On December 12, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In Mexican culture, Our Lady of Guadalupe is not only a symbol of faith. She is a symbol of cultural identity, of God’s concern for the poor, and of the amazing optimism and strength of the many marginalized communities across the world.
As the story goes, in 1531, the Virgin Mary appeared to a poor Aztec convert named Juan Diego. Mary told Juan to build her a shrine, but when he asked for permission, the bishop demanded a sign from Mary herself.
Juan returned to Mary, explained the dilemma, and she gave him a bundle of roses to present to the bishop. Juan did so, and when he opened his cloak in front of the bishop, the now famous image of Mary appeared on his cloak. The bishop was convinced.
Each December, this story is remembered across the world. It is often accompanied by a “pilgrimage,” celebrations of Catholic mass, lots of food and singing, dancing, music, and the memory of lost loved ones. It is the principle time to celebrate the cultural heritage and the Catholic faith of many Mexican people.
Click on the image below to download a coloring page to use for your celebrations!