Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Memory of a Mass Conversion

December 12 is the Feast Day in the dioceses of the Americas of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the peasant boy Juan Diego in 1531 changed the course of history.  This was a signal moment of grace for the world and for the Western Hemisphere.  In the decades after the apparition of the Blessed Mother the pagan gods native to this continent were banished to the darkness from which they came, and the Church was triumphant from the Rio Grande to the Tierra del Fuego.

The increasing secularization of the Americas in our own time should not blind us to what an achievement this was half a millennium ago.  And it should also remind us that mass conversions are a historical fact and they are just as possible in our own time as they were in the 16th century or in the 4th century.  The whole of the Mediterranean basin was converted by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the early Church in the days of Rome.  The barbarian tribes who overwhelmed the Western portion of the Empire in the succeeding centuries were then also converted by the same Spirit and the same Church.  As were the Americas following the intervention of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

And yes, there was the mass apostasy of the eastern and southern shores of the Mediterranean to Islam, but that need not be permanent.  If there have been mass conversions in the past then it is reasonable to believe, despite the darkening skies of our own day and time, that there will be mass conversions in the future.  And mass conversions begin first and foremost with prayer.

Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary on Monday for the See of Constantinople, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday for the See of Antioch, the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesday for the See of Jerusalem, the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday for the See of Alexandria, and the Sorrowful Mysteries on Friday for the See of Carthage: for their liberty and their salvation and the restoration of their ancient position as pillars of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church in communion with the See of Peter in Rome; for the conversion of the Jewish people and the conversion of the Muslim peoples.  Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us!

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