Mary

Our Lady of Guadalupe – Rosary of The Month

In the image on the tilma, Our Lady of Guadalupe is shown in a position of
dancing prayer, with her knee bent in movement. Above her praying hands, we
find indications of her prayer in the gold-colored design. This is one of nine heart-shaped
nower blossoms decorating her tunic. And these blossoms, when viewed
from different sides, resemble different glyphs of the Indian codices. One particular
heart blossom rests on her chest, above the location of her own heart. In the Indian
codices, unlike the illustrations in European books, depth and the relationship
between objects was shown by positioning objects beside or even behind one
another (rather than using light or shadow), thus giving the images a very flat look.
In this case, the technique gives the illusion that Mary’s heart-a symbol of both
love and sacrifice-is held between her hands, in an act of prayer and offering to
God.
Furthennore, this heart is placed not only in a place of possession, but of
protection. As one ancient indigenous text explains, “You rise with gracefulness,
with gentleness. Next to you different birds feed: the hummingbird, the zaquan, the
quecholli, the tzinitzan, the quetzal. In your hands they take shelter from the heat,
they protect themselves from the sun.” Indeed, our Lady’s hands can be entrusted
with our own hearts.
This powerful message of Mary’s loving relationship with us and her care for our
relationship with God continues in the oral traditions of the indigenous people,
which has been transmitted from generation to generation, even to this day. For the
Totonac people of San Miguel Zozocolco, Veracruz, the elders share this beautiful
message of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s intercession to their descendants: our elders
offered hearts to God, so that there would be harmony in their lives. This Woman
says that, without tearing them out, we should place our own hearts in her hands so
that she may present them to the true God.
Thus, in a visual way, the image of the heart is not only her own, but ours as well,
conveying such a bond of love that makes Mary’s compassion an acceptance of our
hearts, ourselves, within her. This is a true testimony of her words to Juan Diego: ul
am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all the inhabitants on this land and all the
rest who love me, invoke and confide in me. I truly will listen to their cries and their
sadness in order to remedy all their sorrows, their miseries, and their pains.”
MONSIGNOR EDUARDO C. Sanchez
Monsignor Chivez WilS postulator for the cause for anoniution of Saint Juan Diego. and is
coauthor of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of ~ Civilization of Love (tJoubIed3y).

 

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