NOVENA and APOSTLESHIP of OUR LADY of GUADALUPE
(After the prayer for each day, say four Hail Marys to commemorate the four apparitions to Juan Diego and the Memorare to Our Lady of Guadalupe which is printed after the Novena.)
The Words of Our Lady of Guadalupe spoken to the Indian, Juan Diego, on the hill of Tepeyac, December 9, 1531: "My dear son, whom I love tenderly, know that I am the Virgin Mary, Mother of the true God, Giver and Maintainer of life, Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and earth, Who is in all places. I wish a temple to be erected here where I can manifest the compassion I have for the natives and for all who solicit my help."
Your words, heavenly Mother, fill my heart with love and gratitude and with renewed faith and hope because they were also directed to me. Therefore, I turn to you, confident of obtaining through your intercession the grace which will enable me to live in accordance with the teaching of your Divine Son, Jesus, Whom I desire to love with all my heart. You shared in all that my Savior suffered for me; therefore, I belong to you, my loving Mother. Do not abandon me in this vale of tears. Take pity, I beseech you, on my poverty and necessities. Have compassion on my anxieties and cares. Assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries.
The merciful words spoken on the fourth and last visit to Juan Diego: "Do not let anything afflict you, and do not be afraid of any illness or accident or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Is there anything else that you need?"
These words were also directed to me and they fill my heart with gladness and hope. Turn then, most gracious Mother, your eyes of mercy towards me; protect me in your love, making it possible for me to put all my troubles and worries at your feet. I know you will remember you are my Mother, I am under your shadow and protection, and you will obtain for me the consolation of which I am so much in need.
When you visited Juan Diego's dying uncle, Juan Bernardino, curing him and telling him your name, 'Immaculate Virgin Mary who crushed the Serpent,' you filled the hearts of the Indians with joy. This told them they no longer needed to make human sacrifices to the pagan idols.
Hail Holy Queen, merciful Mother. Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope! Permit me to join in the canticles of praise which this whole nation continues sending up to your throne. Many come long distances to offer you gifts and prayers. Pray for us, Holy Mother of God. Exterminate the Serpent of Evil from our lives so we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ, your Divine Son.
When the Indians saw the admirable image you left on Juan Diego's mantle, they recognized it to be a picture writing containing a celestial message which was directed to them. Your regal figure in the form of a human being taught them that your dwelling place at one time must have been on earth. The rays of the sun, the clouds surrounding your body, the stars on your garment, the crescent under your feet, the angel transporting you though space -- all denote your present home in heaven and called their attention to the immortality of the human soul.
O Holy Mary, as your image on the garment of Juan Diego taught the Indians, so let it teach me never to
forget the immortality of my soul, that Heaven is my goal and my inheritance. Amid temptations and miseries of this life, let me think always of this home of peace, glory, and eternal bliss.
For centuries the natives of Mexico worshipped the Sun, sacrificing countless human beings in its honor. However, when they beheld your beautiful Image blotting it out so that only its rays are visible, they understood the lesson it was intended to convey.
After the Indian heard your message and read the message contained in your Image, they abandoned their false gods and embraced the loving doctrine of your Divine Son. Never have they ceased giving thanks for the great mercy Almighty God showered upon them when He sent you to be their Queen, their Mother and their teacher. O Holy Mary, through the mystery of the Incarnation of your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, wherein our salvation was begun, obtain for us light to understand the greatness of the benefit which He has bestowed upon us in becoming our Brother and in giving you, His own venerated Mother, to be our Mother also.
The fires that burned on the altars of the false gods were extinguished forever after the Indians had contemplated your Image and seen you attired with the firmament covered with stars. This showed them that the stars had been created by the Invisible God to serve mankind and, therefore, could not be deities to whom adoration and sacrifices were due.
Most Holy Mary, through your image stamped by God on the Indian's garment, you have brought millions of pagans into the light of the true faith. I beg you to obtain for me the grace of understanding the message it contains. Shed upon me the light of your countenance; direct and sanctify all my undertakings.
The emblem of our redemption, stamped upon the golden brooch fastened to the tunic, served to tell the Indians that the religion of their conquerors was the one they were to embrace. The cross on the banner, of Hernando Cortéz and on the brooch were the same. When they saw it upon your Image, they flocked around the Spanish Missionaries eager to know its meaning. They were told about the Savior Who came from Heaven to redeem the human race through His death on the cross and that you are the Virgin Mother of the Divine Victim, associated with Him in the mystery of our redemption.
Happy nation to whom you did reveal yourself and God. Holy Virgin, Mary of Guadalupe, my Queen and Mother, more than 450 years have passed since you spoke to Juan Diego. So far only a few of your children in other lands have become aware of the purpose of the Image on the altar of your Shrine. Inspire us to see in this, your miraculous picture, the instrument for the conversion of all to the Catholic Apostolic Faith, you who are the adorable Queen and Mother of the Apostles and Missionaries.
After Juan Diego cut the roses blooming suddenly on the barren hill of Tepeyac, he brought them to you at the foot of the mount where you were waiting. With your own hands you arranged them in his tilma, tying it around his neck. You told him to take the roses to Bishop Zumárraga because this sign would induce him to start building your temple. The last words Juan Diego heard from your adorable lips were: "You are my ambassador worthy of confidence. Go in peace."
The sacred picture on the coarse cloth of the tilma could not have been painted by human hands. It convinced the Bishop, as it ought, to convince every person who looks at it, that Juan Diego's message was truly yours. Humbly I beseech you, my Queen and Mother, let me be your ambassador like Juan Diego, to give the doctrine contained in your Image to all my friends, to convince them also, whether they be believers or unbelievers.
O Holy Virgin, enthroned on the spot which you chose in the very heart of an idolatrous nation, you did marvelously work its conversion. After seeing the Image on the tilma of their countryman, Juan Diego, the Indians stripped their temples of all idols. They built beautiful churches on whose towers gleaming crosses shone in the sun. The huge drum, which innumerable times had announced human sacrifices in honor of their gods, was heard no more.
As Juan Diego spent the remaining seventeen years of his life in giving your spoken message to the Indians, so permit me, my loving Mother, to help in making known your celestial message among my countrymen. Animate and bless all who join in the Apostleship and Novena in order to propagate the Catholic religion among their friends, having as their banner your admirable image on Juan Diego's tilma, together with the cross, emblem of our redemption. I beseech your special aid in procuring the conversion or healing of (MENTION NAME.)
MEMORARE to OUR LADY of GUADALUPE
Remember, O most gracious Virgin of Guadalupe, that in your celestial apparitions on the mount of Tepeyac, you promised to show your compassion and pity towards all who, loving and trusting you, seeking your help and calling upon you in their necessities and afflictions. You did promise to hearken to our supplications, to dry our tears and to give us consolation and relief. Never has it been known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, either for the common welfare or in personal anxieties, was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence, we fly unto you, O Mary, ever Virgin Mother of God! Though grieving under the weight of our sins, we come to prostrate ourselves in your august presence, certain you will deign to fulfill your merciful promises. We are full of hope, standing beneath your shadow and protection, that nothing will trouble or afflict us, nor need we fear illness or misfortune or any other sorrow. You desired to remain with us through your admirable image. You are our Mother, our health and our life. Placing ourselves beneath your maternal gaze and having recourse to you in all our necessities, we need do nothing more. O Holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen.
EDWIN V. BYRNE, Archbishop of Santa Fe (200 days Indulgence)