The following comes from a Dec. 3 story in the Los Angeles Daily news.
At a women’s jail in this largely immigrant Los Angeles suburb, inmate Francisca Cabral had been waiting for a sign to affirm she was on track to turn her life around.
The 26-year-old mother of three, who is serving a four-year sentence for a narcotics conviction, felt she received that sign on Nov. 17 with a visit from Our Lady of Guadalupe, a celebrated Mexican icon of the Virgin Mary for Roman Catholics. Her feast day is Dec. 12.
A digital reproduction of the original image of Our Lady on St. Juan Diego’s famous cloak enshrined in Mexico City was the star of a special Mass that morning organized by the Los Angeles Archdiocese at the Los Angeles County Century Regional Detention Facility. The service, which brought many of the inmates to tears, was punctuated with lively exclamations of “Viva Guadalupe” and hymns sung in her honor.
“I felt like she took care of me today, like she hugged me,” said Cabral, who is from Koreatown and attends daily classes as part of an education and individual transformation program at the jail. “One of my dreams is to go to Mexico to the Basilica (of Our Lady) to see her … It’s always been a dream of mine. Seeing her here, instead of me going to it, made me know that I’m on the right path.”
In the San Fernando Valley, celebrated Mexican-American visual artist Lalo Garcia has dedicated much of his life to painting replicas of the original Our Lady of Guadalupe image as well as his own, more contemporary versions, in an effort to “renew her image for a new generation.” In fact, she is present — though sometimes hidden — in every single painting Garcia creates.
After the loss of a 15-year relationship in the early 1990s, Garcia — who happened to be painting his first image of Guadalupe for a church — was so devastated he wanted to die, he said. He found himself turning to the motherly icon, a symbol of unity, compassion and hope, to ask for strength to carry on.
“She has definitely been my guardian angel,” Garcia, 61, said from his Mission Hills home that resembles a colorful museum of his sacred and cultural art. Mexicans “all have a very intimate and personal relationship with her. We talk to her, we sing to her, we dance to her … and we really do not see her up on a pedestal like we do with the saints or with Jesus on the cross. She is down (here) with us. She is with us.”
Today, Garcia’s work can be found at several religious sites, including an outdoor shrine at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles and a chapel at the Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. Photos of his murals, along with those of artist Carolina Estrada-Del Toro, are also featured in a new exhibit through Jan. 1 at Our Lady of Angels titled “Guadalupe, Presence and Influence in Our City.”
Many thousands of devotees marched Sunday in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ 82nd annual Procession — the oldest religious procession in the city — in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The 1-mile procession in the city’s eastern end, which was started by Mexican Catholics who fled Mexican government persecution in 1931, included colorful floats displaying her history and a mass presided over by Archbishop Jose Gomez.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe calls us to be God’s messengers in bringing his good news to all the world,” Gomez said during his homily Sunday, according to a spokeswoman. “This is still our mission, my brothers and sisters.”
To read the entire story, click here.
Here in San Francisco we need to have a special procession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and then a serious prayer service and a Mass, to help purify the National Shrine of St Francis of Assisi.
It has made INTERNATIONAL headlines because of the corrupt men in charge there who ejected the Knights of St. Francis (a faithful volunteer corps) and allowed one of their own to subject a young single mother to horrible sexual harassment to keep her job as secretary.
She was forced to have sex with this man in the shrine itself, a terrible sacrilege!
When she insisted on stopping the disgusting things he was making her do for his own pleasure, he fired her and accused HER of wrongdoing!!!!
My wife and I have read the numerous stories about this abomination, and watched newscasts about this perversion of justice — we will NEVER again donate to the Archbishops Annual Appeal which supports the shrine. At least, not until the bums have been thrown out of there and decent honest holy men are put in charge!!!!
Our Lady of Guadalupe is patron of the Americas. There were no borders in 1531.
Well there are now.
Ron, Amen to that! She did not speak Spanish either! According to one expert on the tilma she was NOT dressed as an Indian maiden as we are so used to hearing. There is no pictorial evidence of native aztec women having ever dressed in the same manner as was our Lady when she appeared to Juan Diego. There is evidence, however, of women dressing as Mary would have in the days she lived here on earth. In fact, the belief is that the image on Juan Diego’s tilma IS how Mary appeared and dressed when she was pregnant with Jesus! The only believed diversion from this is the “codex” design on her garment.
“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” Genesis 3:15 Douay -Rheims
Don’t be fooled by the jealous mindset or modern day agenda of those minions who cleverly tell you that even Church *approved* apparitions of Our Lady are not an important part of the faith of many. The devil has always been envious of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of Akita. When Almighty God sends his Blessed Mother to instruct hearts in order to bring them closer to her Son, then the lives of many are forever changed. — “Our Blessed Mother , God’s greatest creation, because she was chosen from all time to be the living tabernacle of Jesus Himself! ”
“While Our Lady of Guadalupe is the official patroness of the Americas in the Catholic Church, her presence is seen and felt worldwide with the growing number of Latinos in Southern California and beyond, Medina said.
“People outside of Latino cultures become aware of her, realize her power and develop devotions to her,” she said. “She’s not going away. She’s transcending borders, always has, and will continue to transcend borders.”
“I felt like she took care of me today, like she hugged me,” said Cabral, who is from Koreatown and attends daily classes as part of an education and individual transformation program at the jail. “
How beautiful! “I felt like she took care of me today, like she hugged me.”
The Mass and the procession was surely pleasing to Almighty God. Will Archbishop Gomez also help Francisca Cabral and hundreds of others to also receive the proper catechetical instruction to help Francisca and others continue on their path to gaining eternal life? ……..”My people perish for lack of knowledge.”
On one of our Legion of Mary calls we knocked on the apartment door of a young mother from Mexico. We told her that we were visiting from the Catholic Church and explained the Legion of Mary. This young mother named Veronica invited us into her home. She told us that she was struggling with depression because of missing her mother and family in Mexico and the struggle of day to day living. She told us that her own mother had told her to always wake up in the morning and wash your face and fix your hair and prepare your house because the Virgin will often pay you a visit to let you know that God loves you. Veronica not only welcomed us into her home, for the next few years Veronica allowed the whole apartment complex of children to be properly catechized in her home. There is a tremendous opportunity for Archbishop Gomez to encourage his pastors to go out into the community to bring our Lady and the Fullness of Truth to many. The warmth and love and catechetical instruction that many received from Veronica’s kindness was as comforting as when another woman named Veronica placed the veil on Jesus’s bruised face.
They may march in the streets but they VOTE for evil politicians who support abortion, sodomy marriage, artificial contraception, etc.
There is more to the Faith than just marching.
Abp Gomez when are you going to actively and publically tell all Priests and all lay people to read and study at home the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” so that they will know their Faith in entirety ? ? ?
The CCC is published in many languages.
David, even if every person in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, who only speaks and understands Spanish was given a free copy of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” it would mostly be of little value. Even though education in Mexico is improving, currently, one in seven school age children still DO NOT go to school. Here in the USA, 57% of those born in Mexico do not have a high school diploma. A little over half of Hondurans and El Salvadorians don’t have one either. And just less than half of Guatemalans don’t have one.
At one time my work involved Spanish speaking only clients. As we gave out written materials in Spanish, we were required to inquire the educational level of the recipients in order to ascertain whether or not the written material would benefit the client. I was shocked to discover that it was a rarity to be told that he/she had greater than a sixth grade education. Sadly it wasn’t uncommon for me to be told that he/she only had one, two, or maybe three years of education.
I wonder how many Americans are aware of this sad fact.
Tracy, thanks for this post. On this, especially your last sentence about the ignorance of Americans, we agree. How can we move forward together to alleviate this sad situation?
YFC, I agree with DAVID’s statement, “They may march in the streets but they VOTE for evil politicians who support abortion, sodomy marriage, artificial contraception, etc.” I also agree that he is right in suggesting that our Bishops an priest have an obligation to help the (marchers) know their faith in its entirety. I was only pointing out that having priest insist that everyone read the CCC is not really the answer. And I gave facts to support my case.
While I think we could agree, that being literate is the obvious preference over being illiterate and that, whenever possible, we should work towards higher rates of literacy, the truth is that one does not need to be literate in order to become a saint! In the past the Church in her wisdom used pictures and sound preaching in order to spread the Gospel throughout the entire world! For the past 20 years I have actually read articles by “intellectual” priests who proudly write that we should not try to taint the simple minds of Mexican peasants with sound theology because their faith is so sweet and therefore a blessing to the Church! This IS a “sad situation” which truly NEEDS to be “alleviated”!
Either you follow Jesus and “follow me” the “Word of God” or you don’t. Those people who voted for these politicians who believe in abortion,contraceptions,same sex marriages and so forth haved made a choice. Jesus very clearly stated “Follow Me” and I truly believe in him. If you don’t like the opponant, don’t vote but don’t go against Gods Word.!!!!!!!
David: I agree with you. How can a population so devoted to the Virgin of Guadalupe steadfastly vote pro-abortion politicians into office? The reason is lack of education. Latinos vote for names on the ballot with which they are familiar. This was quite evident when a certain lady politician in the southland dropped he Anglo name and adopted the name of her Hispanic grandparent. I doubt if many recent immigrants from the south are even able to read and understand their ballot instructions. This is just fine with the demo party. We don’t want them voting for those evil Republicans!
“I can’t stop praying for poor sinners who are on the road to hell. If they come to die in that state, they will be lost for all eternity. What a pity! We have to pray for sinners! Praying for sinners is the most beautiful and useful of prayers because the just are on the way to heaven, the souls of purgatory are sure to enter there, but the poor sinners will be lost forever. All devotions are good but there is no better one than such prayer for sinners. I am only content when I’m praying for sinners. The good God has made me see how much he loves that I pray for poor sinners. … I don’t know if it were really a voice I heard or a dream, but, whatever it was, it woke me up and told me that to save a soul in the state of sin is more pleasing to God than all sacrifices. For that reason, I do all my resolutions for penance.”
St. John Vianney
A few notes:
If sending a mother to prison for four years for narcotics doesn’t show the utter fecklessness of our drug laws, I don’t know what does.
The cloak as “star” of a Special Mass? Hmmm.
“After the loss of a 15-year relationship,” which by wording is neither a pal nor marriage, perhaps Garcia ought to be turning to Mary for something other than the strength to carry on.
And by the way, one thing OLG definitely is not is a Guardian Angel. We hear that kookiness in obituaries and at funeral Masses where Gram-Gram or Aunt Pookie is described as now an angel in heaven looking down upon us.
I’m almost afraid to ask, but what do “his own, more contemporary versions” of OLG look like?
Sadly, a lot of Our Lady of Guadalupe devotion is cultural superstition, like rosaries on rear view mirrors. Garcia’s home is described as resembling a museum of cultural and sacred art. I’ve seen entire altars to OLG whose devotees don’t attend Mass.
Hymie’s comment on “Gram-gram” or “Pookie” “now looking down on us as an [instant] guardian angel” is bitterly and mordantly funny and yet sad. Obituaries and funeral talks like which we have all read or heard are evident of the lack of thought as to what happens at death, both immanently and transcendently. Another thing this article shows is the spiritual “progress” , the loss of faith of most Mexican/Hispanic Catholics, that has been going on the last several decades. Public Opinion Research Institute recently published results of a large survey (over 1500 participants conducted in Aug-Sept 2013): while over 50% of Hispanic Catholics still identified themselves as Catholic, over 69% said they had been raised Catholic in their youth; also 5% said they had no religious profession as children: now as adults, 12% of Hispanics have no religious affiliation at all. What it shows is in the post-Vat2 Church, to use a favorite scourge-line of the left, “Hispanic/Mexican Catholics are being ‘left behind'”. The survey reveals a large number of Hispanic/Mexican Catholics who are Catholic no longer and a now significantly growing group that have completely lost their faith (the 12% growing from 5 % in their youth). And given that the US Bishops are doing their best to to personally exemplify themselves as Lenin’s “useful idiots”, promoting Obamacare, a higher minimum wage and gun control, we have to expect the slide to continue.