Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise; from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
Several years ago, I visited St Mary’s College, Moraga, CA. It was the end of the school year and many Brothers were busy organizing various events associated with graduation. My friend, Brother Michael, was the chaplain for the Latino students. He invited me to a special celebration for these students which took place in the college chapel. When I arrived, the chapel was filled with parents, grandparents, friends and children. The graduates gathered in the back, each holding a long stem red rose, a symbol of the renowned miracle of La Virgen de Guadalupe. Eventually, they formed a processional line behind a beautiful banner of the miraculous image of La Virgen. The procession moved quietly until the students reached the sanctuary. Then they sang a Spanish hymn in honor of La Virgen. Afterward, students took turns at the microphone to thank loved ones for their support and generosity. The gratitude expressed was so warm, heartfelt, and beautiful that my eyes kept tearing. Their sincerity, appreciation, and happiness was remarkable.
For these students and their families, their devotion and dedication to La Virgen is a daily inspiration of hope and compassion because they know that the Blessed Mother and her Beloved Son are always on the side of those most in need, the forgotten and the oppressed. On this Feast Day of our Lady of Guadalupe, may each of us be inspired to join our prayers and participation on behalf of those most in need of our support, kindness and love. Que viva La Virgen de Guadalupe!
Loving Mother, shelter us under the mantle of your protection, keep us in the embrace of your arms, help us always to know the love of your Son Jesus. Amen.
Brother Richard Mazza, C.F.X.