To be honest, we should be somewhat ashamed about the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe, but at the same time, like Adam’s sin, the fall out was so wonderful we could perhaps called it “oh happy fault!” as we do with Adam.
The Aztec religion was truly horrible and the mass slaughter at the Temple had left the neighbouring tribes fearful and resentful of their stronger masters. So when the ships arrived from Spain and Portugal it was hardly surprising that many of the Indian leaders were all too keen to join forces and defeat their Aztec enemies and their bloodthirsty gods.
Bringing the Good News of Christ could have been a wonderful turn around for the people. Only it barely happened. The problem the missionaries faced was the behaviour of their fellow countrymen who thought stealing and slavery were a good way to live. The Dominicans spoke and fought strongly against the enslavement of the Indians and were backed by other orders and by the Pope who wrote strongly against what was happening out there in the New World. But the evil continued, and so understandably many of the Indians equated Christianity with their oppression.
At that point God stepped in directly. While His sons in the religious orders were being undermined, and his children of the New World were being turned away from Truth and freedom, He could not stand by. He sent His greatest weapon against evil, the one who could stamp on the head of the serpent – His Mother.
When you look at many of the moments where Our Lady has turned up, she has done so when it is about to get dark or is already dark and about to get darker. She came to Fatima in Portugal to beg for prayer and repentance so that one World War could end and we could have avoided the horrific bloodbath of Communism and the Second World War if we had only listened – only we didn’t.
And she appeared at Kibeho for the same reason, was ignored and the bloodbath followed.
She wept in France and in Japan.
And yet we still ignore her message.
But the Indians of Mexico did not ignore her. They responded with courageous willingness to find the Truth and within a few years millions and millions have received baptism and found the love of Christ that He offered through the love of His Mother. The Tilma that the quiet and rather shy Indian St. Juan Diego carried to the the bishop filled with unseasonal Castilian Roses bears a beautiful image – a copy of which I have in my kitchen.
We can be amazed at the miracle of the winter roses and the stunning and deeply symbolic image left on St. Juan Diego’s grass woven tilma – but the greatest achievement was the conversion of the people.
Not all mothers are wise, as she is wise and not all mothers are good as she is good and not all mothers love their children, but she does. We need to accept her love and guidance as Juan Diego did. She is the best Mother we have ever been given; and she points always to her Son as she makes the only command she ever gave in Scripture “Do whatever He tells you.”