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    Message to the Marian Congress

    Dear brothers and sisters beloved by Jesus Christ, our Lord; it is a great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to speak about Our Lady of Guadalupe, who gave her message and her image to the person who was the head of the Church in Mexico in 1531, Brother Juan de Zumárraga, my illustrious, humble, and worthy predecessor; now, as your brother and humble servant, I can tell you that it is true that God exists and that He loves us so profoundly that He wanted to stay among us through Our Lady of Guadalupe. She wanted to give us all her love, which is her own Son, in her sacred house of Tepeyac, starting in this manner the commencement of the Civilization of Love and a place where we all have the ability to participate in its construction. This place is the living Church that is full of joy because of the mission that each one of us must develop within, and from this sacred house to build a better world, build the temple of the Holy Spirit, build a community where there is love and a good deeds bring genuine joy.

    •Yes, I come from there, in Mexico, where wonderful and extraordinary flowers grew miraculously …
    •I come from there, where the most precise chants were heard …
    •I come from there, where a beautiful voice called on a humble native, Juan Diego …
    •I come from there, from where Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared handing her holy message and her beautiful image to the Church …
    •I come from there, where God met with human beings through his Mother ...

    Yes, I come from there, in a pilgrimage before you to be able to meet with your hearts that search from a safe path to eternal happiness of His glory, and to tell you that God has wanted to meet with every single one of you through Our Lady of Guadalupe. I also bring to you one of the most important models of  sanctity, the model of a lay, simple, humble man, who was full of faith, with a profound hope, and whose identifying characteristic was constant love: Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, the first canonized lay native of our American Continent, a man faithful to God and to his Catholic Church, a man who deeply loved his people with Mary’s heart.

    God's unforgettable and beloved servant, John Paul II, always declared the great importance of the Guadalupan Event as a historical fact that has given immense fruits of salvation.

    John Paul II proclaimed Our Lady of Guadalupe as the Woman who illuminated the way of evangelization. The Holy Father said in that occasion: "Our Lady of Guadalupe […] is for me a motive of happiness and a source of hope. «Star of Evangelization», may she be your guide. ” In this manner, the Holy Father valued the extraordinary work of the humble indigenous layman, St. Juan Diego, who fulfilled an important mission within the framework of this big Event; John Paul II said: " Ever since the indigenous Juan Diego spoke about the sweet Lady of the Tepeyac, You, Mother of Guadalupe, have entered the Christian life of the people of Mexico in an important way.”

    The thoughts and inspiration of the Pope, however, were still going to be further deepened after sensing in Our Lady of Guadalupe the force and the magnitude of a message that was not only for Mexico or Latin America, but for the whole American Continent: "And America, - the Pope declared - which historically has been and is a melting pot of people, has acknowledged «in the mestizo face of the Virgin of the Tepeyac, [...] in Our Lady of Guadalupe, [...] a prime example of evangelization perfectly inculturated ». For this reason, not only in Central and in South America, but also in the North of the Continent, Our Lady of Guadalupe is venerated as the Queen of all America.” Without a doubt, Our Lady of Guadalupe offers us a message that transcends any border and touches the heart of any human being of any culture, race or condition; this is further proven by the fact that, since 1935, She has also been the Patroness of the Philippines.

    The Pope confirmed the magnitude and the tenderness of God’s message by means of the Star of the Evangelization for the entire world, a model of perfect evangelization available for all countries and with an undoubted and forceful effect: “Mary’s appearance to the native Juan Diego” - the Holy Father reaffirmed – “in the hill of the Tepeyac, in the year 1531, had a decisive effect on evangelization. This influence goes beyond the limits of the Mexican nation, reaching the whole Continent. [...] Our Lady of Guadalupe is invoked as the «Patroness of the all America and Star of the first and new evangelization».”

    Our beloved Holy Father Benedict XVI has stated the importance of the Guadalupan message and has directly asked Our Lady of Guadalupe that She intercede from her Sanctuary “for the people of the Continent of the hope,” and has also implored Her to bless the families of this blessed land so that it may become the continent of love.

    In this way, Our Lady of Guadalupe is the first Disciple and Missionary of God’s love, the living Ark of the Covenant, Throne of Wisdom, Mirror of Justice, Cause of our Happiness, Bearer of the one true God, for whom we live, Immaculate Tabernacle of Jesus Christ, Star of the Evangelization, Woman of mixed-race and of harmony and peace, Mother of God, Mother of the Church, Patroness of the whole American Continent and of the Philippines, Woman that has shaped the Culture of the Life and the Civilization of Love, our our sweet Lady of the Tepeyac, our Mother who presses us hard in the crossing of her arms, who puts us in the hollow of her cloak, who protects us, who takes care of us, who wipes our tears, who remedies our problems, who strengthens us to give a living testimony of love.

