Eighth Reflection |  June 25

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At her first apparition, on December 9th, 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe favors and chooses as her heroic messenger Saint Juan Diego, a humble Christian who was on his way “to follow the things of God that are to us given, that are taught to us by our priests, those who are the images of the Lord, Our Lord” (Nican Mopohua, no. 24). That is, he was seeking to deepen his knowledge of the faith through instruction from the priest whom he acknowledges as an image of Christ alive for us in the Church. He gives expression to the truth that the priest, by virtue of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in the person of Christ, Head and Shepherd of the flock in every time and place. He shows us that only the truth, ultimately the Truth Who is Our Lord Jesus Christ alive for us in His holy Church, permits us to grow in holiness of life and thus to find joy and peace during the days of our earthly pilgrimage and their fullness at the destiny of our pilgrimage, the Kingdom of Heaven. 

When Our Lady begins to speak with Saint Juan Diego, she immediately declares the truth of her being, of her relationship with God as Mother of God the Son Incarnate, and of her relationship with Juan Diego, as with all Christians. She declares:

“Know, know for sure my dearest and youngest son, that I am truly the ever perfect Holy Virgin Mary, who has the honor to be the Mother of the one true God for whom we all live, the Creator of people, the Lord of all around us and of what is close to us, the Lord of Heaven, the Lord of Earth.” (Nican Mopohua, no. 26)

What is primary for Our Lady in her relationship with Saint Juan Diego and in his collaboration as her messenger is the truth that she is the Virgin Mother of God the Son Incarnate Who is the King of Heaven and Earth and Who alone is our salvation.

Our Lady of Guadalupe equips us for today’s grave crisis with the inseparable unity of truth and love. We cannot truly love another person while also disregarding or betraying the truth which should inform every relationship. The fundamental approach to the crisis of the family, of society, and of the Church is the knowledge of truth and the practice of it with love. Our Lady, when she requested the construction of a “sacred little house,” informs us that the truth and love of her Divine Son, Jesus Christ, are found in His Mystical Body, the Church. 

“I want very much that they build my sacred little house here, in which I will show Him, I will exalt Him upon making Him manifest, I will give Him to all people in all my personal love, Him that is my compassionate gaze, Him that is my help, Him that is my salvation.

Because truly I am honored to be your compassionate mother, yours and that of all the people that live together in this land, and also of all the other various lineages of men; those who love me, those who cry to me, those who seek me, those who trust in me. Because there [at my sacred house] truly will I hear their cry, their sadness, in order to remedy, to cure all their various troubles, their miseries, their pains.” (Nican Mopohua, no. 26-32)

Our Lady does not propose some idea or some political action to address the various crises facing man. No, she proposes a person—the person of her Divine Son. She proposes the most intimate union of heart with Him as the only way to obtain mercy and ultimately eternal life. She tells Juan Diego that Christ is in fact her “compassionate gaze,” even as He is her “help,” her “salvation.”

In this way, too, she shows us that He, Jesus Christ, is the help that we are to offer to the world and to the Church in a time of great turmoil. As much as is possible, we desire that all people will see the face of Christ and be drawn to Him Who alone can save them.

Eighth Reflection

Those wishing to read a transcript for the video reflection will find this text and other supplementary reading at the bottom of this page.

How can Cardinal Burke pray for you?

Write in your prayer using the form below. Cardinal Burke will pray for your intentions every day and offer Mass on the 12th of each month for your prayer requests.

Let us pray.

In these early days of the novena, carry the events of the first apparition in your hearts as you pray the following each day:

‍O Virgin Mother of God, we fly to your protection and beg your intercession against the darkness and sin which ever more envelop the world and menace the Church. Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, gave you to us as our mother as He died on the Cross for our salvation. So too, in 1531, when darkness and sin beset us, He sent you, as Our Lady of Guadalupe, on Tepeyac to lead us to Him Who alone is our light and our salvation.

Through your apparitions on Tepeyac and your abiding presence with us on the miraculous mantle of your messenger, Saint Juan Diego, millions of souls converted to faith in your Divine Son. Through this novena and our consecration to you, we humbly implore your intercession for our daily conversion of life to Him and the conversion of millions more who do not yet believe in Him. In our homes and in our nation, lead us to Him Who alone wins the victory over sin and darkness in us and in the world.

Unite our hearts to your Immaculate Heart so that they may find their true and lasting home in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Ever guide us along the pilgrimage of life to our eternal home with Him. So may our hearts, one with yours, always trust in God's promise of salvation, in His never-failing mercy toward all who turn to Him with a humble and contrite heart. Through this novena and our consecration to you, O Virgin of Guadalupe, lead all souls in America and throughout the world to your Divine Son in Whose name we pray. Amen.

AUDIO | Cardinal Burke reciting the Latin Novena Prayer

Additional Material

Those seeking a transcript of His Eminence's reflection from the above video can find a copy of the text here:

Read the meditation

Those wishing to learn more about the Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe can find the text of the Nican Mopohua at the link below. The translation that we cite in this novena is found in Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love (New York: Doubleday, 2009) by Carl A. Anderson and Msgr. Eduardo Chávez..

Nican Mopohua

Those interested in learning even more might enjoy a presentation that His Eminence recently delivered, which examines the the immense literary and spiritual merit of the Nican Mopohua. It is available at the link below.

the Cardinal's Presentation

Download the Prayer Card