History of Apparitions: Spotlight on Our Lady of Guadalupe

Rome Reports

January 10, 2011. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic landmark in the Americas.

Every year more than 20 million people gather in this basilica located on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico, where the Virgin Mary appeared four times to native-indian saint, Juan Diego in 1531.

During the apparition, the Virgin asked him if he could make a shrine here. The bishop of the area summoned Juan Diego to see if he was indeed telling the truth and asked him to bring roses from the hill where Mary appeared.

Fr. Salvatore Perrella
Vice President, Pontifical Marianum Theological Faculty (Rome)
The Tepeyac hill is very rocky and it’s very hard to find roses, especially in December. Nevertheless, the farmer Juan Diego found what the bishop had asked of him. He put the roses in his cloak and went to the bishop. He said ‘here is the proof that you need’ and opened his cloak, he discovered that in place of the roses was this beautiful image of the Virgin Mary, who appeared dressed like a native Indian, with native Indian features.”

The last vision of the Virgin of Guadalupe was on December 12th, the day the feast is celebrated. It’s a special day for the Americas, especially Mexico, whose patroness is the Lady of Guadalupe.

Fr. Salvatore Perrella
Vice President, Pontifical Marianum Theological Faculty (Rome)
“The Mexican identity owes a lot to Mary, because she made them discover this identity, this unity of the Mexican people.”

Perrella, who is an expert of apparitions, says that when the Virgin appears, she normally asks for the construction of a shrine.

Fr. Salvatore Perrella
Vice President, Pontifical Marianum Theological Faculty (Rome)

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a place of worship in honor of the Virgin. Mary asked the Indian Juan Diego to construct a church to worship the true God. Because of this, the shrine of Guadalupe is not just a Marian shrine, but it is also a sanctuary in which Christ is the center of focus.”

In 1990, during the second journey of John Paul II to Mexico, he declared the indian Juan Diego blessed. In 2002, he became a saint.

In all of the Catholic Church’s history, the Vatican has only recognized 15 apparitions of the Virgin Mary. And the Virgin of Guadalupe is one of these.

IP#59 Dr. Thomas Howard – Narnia and Beyond on Inside the Pages

Narnia And Beyond: A Guide to the Fiction of C. S. Lewis” by Thomas Howard is fantastic.  Dr.  Howard is regarded as one of the leading authorities on the works of C. S. Lewis,  and with remarkable clarity he shares with us all the Lewis that has touched the hearts and minds of so many generations, both young and old.  It is always a joy to talk with Thomas Howard, but this conversation was particularly enlightening.

You can check out the book at igantius.com


IP#58 Amy Welborn – Light of the World on Inside the Pages

An unprecedented book-length interview given by a Pope, Light of the World by German journalist Peter Seewald, is an absolute must for those who look to our Holy Father for guidance and direction as we attempt to deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ. I am beyond delighted to have Amy Welborn with us to discuss this important conversation Pope Benedict XVI is actually having with us all.  Amy, the author of numerous books, has written extensively on the teachings of Pope Benedict; I couldn’t have anyone better to go “Inside the Pages” of this work that tackles some the greatest issues facing the world today.

Check out Amy Welborn’s blog  “Charlotte was Both

You can find our more at igantius.com the website for Ignatius Press

 

IP#57 Dr. Scott Hahn – Verbum Domini part 2 on Inside the Pages

Going deep into the heart of the Word has never taken on more meaning than when discussing Pope Benedict XVI Apostolic Exhortation “Verbum Domini” (The Word of the Lord). Since the Holy Father is rather busy at this time, the next best person to discuss it with would be Dr. Scott Hahn. Though he too is extraordinarily active, Dr. Hahn took time to to break open this extraordinarily important and beautiful gift for us.

Do what the doctor (Dr. Hahn, of course) has ordered, go to Vatican.va to read and download “Verbum Domini”

Be sure to visit The St. Paul Center of Biblical Theology to sign up for free online studies and to learn more “from the heart of the Church”.

