The “Maternal Preaching”of Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 12, 2022
In the New Testament you don’t necessarily think of Mary, the Mother of God as “a preacher” the way we look to Saints Peter and Paul. In fact, in all of sacred scripture we only have four instances of her speaking; three in the Gospel of Luke and once in the Gospel of John. In a way it seems like Mary’s “preaching” has only increased since her Assumption into heaven as we look to the many Church approved Marian apparitions over the centuries. Mary’s messages and words in these apparitions seem to always echo her son Jesus’ first public preaching; “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15).
However, she always retains her motherly attributes in this “preaching” for it was directly ordained by Jesus on Calvary when he gave Mary to John as mother and John as son to Mary. This also is indicative of all the members of the mystical body of Christ being grafted on to this maternal relationship for all time. Her natural vocation as mother and wife, even with its supernatural purpose of being the Mother of God, must have this maternal character to it always. Christ taught as one having authority, the apostles acted with God-given authority but Mary speaks as one with maternal authority. Which brings us to “the maternal preaching of Our Lady of Guadalupe”. Today, we celebrate her appearances to Saint Juan Diego in 1531 at Tepeyac hill outside of what is now Mexico City, we recall some of her most tender maternal words given to Juan Diego on December 12, 1531, her fourth visit to him:
“Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”
These words, this “ maternal preaching” of Our Lady of Gaudalupe if you will, strikes a deep cord in the Holy Preaching of we the sons of St. Dominic, The Order of Preachers. For it was our founder’s deep devotion and obedience to Mary (and her maternal care and guidance) that drove St. Dominic to preach the Truth of her son Jesus Christ to the people God placed in his path by helping to correct the errors of his time. That “maternal preaching” and Marian care guides our “preaching for the salvation of souls” eight centuries after St. Dominic preached it himself.
Happy Feast of Our Lady Guadalupe from the
Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph!