Knights of Columbus are making information available, especially as pandemic restricts so many celebrations. Indulgences for feast available even outside Mexico City.
As Catholics prepare to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12 and restrictions for religious gatherings remain in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Knights of Columbus has created a newly designed web hub showcasing the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and her miraculous image.
The page, www.kofc.org/guadalupe, went live December 9, the feast of St. Juan Diego, the man who received the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was miraculously left on the cloak, or tilma, of St. Juan Diego – a native Mexican – in December 1531. The actual tilma continues to be revered today, and is one of the most recognizable religious images in the American hemisphere.
Has Our Lady left us another image of herself, besides Guadalupe?
The hub includes links to the Knights of Columbus produced documentary Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message; a look at the artwork associated with Our Lady of Guadalupe; information on the Knights of Columbus’ Silver Rose program which honors Our Lady of Guadalupe and her message; and information on the apparition to St. Juan Diego.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe’s message of unity and hope is as important today as it was in 1531,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “Because many of Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrations are altered or cancelled due to the pandemic, it is our hope that this new web hub will help to bring the history, the science, and most important, the message of hope and unity in her Son that Our Lady of Guadalupe brings to each of us.”
Anderson in 2009 coauthored the New York Times bestseller Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love, with Msgr. Eduardo Chavez, who oversaw the Cause for Canonization of St. Juan Diego.
The book details the message and meaning of the image – credited with converting millions of Native Americans in the 16th century – and the relevance of the message today on the American continent.
The Knights of Columbus’ devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe reached a milestone with the chartering of their first Mexican council as the “Guadalupe Council” in Mexico City in 1905.
Since then, the Knights have done much to spread Our Lady’s message, including co-sponsoring a U.S. tour of the Archdiocese’s tilma relic in 2003.
The Knights also held their first-ever International Marian Congress on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2009, which concluded with the 22,000-person Guadalupe Festival in Phoenix, Arizona.
Indulgences opened beyond Basilica
The Basilica where the tilma hangs will be closed on December 12 as Mexico faces the ravages of the pandemic. However, the Church has broadened the possibilities for receiving the indulgence usually associated with a pilgrimage there for the feast day.
Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, archbishop of Mexico City, explained that the Apostolic Penitentiary made these specifications to gain the indulgence:
— Prepare a place of prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe at home.
— Watch a livestream or televised Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City on December 12, “actively participating … with devotion and with exclusive attention to the Eucharist.” Masses could be accessed at www.youtube.com/user/BasilicadeGuadalupe; find the schedule here.
The usual condition of receiving Communion can be fulfilled when health restrictions make it possible.
This indulgence is available for anyone in the world.
As customary, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for the feast day, but with only a small number of faithful.