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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

Viva la Virgen, the conqueror

121317 monrie olg 2MONROE — Amidst the joyous euphony of giggling children and cooing babies held in their parent’s arms, parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Monroe honored Our Lady of Guadalupe with song and dance in an annual feast day celebration at the parish Dec. 12.

Many at the parish are of Mexican descent and they are passing on their love of Our Lady of Guadalupe to their children and grandchildren by means of traditional songs, dance, dress and food.

Hundreds of parishioners rose before dawn to sing Mananitas, songs of love to the Virgin Mother of God who appeared to St. Juan Diego in 1531 in Mexico. Later in the evening men, women and children of all ages returned to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish for more singing and traditional dances which were performed by children of the parish.

Father Benjamin Roberts, pastor, and Father Cory Catron, parochial vicar, donned festive serapes during the celebrations. Father Roberts offered Mass later in the evening in a vestment with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the back. He offered his homily in English and Spanish to a standing-room-only congregation.

“O Holy Virgin of Guadalupe we love you as our mother. O Holy Mother of Jesus Christ we acclaim you as our queen. O Mother of Christ the King of the Universe, we recognize you as the conqueror,” Father Roberts said.

“The Virgin of Guadalupe is a conqueror. She came to the hill of Tepeyac and she conquered the fear in the heart of Juan Diego. With the promise of healing for his uncle Juan Bernadino, the Virgin of Guadalupe conquered the worry and anxiety in the soul of Juan Diego.

When the Virgin of Guadalupe asked for a chapel to be built on Tepeyac, she conquered the separation between the two cultures in Mexico who worshiped her Son. Our Lady of Guadalupe conquered the separation. When the Virgin came to Guadalupe, she came as a conqueror.

“The Virgin of Guadalupe is the conqueror of fear. She is our mother. She is the loving mother who guards us and protects us. The Virgin of Guadalupe conquers the fear of those who are afraid to completely follow Jesus Christ. She is our loving mother.

We have no need to fear to follow Jesus Christ when we walk hand in hand with the Mother of God. She conquers our fear with her gentle gaze. She conquers our fear with her loving words. She conquers our fear with her tender touch. We love the Virgin of Guadalupe and she is the conqueror of fear.

“The Virgin of Guadalupe is the conqueror of separation and division. She is the mother of unity. At Guadalupe, the Virgin united the various cultures of the various tribes and peoples. She brought together people from different languages, cultures, and places. The Virgin of Guadalupe conquered their divisions because she loved each of them as a precious child of God. She looked with love on Juan Diego. She sent a message of love to Bishop Zummaraga.

She gave her image of love on the tilma and her image shines throughout the whole world. She looks at each of us with the tender eyes of a mother. She gives to us the word of protection and consolation. She brings us together to worship her Son. We love the Virgin of Guadalupe and she is the conqueror of separation and division.

“O Holy Virgin of Guadalupe we love you as our mother. O Holy Mother of Jesus Christ we acclaim you as our queen. O Mother of Christ the King of the Universe, we recognize you as the conqueror,” Father Roberts concluded.

— SueAnn Howell, senior reporter

Listen to Father Roberts homily in English and Spanish: https://fatherbhomilies.podbean.com/e/homily-for-our-lady-of-guadalupe-in-english-and-spanish-1513184701/

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