that Our Lady chose to appear to Juan Diego in Mexico during the 1500's? Was there anything of historical significance going on in Mexico during that period of time which would have made it necessary for Our Lady to appear?
Carl A. Anderson:
In hindsight, that Our Lady appeared in the 1500s in Mexico makes perfect sense. An entire new continent had been opened up to Christ. Millions of people lived there and had never before heard the Gospel message. The continent of Europe was losing Catholics in vast numbers to the Protestant Reformation. The timing of the apparition, then, allowed for the evangelizing of the entire "new world," at a critical turning point in its history. With the Aztec empire in shambles, and its people religiously confused and fearful, Our Lady of Guadalupe brought a message of hope that shaped the entire future of our hemisphere - from Chile to Canada.

Wilkes Barre PA
Exactly when and by whom was Our Lady of Guadalupe given the subtitle 'Patroness of the Unborn'?
Carl A. Anderson:
Many have called our Lady by the title "patroness of the unborn." This seems to have come about because she appears pregnant in the miraculous image she left us on St. Juan Diego's tilma. This is certainly not her only title, though it may be her most recent. She was declared Empress of the Americas in 1945 by Pope Pius XII, and Patroness of the Americas by the same pope in 1946.

Phoenix, AZ
Thank you so much for the Guadalupe Festival - What an amazing event in honor of Our Lady! Our group was discussing the details of the event on our way home from Glendale and were wondering what the driving reason was for such a huge investment in these activities? We're sure it wasn't just a promotional activity for the book, although many of us have enjoyed reading it.
Carl A. Anderson:
As I said in my remarks at the festival, we need to appreciate more fully Hispanic culture and Hispanic immigration in terms of the future of the Catholic Church in the United States. We need also to understand the necessity of Catholics working together in a new spirit of unity. And we need to understand the importance of the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the future of our hemisphere. Certainly as you point out, the festival wasn't to promote the book, rather the book - all of the proceeds of which go to charity - and the festival both were designed to promote Our Lady of Guadalupe, and her message of hope and love.

John J
New Haven
You say that Hispanic Catholics are the future of the Church. How can we be more welcoming?
Carl A. Anderson:
Concretely, in the Knights of Columbus we are encouraging Hispanic councils and membership, supporting Spanish-speaking parishes, and promoting events such as the Guadalupe festival. We should remember what Pope Benedict XVI said in his first encyclical "Deus Caritas Est": "To say that we love God becomes a lie if we are closed to our neighbor or hate him." As Catholics, that means we must love every person: the immigrant, the unborn, the intellectually disabled. We are not called to do anything that our mother -- Our Lady of Guadalupe -- has not done herself. She appeared to Juan Diego -- a humble Indian. She appeared as a mestiza -- a union of European and Native American cultures. Following her example, we must embrace our immigrant Catholic brothers and sisters.

Mary Maria
I heard you speak at the Guadalupe gathering in Phoenix. How many lives has this book inspired? How many conversions? I was fascinated by the talk about the eyes.
Carl A. Anderson:
Only Our Lady of Guadalupe and her son know the answer to those questions, but we certainly hope that many will benefit spiritually from the book, as we hope they also did from the Congress and Festival. Given Our Lady of Guadalupe's track record in the American hemisphere so far, we should expect nothing less.

Do you think there is a chance for Father McGivney's sainthood soon? Does it make sense to pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe for that since she is the Patron of America?
Carl A. Anderson:
Certainly we encourage people to pray for Fr. McGivney's sainthood, and we know the power of Our Lady's intercession so it certainly couldn't hurt.

How many people visit Guadalupe in Mexico? I heard people walk for miles on their knees?
Carl A. Anderson:
Millions of people visit the shrine in Mexico City each year, and many walk on their knees through the plaza, though I don't know if they walk for miles. This is just one more indication of the depth of faith and strong devotion that Our Lady of Guadalupe continues to draw from people nearly 500 years after she appeared to Juan Diego.

New Haven, CT
In Chapter 5, the book combats the Liberation Theology movement, stating that such movements are "politically-centered" rather than centered on personal dignity and toward building a civilization of love. How would you respond to someone that might state that the Christic-centered message of Our Lady is in line with those who advocate for an anti-capitalist "option for the poor?"
Carl A. Anderson:
The issue isn't whether we have a capitalist or anti-capitalist option for the poor. The problem with liberation theology is that it adopts a Marxist interpretation of Christianity, which has been consistently rejected by the teaching authority of the Church as an approach that fundamentally distorts the Gospel message. It's never good when people approach the faith politically, it's far better to approach politics faithfully, and the same could be said of economic theory, whether of the left or of the right.

New Haven, CT
In Chapter 8 you speak about the vocation of the laity and of St. Juan Diego. What message and example does St. Juan Diego have for us as Knights of Columbus? Are there any parallels in how we are called to live as lay Catholics?
Carl A. Anderson:
The message of the Knights of Columbus is that all of us as individuals have the ability to do things that are important, and collectively, we have the ability to do great things. St. Juan Diego makes clear the important role of the layman in carrying on the mission of the Church regardless of one's social or economic standing. His example should encourage all of us to greater efforts. Also, like Our Lady herself, Juan Diego's ability to create great change, began with a "yes," to Christ and his mother. We should remember this clearly in the decisions we make in our own lives as well.

Burbank, CA
Why do you think this image is so uniquely popular throughout the United States? There are so many images of Our Lady, and yet this one seems to have a special meaning to Americans.
Carl A. Anderson:
Yes. Perhaps because it was "painted" in a unique way, and the "painter" intended that it have a special effect in the Americas, so we shouldn't be surprised that God's plan is working.

White Plains, NY
In this book and your last, you mentioned the Americas as a unique continent in terms of its Christianity. With all the problems we see here we often lose sight of that. Can you expand on this?
Carl A. Anderson:
I think the central point of both books is the realization that culture is not static, but is in a constant process of evolution. And this evolution is something we can all affect. And it is important to constantly be aware that the active dynamic in this evolution is the Christian faith of millions and millions of people. This does not exist on any other continent.

Boise, ID
What motivated you to write this book?
Carl A. Anderson:
I think the introduction lays out in great detail what brought us to the writing of this book. The more I reflect on Our Lady of Guadalupe, the more I am convinced that her message is part of God's plan - or specifically, God's solution to the challenges facing our hemisphere, which seems as relevant today as at any time in our history. It's the same motivation that led me to dedicate my administration of the Knights of Columbus to Our Lady of Guadalupe nearly 10 years ago, and that motivated us to put so much effort into the Guadalupe Congress and Festival this year in Phoenix.

Carl A. Anderson:
Thank you all for joining us this evening. Please join us again next month.

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