As the Feast Day Mass approaches…

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Rector Canon Seamus (left) and Fr Jeremy

As the Feast Day Mass of Our Lady of Guadalupe approaches, a few thoughts from the Rector Canon Seamus:

If you are coming to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe here in Bedford for the Feast Day Mass on Wednesday 12th December 2018 at 7.30 pm with the Papal Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Edward Adams, as Principal Celebrant, attended by Bishop Peter Doyle, we pray that you will have a safe journey and look forward to meeting you and sharing in Holy Mass as one part of the worldwide Guadalupe Family. Guardians of Our Lady of Guadalupe from all over Great Britain will be joining distinguished Knights of St Columba, many priests and other guests representing Catholic organisations and friends met on the Pilgrimage Tours at this wonderful celebration.

On behalf of myself, Fathers Jeremy and Nathaniel and Guardians of the Our Lady of Guadalupe offer this prayer:

Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, be with those who travel to come to celebrate your Feast Day, here at the Shrine in Bedford and throughout the world.

Surround them with your loving care, protect them within your mantel from every danger. Bring them in safety to their journey’s end, and be with them as they return to their homes, enriched by God’s grace.

We ask this through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Lady will be honoured with music and a beautifully decorated church. The Feast Day Masses are always joyful and uplifting occasions and the spirit of the evening will continue after the Mass with a reception in the nearby hall of St Frances Cabrini Church.

A DVD of the Mass and celebrations will be available for purchase in early January.

In these trying times, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a beacon of hope for the littlest members of our society. The message of the Virgin of Guadalupe is the same one when over two thousand years ago, in her beautiful Magnificat, “God”, she says, “has looked upon my lowliness, and from this day all generations shall call me blessed!” (Luke 1:48). Mary, the poor, young woman from Nazareth, knew what it meant to count for nothing in this world. She, like Juan Diego, lived her earthly life as a member of a conquered people living under occupation. Yet even in the face of a seemingly hopeless reality, Mary could envision a new reality — God’s Reign dawning upon the world from inside her womb.

Today, Our Lady of Guadalupe continues to be a symbol of faith, hope, and consolation. From the message of Our Lady to Juan Diego in 1531: “Listen, put it into your heart, my youngest and dearest son, that the thing that frightens you, the thing that afflicts you, is nothing: do not let it disturb you. Am I not here, I who am your Mother?”

On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and as we draw closer to the Nativity of Our Lord, may our prayer be a similar one – that the gift of life, in all its many beautiful forms, will flourish within our society.