    Analyzing each of the steps of this wonderful event, we can discover that the Guadalupan Event is for our times and transcendent, a message and an image for all the times and all different cultures. She calls on us to live fully through Jesus Christ. She knew how to spread the Gospel in such a way that we have experienced one of the most prodigious events in the history of humanity: millions of people were converted. The historical sources state that about nine million conversions occurred in only seven years. As the great Chilean contemporary thinker P. Joaquín Alliende Luco says: “Inculturation has always been a turbulent process, even with moments of violence and struggle. Our Lady of Guadalupe has been a model of distinguished and fecund inculturation. The evangelizing mission of the first [Spaniards] seemed doomed to failure. After the apparitions in the Tepeyac, the missionary situation changed radically. Endless processions of Natives were requesting Baptism […] in a few years, millions of natives asked the Spanish missionaries for Christian Baptism. Guadalupe appears as one of the most successful events in the history of the Church. ”

    In her name, as in her dark skin, her mestiza skin, Our Lady of Guadalupe expresses to us with infinite love that She is a mother of all people, that in Her all the nations come together, that She becomes our identity, our harmony and our peace; just as the natives and the Spanish— who were both part of a collection of cultures and races — as well as the Jewish and Arab cultures, and also any human being, we form one village, one civilization that comes from God’s love, by means of his Mother, who is also our Mother.

    This confirms to us, with immense happiness, that we all, absolutely all, are called to peace, to unity, to harmony, to forgiveness, to the full love of Jesus Christ Our Lord in Our Lady of Guadalupe. All, absolutely all who compose the five continents can make the words of Guadalupe’s Santa Maria ours: “because I truly am the compassionate mother of all who inhabit this land, and of all the varied lineages of all humans, those who love me, those who call on me, those who look for me, those who trust me, because there I will listen to their cries, their sadness, to remedy, to cure all the different sorrows, their miseries, their pains.”

    And it is true, She comes to give us Jesus Christ, our Savior, King and Lord, but He has wanted us to participate with our freedom and our responsibility, He wants us to do what corresponds to us, to remove from our hearts these egoisms and hatreds, those envies and dishonesties. He wants us to distance ourselves from corruption and injustices, kidnappings and drug trafficking, alcoholism and drug addiction, murders and treacheries, prostitution and hedonisms, and for us to leave the idols of the power and money, that we change life, that we move away from everything that kills us and destroys us; that never again may we give in to the mistreatment of women and the abandonment of our children; that we fight for a world where there is neither racism nor discrimination; where we can love each other as real brothers, where we respect life from conception until the time God, our Father, calls us to his presence.

    This is the time for all who are baptized and are part of this Catholic Church, the baptized who fight every day to give a clear and real testimony of the resurrected Christ, those who are committed to the Catholic Church Jesus Christ has instituted as a sacrament of salvation. This is the time of each one who forms this dear Catholic Church, this sacred small house, those who are here today, in this place that represents an extension from the Tepeyac to proclaim our love to the Lord of the sky and of the earth. He has taken the initiative to meet us because He loves us, and loves us so much that from the cross, when He was giving everything for his love to his friends, for his love to us; there from this cross and by means of his dear disciple He delivered to us the most dear inheritance, “Woman, here is your son, son, here is your Mother ” (Jn 19, 26-27). This is the time for all those who compose the Catholic Church to work and to join together, the time to proclaim God’s immense love inside his Church for the entire world. Just like all the bishops of this encouraging American Continent, from Aparecida, Brazil, we say in unison: “All of those who are baptized are called on to ‘restart from Christ,’ to acknowledge and follow his Presence with the same reality and novelty, the same power of affection, persuasion, and hope, who met with the first disciples 2,000 years ago, and with the ‘Juan Diegos’ of the New World. Only because of this meeting and follow-up, which turns into friendship and communion, because of the overflow of gratitude and happiness, are we rescued from our selfishness and go out to communicate to everyone the real life, the happiness and the hope that has been given us to experience and live the good life of grace.”

    Therefore, the words that Our Lady of Guadalupe directs to St. Juan Diego are words that, besides from being eloquent and contemporary, penetrate to the bottom of our heart, words that commit us to the happiness and the joy of being the humble messengers of this God who loves us so much that He has given us his Mother as our Mother, and where each of us has a commitment to offer the same love to the others; it is akin to a  daily resurrection where we realize our work and commitment inside our dear Catholic Church, sacred small house, home of the immense Love of God. Because of this, the voice of the humble maiden of Nazareth resounds now with all its meaning, the maiden who told the layman St. Juan Diego in the Tepeyac: “Do not be afraid: Am not here, I who has the honor and the good fortune to be your mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not within the cover of my mantle, inside the crossing of my arms? Have you really a need for anything else?” These words motivate us to continue moving forward, they renew our faith, and strengthen us in our hope, to discover that it is possible to live immersed with love.

    Our Lady of Guadalupe directs all of our being in the full love of God and gives us the necessary strength to fulfill our responsibilities, as She tells us through St. Juan Diego: “You have heard, my young son, my breath, my word; go on, do that which you should.”

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