First Reflection |  March 12

Go to the Reflection


Today, we begin our Nine-Month Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Our Lady of Guadalupe first appeared to Saint Juan Diego just before dawn on a Saturday morning, December 9, 1531. Although the home of Juan Diego was in Cuauhtitlán, his spiritual home was Tlatelolco, the place of his baptism and of his ongoing instruction in the Catholic faith. Our Lady favored with her apparition and chose as her messenger a humble Christian who was seeking to deepen his knowledge of the faith through instruction from the priest whom he identifies as an image of Christ alive for us in the Church.

When Our Lady began to speak with him, she immediately declared 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 declared:

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 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 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.

The first lesson which Our Lady of Guadalupe teaches us to equip us for today’s grave crisis is 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.

First 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.

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.

Further Reading

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
AUDIO | Cardinal Burke reciting the Latin Novena Prayer

Download the Prayer Card