Elizabeth shares her experience of seeing Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Basilica in Mexico City for the first time.
“My first glimpse of Our Lady of Guadalupe caught me by surprise and took my breath away. I suppose that’s just a fraction of the emotion that Juan Diego must have felt when our Lady first appeared to him so unexpectedly in person. I’ve seen pictures of the tilma and heard the stories, and yet, as I discovered, I still wasn’t prepared for the emotion of seeing her in person. We were strolling as a group towards the basilica, chatting, listening, taking in all the sights, when I glanced up, still a few yards from the open doors, and there she was, as if coming out to meet us. Suddenly I found myself fighting back tears, and I hardly knew why. Several of us knelt and prayed in the back of the church for a while, pouring out our hearts to Jesus and His mother. Everyone brings their own burdens, their own crosses, their own stories. I too brought mine. But there, in the middle of the chaotic crush of pilgrims, there was such a prevailing sense of peace, and a sense that Jesus was giving me His mother, a mother who knew me and understood my deepest heart. The tears came unbidden then and would not stop until mass was over. Sometimes we all just need a mother.”
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