Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Friday, 12 December 2014
On this Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, let us first of all gratefully remember her visit and maternal closeness; let us sing her Magnificat with Her, and let us entrust the life of our peoples and the continental mission of the Church to her.
When she appeared to St Juan Diego on the Hill of Tepeyac, she presented herself as the “ever perfect Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of the true God” (Nican Mopohua); and so made a new “visitation”. She also hastened attentively to embrace the new American peoples, at their dramatic birth. It was as though a “great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet” (Rev 12:1), taking upon herself the cultural and religious symbolism of the indigenous peoples, she proclaimed and gave her Son to all these new peoples lacerated by their mixed origin.
So many jumped for joy and hope at her visit and at the gift of her Son, and the perfect disciple of the Lord became the “great missionary who brought the Gospel to our Americas” (cf. Aparecida Document, n. 269). The Son of Mary Most Holy, Immaculate Conception, has thus revealed Himself from the beginning of the history of the new peoples as “the most true God, giver of life”, the Good News of the filial dignity of all the inhabitants of the Americas. Now, no one is only a servant, but we all are children of one and the same Father, brothers among us and servants in the Servant.
The Holy Mother of God visited these peoples and has wished to remain with them. She mysteriously left her sacred image imprinted on the tilma [cloak] of her messenger so we would feel her constant presence, thereby becoming a symbol of Mary’s covenant with these peoples, to whom she imparts her soul and tenderness. Through her intercession, the Christian faith began to grow into the most precious treasure of the soul of the American peoples, whose pearl of great value is Jesus Christ: a patrimony that has been passed on and is manifest still today in the baptism of multitudes of people, in the faith, in hope and charity of many, in the preciosity of popular piety and also in the American ethos which is shown in the awareness of human dignity, in the passion for justice, in solidarity with the poorest and the suffering, in the hope, at times, against all hope.
God, in his way, “has hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to the lowly and humble, to the lowly in heart” (cf. Mt 11:25). In the wonders that the Lord has fulfilled in Mary, She recognizes her Son’s manner and mode of conduct in salvation history. Overturning worldly judgments, destroying at all costs the idols of power, wealth and success, denouncing self-sufficiency, arrogance and secular messianism which distance people from God, the Marian Canticle professes that God takes pleasure in overturning ideologies and worldly hierarchies. He lifts up the humble, comes to the aid of the poor and the lowly, fills with goodness, with blessings and hope those who trust in his mercy from generation to generation, while He puts down from their thrones the wealthy, the powerful and the overbearing.