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Saturday, December 12, 1998

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Our Lady of Guadalupe

Zechariah 2:14-17
Psalm 45
Luke 1:39-47

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the star of evangelization

"Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day." —Zechariah 2:15

Pope Paul VI called Mary the "star of evangelization." Immediately after conceiving Jesus, she took Jesus to Elizabeth and the baby in her womb (Lk 1:39-41). Both Elizabeth and John accepted Jesus as their Lord and received the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:41-42).

Throughout history, Mary has done whatever her Son has told her (see Jn 2:5) and made disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19). Probably her most fruitful evangelization took place from 1531 to 1538 at the hill of Tepeyac, near what is now called Mexico City. During those seven years, Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, led eight million people to give their lives to Christ. Over three thousand people each day for seven years were baptized into Christ. In effect, Mary, who prayed in the upper room before the first Christian Pentecost (Acts 1:14; 2:1ff), was used by the Lord to bring about new Pentecosts each day for seven years.

Mary, the star of evangelization, will make us stars of evangelization. If we also are "docile to the action of the Holy Spirit" (Toward the Third Millennium, Pope John Paul II, 18), we will see a new springtime of Christian life in the coming year. Then we will see the greatest Jubilee Year of all in the year 2000 (see Toward the Third Millennium, 16). Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

Prayer:  Father, make these next two years the most fruitful years of my life.

Promise:  "Blest is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled." —Lk 1:45

Praise:  The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe contains many symbols, colors, and meanings that showed the Mexican Indians just how sovereign God was compared to their pagan gods. Many of them converted to the Catholic Church after merely looking at the image.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998