Friday 1 February 2019

Message of Guadalupe - Gillian Rae - CTS Christian Shrines Series

Message of Guadalupe 
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen of Mexico, Mother of the Americans and Protectress of the Unborn Child
CTS Christian Shrines Series
Gillian Rae
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781860820984
eISBN 9781784693701
CTS Booklet D652

First I need to state that I love the books I have read in the CTS Christian Shrines Series, this is the third book in as many weeks in this series I have read, and each has been excellent. I have known about Guadalupe for many year, but it has only been in the last few years that I have read more specifically on this apparition, Juan Diego, and pilgrimage there. And this book is a great introduction. And it gives a great overview of the background, and the present practice. The sections in this volume are:

The Queen of Mexico
Aztecs and Conquistadors
Cortes in Mexico
Men of War and Men of God
Missionaries in Mexico
Our Lady and St Juan Diego
The Second Apparition
The Third Apparition
The Fourth Apparition
The Church is Built
The Immaculate Conception
Our Lady and the Mexican Identity
Church and State in New Spain
The Fight for Mexican Independence
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Pope John Paul II in Mexico
Pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Image on the Tilma
The Symbolism of the Image
The Message of Our Lady to Mexico and to the World
Life Force
Prayer of Pope John II

This book begins with these words:

“Mexico has more public holidays than any other country in the world, but with the possible exceptions of Christmas and Easter, none is celebrated with more fervour than the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

On 12th December each year, thousands of people gather in or in front of the beautiful basilica in a suburb of Mexico City which is dedicated to the patroness of Mexico. Masses are said, there are processions and displays, and rich and poor alike cross the vast concourse on their knees to seek the blessing of the Virgin.

On this day, all over Mexico, even in the smallest villages, Mexicans honour Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

This volume goes through the history prior to the appearance, and since. It gives a brief history of the original Church built in 1531, the first basilica in 1709, and the current basilica completed in 1976. Prior to reading this book, I was unaware that the shrine contains no other statues or images than the tilma of Juan Diego with the image of our lady upon it. From reading this book the site sounds amazing, with a mix of historical and modern building, the old repurposed. I can close my eyes and picture 20,000 people praying and attending a mass at this site.

This is another wonderful read in a great series. These little booklets inspire my faith and encourage me to pray more and in new ways. I may never visit this shrine, but it now holds a new place of importance in my heart. And as the most visited shrine in the Americas it is great to read this book just to grown in knowledge of faith, and the importance of this specific site both historically and still today.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Other Books in the CTS Christian Shrines Series:
Message of Assisi
Message of Fatima
Message of Guadalupe
Message of Walsingham
Santiago: Santiago de Compostela - The Pilgrim Way of St James

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