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Holy Mass on the occasion of the Liturgical Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, 12.12.2023

This morning, in the Vatican Basilica, the Holy Father Francis presided over the Eucharistic Celebration on the occasion of the Liturgical Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe.

The following is the homily delivered by the Pope after the proclamation of the Holy Gospel:


Homily of the Holy Father

The first thing that comes to mind is the image of Our Lady imprinted on the tilma, the cloak.

It is the image of the first disciple, of the mother of believers, of the Church herself, which is imprinted in the humility of what we are and what we have, which is not worth much, but which will be something great in the eyes of God. It is imprinted on the tilma.

Our Lady asks Juan Diego to perform a small task, to pick some flowers. The flowers, in mysticism, signify the virtues that the Lord instils in the heart; they are not our own work. The act of picking them reveals to us that God wants us to accept this gift, to perfume our weak reality with works of good, eliminating hatred and fear.

If you look at the message of Guadalupe, Our Lady's words: “Am I not here, I who am your mother?", take on a new meaning. This "being" of the Virgin, this "being" is to remain permanently imprinted on these poor clothes, perfumed by virtues gathered in a world that seems incapable of producing them. Virtues that fill our poverty in the simplicity of small gestures of love, that illuminate our tilma, without us realizing it, with the image of a Church that carries Christ in her bosom.

The image, the tilma, the roses: this is the message. As simple as that, without any gloss. Together with the certainty that she is my mother, who is here. And this message defends us from so many social and political ideologies with which this Guadalupan reality is so often used to justify itself, to justify itself and to earn money. The Guadalupan message does not tolerate ideologies of any kind. Only the image, the tilma, the roses.