Local4/10/2009

Replica of Our Lady of Guadalupe image to visit archdiocese

byPilot Staff

Pilot photo/Courtesy Vocations Office

As the late Pope John Paul II looked upon an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in January 1999, he said, I ask her to visit as a pilgrim of faith each and every diocese, parish and family in America. This month, a blessed replica of that image is visiting Boston to do exactly what the Holy Father requested, starting April 9.

Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico as the pregnant Mother of God to St. Juan Diego, an Indian, in 1531. After she told Juan Diego of her desire to have a church built in her honor and the local bishop asked for proof of the request, she left a miraculous image of her appearance on Juan Diegos fiber cloak. That image still exists today, and can be seen at the Basilica near Mexico City. The Miracle of Guadalupe was officially recognized by the Vatican in 1745.

It has been scientifically established that the Miraculous Image is not a painting, as no pigment or signs of brushstrokes exist in the cloak. Similar fabric should have rotted after 20 years, but this garment has not decayed after almost 480 years. In addition, in 1921, the cloak survived unscathed when a bomb detonated a few feet away, even as the explosion demolished the marble steps of the main altar, bent a brass crucifix, and blew out the windows of nearby homes.

Although the original miraculous image remains protected at Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica in Mexico, an exact 4 x 6 digital replica has begun a month-long tour of the Boston Archdiocese. The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is blessed by the Rector of the Basilica and has journeyed throughout the U.S. for the mission of promoting the sanctity of the family, solidarity of the Church, a culture of life, and a civilization of love. In addition to praying for life and the New Evangelization, faithful who participate in Boston-area events with the Missionary Image are also asked to pray for vocations to the priesthood.

During nearly a month in the greater Boston area, the image is scheduled to visit more than 15 parishes, the Boston Catholic Mens and Womens Conferences on April 18-19, as well as a number of abortion clinics, colleges and high schools, homeless shelters, and nursing homes.

The following public events are scheduled for the first week:

Good Friday -- 9 a.m. Stations of the Cross at Planned Parenthood in Boston, followed by prayer service at Womens Health Services (abortion clinic) on Rt. 9.

Monday, April 13: Sacred Heart, Quincy (11am-1:30pm) and St. John the Baptist, Quincy (7pm-8pm)

Tuesday, April 14: St. Francis Chapel Boston (all day), MIT Chapel (6pm-9pm)

Wednesday, April 15: Mission Church, Boston (all day and evening masses/prayer services)

Thursday, April 16: St. Bridget, Maynard (6:30pm-9pm)

Friday, April 17: A Womans Concern Greenline Center (12pm -2pm) and St. Columbkille, Brighton (all day and night with overnight adoration)

Additional details of public times for veneration will be published in The Pilot Calendar section. The visitation is co-sponsored by the St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine Marian Group and the Archdiocesan Office of Vocations. For additional information, please contact Wendy Moore at wmoore11@gmail.com