Mary is the model disciple and a teacher of true holiness.
The Catholic Catechism reminds us that what is taught about Mary in the Church always points us closer to Jesus Christ:
“What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.
“God sent forth his Son, but to prepare a body for him, he wanted the free co-operation of a creature.
For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary (Lk. 1:26,27).
The late Pope St. John Paul II had a great devotion to Mary and a special love for appearance as Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In January of 1979 he made his first pilgrimage to Mexico and consecrated his papacy to her. He stressed her evangelistic role at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on the four hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the apparitions.
On December 12, 1981, he talked about Our Lady leading us to Christ from the Basilica Shrine in Mexico City as a center “from which the light of the Gospel of Christ will shine out over the whole world by means of the miraculous image of His Mother.”
He spoke these words to her, “Since you are the Empress of the Americas, protect all the nations of the American continents and the ones that brought faith and love for you there.”
One day, when he paused before a replica of the tilma of Juan Diego, upon which the miraculous image of Guadalupe appears, John Paul said, “I feel drawn to this picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe because her face is full of kindness and simplicity… it calls me.”
May it draw each of us, closer and closer to the Lord whom she carried and bore for the whole world.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the New Evangelization, pray for us.
Beloved Father, through the life, death and resurrection of your only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, we have become your adopted sons and daughters.
Through Baptism we are now members of His Body, the Church, which is Your family.
Before your Son and our Savior gave up the last drop of His Sacred blood – and breathed his last breath – to set us free from sin and death – he turned to His Beloved Mother at the foot of the Cross.
And said, ‘Woman, behold your son.’
Then he said to the disciple whom he loved with a special affection, John, and said, ‘Behold your mother’” (John 19: 26-27).
The Mother of Jesus is the Mother of His Church – and our Mother.
And Now Dear Father, in the name of Jesus, and under the maternal care of Mary, His Mother, under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we ask for the end of the culture of death.
We ask for the spread of a new culture of life in the Americas.
We pray for the new evangelization of the Church and the conversion of the Americas to Jesus Christ and His Church.
And here, I present my own personal intention:
HERE ADD YOUR SPECIFIC INTENTION
Finally, as the Family of God, we make our own the Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe prayed by Saint John Paul II at the Basilica dedicated to her in Mexico City:
“O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church!, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.
Mother of Mercy, Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows.
Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand.
Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the Bishops, that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, of love and humble service of God and souls.
Contemplate this immense harvest, and intercede with the Lord that He may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.
Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings, with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God.
Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.
Read more of this Novena: http://www.catholic.org/prayers/novenas/
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