In addition to being the Patroness of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadelupe is one looked to in the pro-life moment.
15 May 2021
Though our fight for the most innocent has spanned since and before the decision of 1970s Roe v. Wade, the slaughter of the defenseless dates back hundreds of years earlier. In 1521, when Hernán Cortés, a Spanish Conquistador, landed in the ripe terrain of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlán, he and his men witnessed a macabre, inhuman ritual. Native priests slicing open the chests of victims with obsidian blades-sharper than modern surgical steel, offering their beating heart to pagan gods, then throwing the lifeless bodies of victims down the steps of the Templo Mayor, the main temple of Tenochtitlán. Based on the Aztecs’ own account, these practices costed over 250,000 lives each year.
But the question is why did they do this? What made them perform such barbaric acts of violence against innocent human beings? The answer is fear. Fear of their gods. It is comparable to women having to face the monstrosity of abortion. Human sacrifice kept the Aztecs in such physical and spiritual terror. Very much like today, destruction, and immorality were embedded in their culture and way of life. Still, Spaniard Missionaries prohibited practices such as human sacrifice, tore down temples, and attempted to convert the Aztec people. While conversion worked for some, it was far from enough. Human sacrifice continued throughout the region. The fear of their idols kept the majority of Aztecs from turning to the one true God.
It was not until 1531, ten years later, when the real change began. Juan Diego was a fifty-five-year-old Native Catholic convert. It was his daily route to walk nine miles to his church and catechism lessons in Tlatelolco. So on Saturday, December 9th, 1531, at daybreak, he was off. As he passed a hill known as Tepeyac, what appeared to be a beautiful native woman, lit up by the golden beams of the sun, called him by name in his native language from the hill. She told him she was the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe (she who crushes the serpent’s head), and requested a church be built in her honor, in order for the entire region to turn to her Son, Jesus Christ, the One True God. When Juan Diego told the Bishop of such things he was skeptical and asked him to bring back evidence of Our Lady’s appearance. On December 12th, 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe filled Juan Diego’s tilma (cloak) with roses to present to the Bishop. As Juan Diego finally stepped into the place of the Bishop, he dropped his cloak and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe miraculously appeared.
And with that, the church was indeed built.
Through the image of Our Lady, over nine million people converted to the Catholic Faith in the following years.
The entirety of the continent. No longer did the native people live in constant fear against the “bloodthirsty gods who demanded the death of their children.”(hli.org) The violent act of human sacrifice ended. Though, not once and for all. It has been over half a millennia since the miraculous image of Our Virgin Mary, still, human sacrifice has not yet ended in our land, to our people. Each and every day a life is taken by the act of abortion on the altar of fear, through the culture of selfishness and destruction.
As the years have gone by, the image of Our Lady has traveled far and wide across countries, including the United States. And with that, it has become a symbol of the pro-life movement. It continues to change minds and hearts and even persuade people from the act of abortion. Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, has witnessed this first hand:
“In one instance in Florida, a Catholic girl who was already in the clinic’s waiting room looked outside and saw us praying, and decided to cancel her abortion. She came out to talk to us. We arranged for all the assistance she needed, and later that year I had the joy of baptizing her baby, whom she named ‘Guadalupe.’ The image speaks to these girls a message of hope. It also speaks to the pro-life people a message about the task before us. We who fight abortion do not see abortion walking down the street. Instead, we see a girl, frightened and in the grip of despair. We, the Church, are to reach out to her in what is the most critical pastoral mission of our day.” (PriestsforLife.org)
Still, it seems that the sanctity of human life is gone. It seems that all odds are against us to stop this. Quite frankly, the odds of us abolishing abortion seem downright impossible. As I look around at the events in our country, it gets more and more evident that the lawmakers and people who bring change to this country want the utmost pro-abortion laws you can possibly obtain. But who really are the ones who bring change to this country? Through the power, mercy, and strength of God, our nation has the potential to bring change beyond our belief. It is a matter of if we know it or not. It’s a matter of, no matter how dim things get, no matter how hopeless things seem, we will keep on fighting. Fighting for the most important right, life.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is pregnant in her apparitions and image. It is important to remember the struggle that our Virgin Mary went through while carrying the Christ in her womb. Still, she trusted in God. She was young and her pregnancy was humanly unplanned. Our salvation began with an unplanned pregnancy! She and her son, Our God, Jesus Christ can relate and provide us refuge in our struggle to end abortion. Jesus sacrificed his life for all of humanity, while our culture selfishly continues to destroy and pervert life. This story of how God, through his mother, again, saved lives that could have been lost through human sacrifice, holds as a reminder for me of what can be done. Change seemed as impossible in 1531 as it does today. Despite the odds, Aztec human sacrifice ended. Despite the odds, Juan Diego’s faith, though it could’ve been as small as a mustard seed–saved him. Matthew 19:26, “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ ”
With this article, I encourage not only those at GreatLife, not only Christians, but we as American pro-lifers to never give up the fight for life. As we face this goliath, may we ask for Our Lady’s protection, direction, and intercession. That she will continue to crush the serpent’s head (abortion) and tread on evil, in order to save the lives of the innocent. “Under her motherly care, I place … the innocent lives of children, especially those who are in danger of not being born,” St. Pope John Paul II- 1999. At this point, it is extremely conspicuous that the act and glorification of abortion absolutely disgusts me. I too am tired of the demoralization, glorification, and killing of innocent human life. But Our Lady of Guadalupe’s famous words remind me, “Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear any sickness or anguish. Am I not here, am I not your mother? Are you not under my protection?” Let us never forget them! May they continue to be in our hearts. As we fight to criminalize abortion. And even when abortion is abolished. Now and at the hour of our death.
Cool Facts You Should Read About!
The day Mexico Legalized Abortion:
Sonogram of Our Lady of Guadalupe:
Prayer to End Abortion:
“Oh Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of Life, We honor you as Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn and pro-life movement. Thank you for pointing us to Jesus your Son, The only Savior and hope of the world.Renew our hope in him, That we all may have the courage to say Yes to life, And to defend those children in danger of abortion. Give us your compassion To reach out to those tempted to abort, And to those suffering from a past abortion. Lead us to the day when abortion. Will be a sad, past chapter in our history. Keep us close to Jesus, the Life of the World, Who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.”