Saturday, December 12, 2015

Our Lady of Guadalupe and American Catholics

The Challenge of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Bishop Robert Barron
"I am the ever Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God." In so saying, the Lady of Tepeyac was actively de-throning and de-legitimizing any false claimant to that title.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of all the Americas, but who identifies with her the most strongly? The children of the Aztecs and the nations that suffered under them and of the Spanish who settled in Mexico, the new Mexican nation? Do the other Ibero-American nations have as strong a devotion? (Or are they more likely to acquire it if they immigrate to the United States?)

The United States has its own patron, the Immaculate Conception. (I say this instead of: The United States have their own patron. Although the U.S. bishops made their choice in 1847, still I think it is likely that their mindset was more nationalist than federalist.) Do the "indigenous" peoples of the land that is now of the United States identify with Juan Diego and the appearance of the Virgin Mary to him?

What is the relationship of the United States to the rest of the Western Hemisphere? Given the link of the cult of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Mexican nationalism, is it wise for a Latin bishop in the United States to encourage non-Mexican Roman Catholics to cultivate a devotion to her? Is such a move fairly regarded as a move towards Hispanicization (or Mexicanization) of American Catholic culture? Is it possible for the possession of a common religion to eliminate differences in ethnic identity and culture? I don't believe so.

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