How Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Source of Our Joy

Josh Florence

How Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Source of Our Joy

Our Lady always invites her children. She invites them to visit her, to draw closer to Our Lord, and to greater conversion. This is the beauty of the Catholic Church. We are truly cared for by her. Time and time again, her apparitions have brought messages of healing, hope, and faith. (If you would like to read more about the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe you may find it here.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, the 16th century apparition to Juan Diego, holds a particular place of honor in the Church. The Basilica in Mexico City, Mexico is the most visited Catholic church in the world. 18-20 million pilgrims each year flock to see the miraculous tilma and the testament of Our Lady’s great love for us.

St. John Paul II visited The Basilica four separate times during his pontificate. He had a great devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. During his last trip to the Basilica, he gave his apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in America. In it he said,

“The appearance of Mary to the native Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531 had a decisive effect on evangelization. Its influence greatly overflows the boundaries of Mexico, spreading to the whole Continent. America, which historically has been, and still is, a melting-pot of peoples, has recognized in the mestiza face of the Virgin of Tepeyac, in Blessed Mary of Guadalupe, an impressive example of a perfectly inculturated evangelization. Consequently, not only in Central and South America, but in North America as well, the Virgin of Guadalupe is venerated as Queen of all America.”1

She is the woman of what was once considered the “New World”, where new cities and rulers would find the soil to flourish. Our Lady, as the Patroness of the Americas, wants us to create fertile soil in our hearts to bring forth Christ’s kingdom on this earth. 

His kingdom is one of peace and without fear. Mary is the perfect person to usher us into this kingdom with her motherly grace and love. Remember, this is the woman who was responsible for holding Christ as an infant, looked after him, and kept him safe as a child. As it is written in the original testimony, Our Mother says to Juan Diego,

“Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need something more? Let nothing else worry you . . .”

A pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City is a beautiful experience. Mass is held at the Basilica almost every hour throughout the day. The witness of the tilma is awe-inspiring. As Cardinal Raymond Burke has said regarding pilgrimages “One leaves the ordinary circumstances of their daily life and in the holy place, meeting Our Lord through the help of Our Blessed Mother and the Saints, you discover the extraordinary nature of your ordinary life.2

Not everyone may have the ability to make a trip to Mexico. This shouldn’t keep you from having a pilgrimage to Our Lady. Plenty of parishes around the world have a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Even keeping an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe can help to spark your devotion to her. As well as praying on St. Juan Diego’s feast day (December 9th) and Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast (December 12th). 

If traveling in The United States, one place of interest can be found in La Crosse, Wisconsin where there is a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe which sits on 100 acres of beautiful land. It features a rosary walk, multiple devotional areas, and a memorial to the unborn. 

A unique way to experience Our Lady’s Message to the Americas is by reading her words. Online one can find translations of the Nican Mopohua by Antonio Valeriano. The Nican Mopohua translates to “here it is told.” It relays the accounts of Juan Diego and the words of Our Lady to him. Better yet, you may also be able to see one of the earliest copies of this work. It was written in the native Aztec language, Nahuatl, and has been on display at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of The New York Public Library. While not verified, it’s possibly the oldest written account of Mary’s apparition and her words to St. Juan Diego.

Another way to grow in devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe is to offer up prayers for the unborn and a greater respect for life. In the account of St. Juan Diego, it tells how the presence of Our Lady brought with it signs of great life and speaks of the vibrant beauty of Our Lady. In the Nican Mopohua it says “her radiance was like precious stones, it seemed like an exquisite bracelet (it seemed beautiful beyond anything else); the earth seemed to shine with the brilliance of a rainbow in the mist. And the mesquites and nopals and the other little plants that are generally up there seemed like emeralds. Their leaves seemed like turquoise. And their trunks, their thorns, their prickles, were shining like gold.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe magnifies the grandeur of life. In the image she gives to Juan Diego in his tilma, she uses signs to signify that she is with child, yet still a virgin. Juan Diego, when around her, hears beautiful birds singing and collects flowers in full bloom during the coldest months of the year. Mary wishes to show us that life is full of wonder and beauty. Life should never be snuffed out by human hands. All of these signs point to life triumphing over death.  

In whichever way The Lord calls us, let us make a spiritual pilgrimage to Our Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, this Advent season. Through our devotion, may we find the infant Lord wrapped safely in her arms.


1. St. John Paul II. Ecclesia in America Chapter One, Verses 19-21

2. Cardinal Burke on Marian Devotion, The Augustine Institute Show with Dr. Tim Gray, 2021,


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