Julian of Norwich – “God’s Promises Are Always Greater Than Our Hopes” – Discerning Hearts

“God’s Promises Are Always Greater Than Our Hopes”

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 1, 2010 (vatican.va).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today during the general audience in Paul VI Hall.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I still remember with great joy the Apostolic Journey I made in the United Kingdom last September. England is a land that has given birth to a great many distinguished figures who enhanced Church history with their testimony and their teaching. One of them, venerated both in the Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion, is the mystic Julian of Norwich, of whom I wish to speak this morning.

The — very scant — information on her life in our possession comes mainly from her Revelations of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings, the book in which this kindly and devout woman set down the content of her visions.

It is known that she lived from 1342 until about 1430, turbulent years both for the Church, torn by the schism that followed the Pope’s return to Rome from Avignon, and for the life of the people who were suffering the consequences of a long drawn-out war between the Kingdoms of England and of France. God, however, even in periods of tribulation, does not cease to inspire figures such as Julian of Norwich, to recall people to peace, love and joy.

As Julian herself recounts, in May 1373, most likely on the 13th of that month, she was suddenly stricken with a very serious illness that in three days seemed to be carrying her to the grave. After the priest, who hastened to her bedside, had shown her the Crucified One not only did Julian rapidly recover her health but she received the 16 revelations that she subsequently wrote down and commented on in her book, Revelations of Divine Love.

And it was the Lord himself, 15 years after these extraordinary events, who revealed to her the meaning of those visions.

‘Would you learn to see clearly your Lord’s meaning in this thing? Learn it well: Love was his meaning. Who showed it to you? Love…. Why did he show it to you? For Love’…. Thus I was taught that Love was our Lord’s meaning” (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love,Chapter 86).

Inspired by divine love, Julian made a radical decision. Like an ancient anchoress, she decided to live in a cell located near the church called after St Julian, in the city of Norwich — in her time an important urban centre not far from London.

She may have taken the name of Julian precisely from that Saint to whom was dedicated the church in whose vicinity she lived for so many years, until her death.

This decision to live as a “recluse”, the term in her day, might surprise or even perplex us. But she was not the only one to make such a choice. In those centuries a considerable number of women opted for this form of life, adopting rules specially drawn up, for them, such as the rule compiled by St Aelred of Rievaulx.

The anchoresses or “recluses”, in their cells, devoted themselves to prayer, meditation and study. In this way they developed a highly refined human and religious sensitivity which earned them the veneration of the people. Men and women of every age and condition in need of advice and comfort, would devoutly seek them. It was not, therefore, an individualistic choice; precisely with this closeness to the Lord, Julian developed the ability to be a counsellor to a great many people and to help those who were going through difficulties in this life.

We also know that Julian too received frequent visitors, as is attested by the autobiography of another fervent Christian of her time, Margery Kempe, who went to Norwich in 1413 to receive advice on her spiritual life. This is why, in her lifetime, Julian was called “Dame Julian”, as is engraved on the funeral monument that contains her remains. She had become a mother to many.

Men and women who withdraw to live in God’s company acquire by making this decision a great sense of compassion for the suffering and weakness of others. As friends of God, they have at their disposal a wisdom that the world — from which they have distanced themselves — does not possess and they amiably share it with those who knock at their door.

I therefore recall with admiration and gratitude the women and men’s cloistered monasteries. Today more than ever they are oases of peace and hope, a precious treasure for the whole Church, especially since they recall the primacy of God and the importance, for the journey of faith, of constant and intense prayer.

It was precisely in the solitude infused with God that Julian of Norwich wrote her Revelations of Divine Love. Two versions have come down to us, one that is shorter, probably the older, and one that is longer. This book contains a message of optimism based on the certainty of being loved by God and of being protected by his Providence.

In this book we read the following wonderful words: “And I saw full surely that ere God made us he loved us; which love was never lacking nor ever shall be. And in this love he has made all his works; and in this love he has made all things profitable to us; and in this love our life is everlasting… in which love we have our beginning. And all this shall we see in God, without end” (Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

The theme of divine love recurs frequently in the visions of Julian of Norwich who, with a certain daring, did not hesitate to compare them also to motherly love. This is one of the most characteristic messages of her mystical theology.

