Our Lady of Guadalupe told St. Juan Diego, “I am the merciful Mother of all mankind. Am I not your hope?” This is why Blessed Pope John Paul II named her the “Mother of Hope”. He said, “It is my heartfelt hope that she, whose intercession was responsible for strengthening the faith of the first disciples (see Jn. 2:11) will, by her maternal intercession guide the Church in America, obtaining the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as she once did for the early Church (see Acts 1:14), so that the New Evangelization may yield a splendid flowering of Christian life.” (Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, The Church in America, No.11). Our Lady of Guadalupe brings us this hope through her Missionary Image. Visitations of the Missionary Images bring healings, conversions and protection through the Mother of Hope.
Guardian Frank Farrington reported that the lines spilled outside to the street as 10,000 people came to venerate the Missionary Image during her visit to three parishes in Connecticut.
Trumpet fanfare welcomed Our Lady to St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Naugatuck followed by twelve full hours of prayer and song. Novices of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart, who later in the day would make their consecration, venerated Our Lady. Two home-bound individuals wept and proclaimed they never thought “the Mother of my Lord would come to visit me” when the Missionary Image was brought to their homes.
Frank remarked, “What impressed me most throughout the entire Visitation were the faces and reactions of the people. With tears flowing down their cheeks, many would touch the Image. Others brought flowers to place at her feet, some obviously even picked on the way to church.” Our Lady of Guadalupe brought them hope through her Missionary Image.
Missionary Image Guardian Gail Carson from Warroad, Minnesota reported that many hearts were moved to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation by Our Lady. She said, “Many healings of relationships took place – healings between a mother and child, a mother and daughter, even healings within marriages.” When she gave a talk about Our Lady of Guadalupe, the church was filled with the aroma of roses. Some people even reported smelling them outside the church in the rain.
In November, 1992, a four year-old girl named Alex lay dying in a Kentucky hospital of a rare lung disease, bronchiolitis obliterans. Missionary Image Guardian Debbie Womack brought the Image into Alex’s hospital room on the day doctors had predicted that she would die.
Alex was lifted up to the Image and she tenderly touched and kissed Our Lady. The next day when the doctors went to Alex’s room, they were shocked to find the little girl playing and eating. Alex’s mother credits the healing to Our Lady of Guadalupe through her Missionary Image. Many other healings are reported by Our Lady’s intercession through her Missionary Image.
Another Guardian happily reported, “My husband went to Confession for the first time in 25 years!” She explained that she had prayed for his conversion for years but it wasn’t until the Missionary Image visited their home that her prayers were answered.
During the night of the Image’s Visitation she smelled a beautiful aroma of roses but she said nothing to her husband. She didn’t want him to think that she was crazy.
The next day her husband went to Confession. Later he told his wife, “Last night I smelled an overwhelming aroma of roses near the Image but I said nothing to you because I didn’t want you to think I was crazy.”
It was a wonderful confirmation for both of them to share the same experience with hope for their future.
Blessed Pope John Paul II called Our Lady of Guadalupe “The Mother of Hope” because he said, “It is the beginning of a new mission – a providential occasion to lead the People of God in America to cross the threshold of the Third Millennium with renewed hope. That is why, as we look to the future, we are full of hope and are not overcome with fear!”
Hope is the confident expectation of divine blessing. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No.1818). Our Lady of Guadalupe said that she is the mother “of all those who have confidence in me.” Through her, we should have confidence in divine blessings.
As a people of hope, we are not afraid, but look forward to the victory of good over evil; peace over war; truth over lies; love over hate and life over death. We look forward to eternal salvation and an existence full of happiness in God. That is hope.
On the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1981, Blessed Pope John Paul II prophesied, “The light of the Gospel of Christ will shine out over the whole world by means of the miraculous image of His Mother.” He prayed to her, “Since you are the Empress of the Americas, protect all the nations of the American continents.”
We are in need of her protection! She told St. Juan Diego, “Here I will offer all my love, my compassion, my powerful help and my protection to the people. I am your Merciful Mother.” Now after the 9/11 Attack on America, the Militant Muslim terror attacks throughout the world, wars and natural disasters, we need her powerful help and protection more than ever.
Let us be a people that hope in her protection instead of cursing the darkness! Let us show the world the light of the Gospel of Christ as Pope John Paul II said, “by means of the miraculous image of His Mother.”
For more information on hope and healings through the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, please read Dan Lynch’s book, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hope for the World and see his video Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of Hope.