Many parishes with large Hispanic populations have special celebrations and processions leading up to the December 12th feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
At some point in your life, you should find one of these events happening in your local community, and join in the celebration!
The strength of devotion of the Mexican people—true in most Latin countries—is simply amazing. You will be inspired by the overflow of love for Our Lady.
Many parishes, in addition to having a special feast day Mass, also host a reception or party in honor of the day.
You could also hold your own celebration of Our Lady by inviting friends and family to your home for a traditional Mexican meal. Decorate your table with colorful flowers in bright reds and pinks, blues and greens, and together recite the prayer (below) to Our Lady written by Pope St. John Paul II.
You can purchase a framed image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as well as prayer cards to distribute, rosaries to pray with, statues to display, and many other Our Lady of Guadalupe devotional gifts to increase devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
You could also dedicate your home and family to her patronage with a Home Enthronement of Our Lady of Guadalupe ceremony. Delivering roses to a local shrine, image or statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, or your mother is also a wonderful way to to celebrate this feast day.
If you have kids, you'll love this adorable Our Lady of Guadalupe coloring and decoration craft which you can download from your computer and print. For kids and adults there are lots of Gift Ideas to Express Your Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Hopefully the information in this article will renew your love for Our Lady of Guadalupe, encourage you to seek her intercession (especially for the causes of which she is patroness: the Americas, the New Evangelization, and unborn children), and to celebrate her feast day in a special way each and every year.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!
Pope Francis with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Pope John Paul II's Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Given in Mexico, January 1979, while visiting her basilica during his first foreign trip as pope:
O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church!, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.
Mother of Mercy, Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows. Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand.
Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the Bishops, that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, of love and humble service of God and souls. Contemplate this immense harvest, and intercede with the Lord that He may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.
Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings, with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God. Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.
Our hope, look upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus and, if we fall, help us to rise again, to return to Him, by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the Sacrament of Penance, which gives peace to the soul.
We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy Sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your Son left us on earth.
Thus, Most Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.