The tenderness, concern and gentleness of God’s kindness to us are so great that they remind us, pilgrims on earth, of a mother’s love for her children. In fact the biblical prophets also sometimes used this language that calls to mind the tenderness, intensity and totality of God’s love, which is manifested in creation and in the whole history of salvation that is crowned by the Incarnation of the Son.

God, however, always excels all human love, as the Prophet Isaiah says: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you” (Is 49:15).

Julian of Norwich understood the central message for spiritual life: God is love and it is only if one opens oneself to this love, totally and with total trust, and lets it become one’s sole guide in life, that all things are transfigured, true peace and true joy found and one is able to radiate it.

I would like to emphasize another point. The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites the words of Julian of Norwich when it explains the viewpoint of the Catholic faith on an argument that never ceases to be a provocation to all believers (cf. nn. 304-313, 314).

If God is supremely good and wise, why do evil and the suffering of innocents exist? And the Saints themselves asked this very question. Illumined by faith, they give an answer that opens our hearts to trust and hope: in the mysterious designs of Providence, God can draw a greater good even from evil, as Julian of Norwich wrote: “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith … and that … I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in … that ‘all manner of thing shall be well”’ (The Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 32).

Yes, dear brothers and sisters, God’s promises are ever greater than our expectations. If we present to God, to his immense love, the purest and deepest desires of our heart, we shall never be disappointed. “And all will be well”, “all manner of things shall be well”: this is the final message that Julian of Norwich transmits to us and that I am also proposing to you today. Many thanks.

 

Julian of Norwich – “God’s Promises Are Always Greater Than Our Hopes”

“God’s Promises Are Always Greater Than Our Hopes”

VATICAN CITY, DEC. 1, 2010 (vatican.va).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today during the general audience in Paul VI Hall.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I still remember with great joy the Apostolic Journey I made in the United Kingdom last September. England is a land that has given birth to a great many distinguished figures who enhanced Church history with their testimony and their teaching. One of them, venerated both in the Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion, is the mystic Julian of Norwich, of whom I wish to speak this morning.

The — very scant — information on her life in our possession comes mainly from her Revelations of Divine Love in Sixteen Showings, the book in which this kindly and devout woman set down the content of her visions.

It is known that she lived from 1342 until about 1430, turbulent years both for the Church, torn by the schism that followed the Pope’s return to Rome from Avignon, and for the life of the people who were suffering the consequences of a long drawn-out war between the Kingdoms of England and of France. God, however, even in periods of tribulation, does not cease to inspire figures such as Julian of Norwich, to recall people to peace, love and joy.

As Julian herself recounts, in May 1373, most likely on the 13th of that month, she was suddenly stricken with a very serious illness that in three days seemed to be carrying her to the grave. After the priest, who hastened to her bedside, had shown her the Crucified One not only did Julian rapidly recover her health but she received the 16 revelations that she subsequently wrote down and commented on in her book, Revelations of Divine Love.

And it was the Lord himself, 15 years after these extraordinary events, who revealed to her the meaning of those visions.

‘Would you learn to see clearly your Lord’s meaning in this thing? Learn it well: Love was his meaning. Who showed it to you? Love…. Why did he show it to you? For Love’…. Thus I was taught that Love was our Lord’s meaning” (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love,Chapter 86).

Inspired by divine love, Julian made a radical decision. Like an ancient anchoress, she decided to live in a cell located near the church called after St Julian, in the city of Norwich — in her time an important urban centre not far from London.

She may have taken the name of Julian precisely from that Saint to whom was dedicated the church in whose vicinity she lived for so many years, until her death.

This decision to live as a “recluse”, the term in her day, might surprise or even perplex us. But she was not the only one to make such a choice. In those centuries a considerable number of women opted for this form of life, adopting rules specially drawn up, for them, such as the rule compiled by St Aelred of Rievaulx.

The anchoresses or “recluses”, in their cells, devoted themselves to prayer, meditation and study. In this way they developed a highly refined human and religious sensitivity which earned them the veneration of the people. Men and women of every age and condition in need of advice and comfort, would devoutly seek them. It was not, therefore, an individualistic choice; precisely with this closeness to the Lord, Julian developed the ability to be a counsellor to a great many people and to help those who were going through difficulties in this life.

