La Señora de Guadalupe, ruega por nosotros


Alex M. Eduque

I write this on September the eighth, Mother Mary’s birthday, as a tribute of thanks for her continuous compassion, love and protection. How timely actually that last Saturday, on the eve of my 31st birthday, I had the most blessed opportunity to visit Our Lady of Guadalupe. Honestly, when I found out about being in Mexico, this was one of the things that excited me the most, and there was no other way I would have wanted to spend my last afternoon as a 30-year-old than in the midst of prayer and faith.

Despite the trying times this past year has brought upon all of us, it was most definitely not without its happy and major milestone moments for me, and I felt it right to start another trip around the sun by giving thanks for all that was, to pray for my loved ones, for the world, for our leaders, and ultimately, guidance in making the most out of life while keeping safe in the midst of a pandemic.

Our Lady of Guadalupe first appeared to Juan Diego in Tepeyac in 1531. She asked him to build a church in her honor to enable her to spread her love and compassion to the people. To prove this to naysayers, our Lady appeared on Juan Diego’s poncho, and that is what remains on display today inside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

The mere fact that 500 years later, the cloth of the poncho (made of cactus fibers) shows no signs of decay is a miracle as this should have normally disintegrated within two decades at most. To say that it was a blessed chance to view the original piece of cloth that our Lady appeared on is an understatement. The strong and very positive energy I felt just by being there gave me that indescribable sense of hope and security did not know I needed.

Truly, prayer unites us. Regardless of race, background, ethnicity and even religion. The constant form of communication with a higher being strengthens ones faith, and provides unparalleled comfort we often do not know we seek, but that gives us strength. By constantly working on strengthening our faith, I am a firm believer that God (or whoever higher deity you pray to) knows what is in your heart, even without your saying or asking. By surrendering to prayer and faith, we ultimately let go and let be. We let God’s greater plan prosper, and if we believe wholeheartedly that our faith is strong enough, we accept this as God’s will, and what is best for us.

I cannot emphasize how big a role prayer has played in my life, but most especially at recent with all the uncertainties this world has thrown at us. To be able to survive, and live through a pandemic, and ever-changing crazy world is one thing, but to be able to do it with a positive, and calm disposition on most days is another, and that, I can only attribute to the power and protection prayer has brought upon me.

Call me superstitious, but I have always believed that how you start your year sets the tone for the rest of it. With this in mind, knowing that I ended my last, and welcomed my new in the midst of Mama Mary’s protection, and prayer, especially entering a new chapter in my life has given me faith anew, and the comfort I did not know I wanted, but definitely needed.

I am grateful for the reminder that prayer is most definitely not all about asking, and having your wishes fulfilled, but equally about giving thanks. It is a constant dialogue that we should have, if we want its benefits to govern our life. With that, and the world we live in today, I end this in the same way I started it: La Señora de Guadalupe, ruega por nosotros.