Read Part 1 here.
“Through her [Our Lady of Guadalupe’s] powerful intercession, the Gospel will penetrate the hearts of the men and women of America and permeate their cultures, transforming them from within.” (Pope John Paul II, The Church in America, No. 70 ).
Our Lady of Guadalupe’s powerful intercession in 16th century Mexico transformed a Culture of Death into a Culture of Life. She can do the same for America today and permeate our Culture of Death, transforming it from within to a Culture of Life.
Pope John Paul II pointed us to the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the transformation of our Culture of Death to a Culture of Life. He named Our Lady of Guadalupe as the Queen and Mother of America. He entrusted to her the “future path of the Church on the great continent of America.” In January of 1999, at her Basilica in Mexico City, he said, “The Church must proclaim the Gospel of Life and speak out with prophetic force against the Culture of Death. This is our cry: life with dignity for all . . . . The time has come to banish once and for all from the Continent every attack against life.”
In contrast to the Culture of Death with its loss of hope, Pope John Paul II called Our Lady of Guadalupe the Mother of Hope and the Mother and Evangelizer of America. He announced a new mission in America under her patronage “to undertake the New Evangelization of the American continent”. He saw America as one continent “from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, from the Pacific to the Atlantic…, a continent called in its various sectors to integration and solidarity.” He did this at the historical First Synod of all of the Bishops of America in Rome in December 1998.
At the Synod, the Pope mentioned the challenges of the New Evangelization such as the authentic teaching of the Church’s doctrine and the need for society’s laws to harmonize with it; the defense of human life; the role of the family and the value of human work. He said that the solution to these challenges is to spread the civilization of love through apostolic action rooted in the Gospel and “courageously proclaiming Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the whole man and of every man.”
Pope John Paul II taught that evangelization means connecting the Gospel with the Culture of Death with its aggressive secularism. He said that the effort to proclaim anew who Jesus Christ is to this culture requires, “a commitment not to a re-evangelization but to a ‘new’ evangelization: new in ardor, methods, and expression.”
Later, the Pope was invited to come to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe to deliver the Summary of the Bishops’ Synod. Providentially, he arrived in Mexico on January 22, 1999, the anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the United States. He signed the Summary, his Apostolic Exhortation, The Church in America, and laid it at the feet of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Exhortation states that the solution of the problems of America lies not with the ideas of politicians or academics but with a personal encounter with the Living, Risen Jesus Christ. He wrote that Jesus is “the definitive answer to the question of the meaning of life, and to those fundamental questions which still trouble so many men and women on the American continent” and that he is “the path to conversion, communion and solidarity.”
The Pope placed the New Evangelization under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He wrote, “It is my heartfelt hope that she, whose intercession was responsible for strengthening the faith of the first disciples, 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 so that the New Evangelization may yield a splendid flowering of Christian life.”
The Holy Father’s Exhortation concludes with a prophecy. “Through Our Lady of Guadalupe’s powerful intercession, the Gospel will penetrate the hearts of the men and women of America and permeate their cultures, transforming them from within. I therefore invite all the Catholics of America to take an active part in the evangelizing initiatives which the Holy Spirit is stirring in every part of this immense continent, so full of resources and hopes for the future.”
To help to fulfill this prophecy, we should:
- Recognize the Eucharist as the source and summit of our lives;
- Do our daily duty;
- Practice regular spiritual lives;
- Practice devotion to Saint John Paul II and to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen and Mother of America;
- Pray the daily rosary;
- Practice love and fidelity in our marriages and be open to new life in our families, with the education of our children in the faith and morals of the Catholic Church;
- Practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy;
- Be a witness to our families, social gatherings and in the workplace and Public Square to our faith and to our practice of the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.
- In short, we should be a light in the darkness of our Culture of Death and let our light shine before others so that they may be attracted to God who is its source.
- Pray Holy Hours for Life, Peace and Protection to Our Lady of Guadalupe
- Host a Visitation of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe