Third Reflection |  April 12

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As our first month of the Nine-Month Novena concludes and our second month begins, some of us may be experiencing the worst temptations from Satan to surrender and stop praying the Novena Prayer every day.

Throughout the days of the apparitions, Saint Juan Diego was subject to the temptations of Satan, who placed in him the doubt that he was worthy and capable of carrying out the directions and orders of the Heavenly Queen. After his first visit to the Bishop, he was convinced that only someone of higher social status could carry out Our Lady’s mission. In a rather eloquent way, he described his own lowliness to the Virgin Mother of God:

So I beg you, my Lady, my Queen, my little Girl, to have one of the nobles who are held in esteem, one who is known, respected, honored, have him carry on, take your venerable breath, your venerable word, so that he will be believed. Because I am really just a man from country, I’m the porter’s rope, I’m a backframe, just a tail, a wing; I myself need to be led, carried on someone’s back; there, where you sent me, it is not my place to go or to stay, my little Girl, my littlest Daughter, my Lady, my Girl. Please, excuse me, I will afflict your face, your heart; I will fall into your anger, your displeasure, my Lady Mistress (Nican Mopohua, nos. 54-56).

But the Mother of God, the Mother of Divine Grace, responded by confirming him as her messenger, assuring him that he, too, was called to carry out the mission of bringing God Incarnate to the world, to his brothers and sisters.

Our Lady of Guadalupe assured him that she has many upon whom to call for the mission of her messenger, but that Juan Diego has been called and, therefore, must trust that he can carryout the mission. She replies to him:

Listen my youngest son, know for sure that I have no lack of servants, of messengers, to whom I can give the task of carrying my breath, my word, so that they carry out my will; but it is necessary that you, personally, go and plead, that by your intercession, my wish, my will, become a reality. And I beg you, my youngest son, and I strictly order you, to go again tomorrow to see the Bishop. And in my name, make him know, make him hear my wish, my will, so that he will bring into being, he will build, my sacred house that I ask of him. And carefully tell him again how I, personally, the ever Virgin Holy Mary, I, who am the Mother of God, sent you as my messenger (Nican Mopohua, nos. 58-62).

In the battle for the truth, we must never give way to discouragement, which is always the first temptation of the devil. When we are tempted to be discouraged or to be defeated, let us recall the vision of the final victory of Christ’s Redemptive Incarnation, recounted in the Book of Revelation. In the vision, Satan is determined to destroy the “woman clothed with the sun” (Rv 12, 1) and her Son. But the Divine Son of Mary is “caught up to God and to his throne” (Rv 12, 5). Thus, He brings his victory over sin and death to its fullness. In fact, the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe which God left for us on the tilma (mantle) of Saint Juan Diego is the “woman clothed with the sun” who carries in her womb the Savior of the world.

Our Lady’s motherly words to Saint Juan Diego speak to us, too, as they reflect a fundamental truth of the faith: Christ’s dwelling with us in His holy Church, the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our souls, enables even the weakest person to carry out God’s will with heroic virtue. Only with the aid of God’s grace, through the intercession of Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Graces, will we persevere in this Novena and Consecration.

Third 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.

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