The JOY at Tepeyac

“The Christian who does not feel that the Virgin Mary is his or her mother is an orphan”

-Pope Francis

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Pope Francis during his recent trip to Mexico, praying in front of the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to be able to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City! I had been looking forward to this day for months, and I even remember exactly when I found out I would be going! It was Saturday December 12th, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I had gone to morning mass with my friend Molly!  I was really tired, yet so excited because I love celebrating Marian feast days! Then it hit me……I was going to be in Mexico this summer! My cousin was getting married in Cancun, at the time I didn’t know when, all I knew was that I was NOT going to Mexico without at least asking if we could take a detour to go see the tilma. I immediately called my dad and he told me that we were going to have a 5 hour layover in Mexico City and that he would talk to my aunt about getting us a ride to the basilica. That was it, we were going! After thinking about it for awhile, doubt began to fill my mind. I started to worry about flight delays or any other problems that could come up and ruin my chance at going to see Mary. Thankfully everything went perfectly!

Walking into the Church was breathtaking. There were so many people everywhere, people standing in line for confession, people getting ready for mass, people walking around the back to get a closer look at the image. Being able to celebrate mass with over 1,000 Catholics was incredible; I truly saw the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church” that is described in the creed. It was also really special for me to be able to pray for my family, friends, and loved ones during this mass and to know that Mary will praying for them too! After mass, we walked into the original basilica that Mary instructed Juan Diego to build. There were so many structural problems, yet it was still so beautiful inside, there was an amazing statue of JPII and a relic of St. Faustina (two of my favorites!) There was also a giant cross filled with relics of so many different saints!

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It’s crazy to think that the tilma is even older than original church and that it still looks so beautiful. There is no science to explain it because the tilma is not natural, it is supernatural, and this is where the realm of science ends.

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The last thing we did was climb up the Hill of Tepeyac where Juan Diego received this beautiful image from Mary in December of 1531. I don’t think that I was able to fully comprehend the fact that I was in the exact location of a Marian apparition. This really did happen SO long ago, and it is easy to loose sight of the beauty in this place. However, it was very much ALIVE! So many people, young and old, rich and poor, all there to experience the beauty of Tepeyac.

“Am I not the source of your JOY? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle?…Let nothing else worry you”  -Words of the Virgin Mary spoken to Juan Diego

-Ana

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