We also know that Julian too received frequent visitors, as is attested by the autobiography of another fervent Christian of her time, Margery Kempe, who went to Norwich in 1413 to receive advice on her spiritual life. This is why, in her lifetime, Julian was called “Dame Julian”, as is engraved on the funeral monument that contains her remains. She had become a mother to many.

Men and women who withdraw to live in God’s company acquire by making this decision a great sense of compassion for the suffering and weakness of others. As friends of God, they have at their disposal a wisdom that the world — from which they have distanced themselves — does not possess and they amiably share it with those who knock at their door.

I therefore recall with admiration and gratitude the women and men’s cloistered monasteries. Today more than ever they are oases of peace and hope, a precious treasure for the whole Church, especially since they recall the primacy of God and the importance, for the journey of faith, of constant and intense prayer.

It was precisely in the solitude infused with God that Julian of Norwich wrote her Revelations of Divine Love. Two versions have come down to us, one that is shorter, probably the older, and one that is longer. This book contains a message of optimism based on the certainty of being loved by God and of being protected by his Providence.

In this book we read the following wonderful words: “And I saw full surely that ere God made us he loved us; which love was never lacking nor ever shall be. And in this love he has made all his works; and in this love he has made all things profitable to us; and in this love our life is everlasting… in which love we have our beginning. And all this shall we see in God, without end” (Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 86).

The theme of divine love recurs frequently in the visions of Julian of Norwich who, with a certain daring, did not hesitate to compare them also to motherly love. This is one of the most characteristic messages of her mystical theology.

The tenderness, concern and gentleness of God’s kindness to us are so great that they remind us, pilgrims on earth, of a mother’s love for her children. In fact the biblical prophets also sometimes used this language that calls to mind the tenderness, intensity and totality of God’s love, which is manifested in creation and in the whole history of salvation that is crowned by the Incarnation of the Son.

God, however, always excels all human love, as the Prophet Isaiah says: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you” (Is 49:15).

Julian of Norwich understood the central message for spiritual life: God is love and it is only if one opens oneself to this love, totally and with total trust, and lets it become one’s sole guide in life, that all things are transfigured, true peace and true joy found and one is able to radiate it.

I would like to emphasize another point. The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites the words of Julian of Norwich when it explains the viewpoint of the Catholic faith on an argument that never ceases to be a provocation to all believers (cf. nn. 304-313, 314).

If God is supremely good and wise, why do evil and the suffering of innocents exist? And the Saints themselves asked this very question. Illumined by faith, they give an answer that opens our hearts to trust and hope: in the mysterious designs of Providence, God can draw a greater good even from evil, as Julian of Norwich wrote: “Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith … and that … I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in … that ‘all manner of thing shall be well”’ (The Revelations of Divine Love, Chapter 32).

Yes, dear brothers and sisters, God’s promises are ever greater than our expectations. If we present to God, to his immense love, the purest and deepest desires of our heart, we shall never be disappointed. “And all will be well”, “all manner of things shall be well”: this is the final message that Julian of Norwich transmits to us and that I am also proposing to you today. Many thanks.

 

Pray for the Holy Father’s Intentions for December – Discerning Hearts

Audio prayer for the Holy Father’s Intentions

DECEMBER

The Experience of Personal Suffering as a Help to Others who Suffer

General: That our personal experience of suffering may be an
occasion for better understanding the situation of unease
and pain which is the lot of many people who are alone, sick

or aged, and stir us all to give them generous help.

Opening Our Doors to Christ

Missionary: That the peoples of the earth may open their doors to Christ

and to His Gospel of peace, brotherhood and justice.

IP#55 Matt Baglio – The Rite on Inside the Pages

“The Rite: The Making of a Modern Day Exorcist” is a fascinating exploration of the rite of exorcism from journalistic point of view. Following the training of a priest from California, Fr. Gary, in Rome, Matt Baglio chronicles his activities, as well as many aspects of the darker sides of the spiritual world.  In a very real way, Matt demystifies exorcism and shows us what it really entails and the true gift it is to the Church.  “The Rite” is now being made into a major motion picture starring Anthony Hopkins.

Check out Matt’s book