Editor’s note: The following article contains Brian Kravec’s personal encounter with a family residing in the Diocese of Fresno. Brian’s devotion to Our Lady shines through in his continual service to so many in our Church. However, I feel it important to direct our readers to the official public statement of Bishop Armando X. Ochoa of the Diocese of Fresno (here) and Bishop Ochoa’s letter to the family (here) to present the Diocese’s official response. Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us! Lisa M. Hendey, Founder, CatholicMom.com
Maria received the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe as a Mother’s day gift ten years ago. Eight and a half years later, Maria’s cousin was tragically and senselessly murdered. It was then, it seems, that our Mother’s sorrow became too much to interiorly contain.
In May of 2016, KFSN TV – Fresno and Catholic News Agency, among other national news media outlets, reported that the statue in the private Fresno, California residence was weeping miraculous, rose- scented, oil-like tears. I recently made the evening pilgrimage, a one-hour drive, to the home that is only found by word of mouth. News reports of the alleged miracle, as in similar occurrences, attract curiosity seekers as well as devoted Christians.
It’s understood and joyfully embraced by this writer, as Bishop Ochoa’s letter so beautifully states, that “…the greatest miracles we will ever receive from our God [are] the birth of our Lord Jesus, His Resurrection and Ascension and His True Presence in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
My deep love of Jesus, particularly His True Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, has been nurtured and is constantly perfected by means of a true devotion to Mary, through whom God sent His only begotten Son that we would believe and have eternal life. Through this devotion and with this faith, I venerated the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe with praise to God as I prayed the Holy Rosary for you and your intentions with other faithful pilgrims from as far as Sacramento and Reno, Nevada.
On December 9, 1531, our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, an Aztec Indian who had recently converted to the Catholic faith. On December 12th, as a tangible sign of our Mother’s apparition, in order that the Bishop of Mexico City would fulfill her request to build a church, the Mother of God helped Juan arrange the most beautiful Castilian roses in his tilma. When Juan presented the roses to Bishop Zumárraga, our Lady’s image miraculously formed on the tilma before his eyes.
More importantly, Mary’s appearance ended the Aztec worship of stone gods and the offering of human sacrifice to those gods of as many as 50,000 people every year. The conversion of several million Indians to the Catholic faith remains the largest and most historical conversion event of the Church. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas and the Patroness of the Unborn. Pope John Paul II canonized Juan Diego July 31, 2002. Today, the tilma is enshrined, without deterioration, at the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe.
Why Would She Weep?
She may weep because “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced…We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.” – Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, 1976 Eucharistic Congress
She may weep because “…people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4
She may weep because there are so many who “…call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness to light, and light into darkness, who change bitter to sweet, and sweet to bitter.” – Isaiah 5:20
As our Mother, she weeps for the unborn. She weeps for the persecuted and the martyred. She weeps for those who are forced to flee from their homes because of war and violence. She weeps for families divided and torn apart by the darkness of addiction, infidelity and the unwillingness to forgive or ask for forgiveness. She weeps for so many who have not yet come to know the love of God. She weeps for the obstinate and for those who have renounced their faith. She weeps for the lukewarm. She weeps for hearts that have grown stone cold and indifferent to Jesus.
What Must We Do to Console Her Sorrowful Heart?
“Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
In the ecclesiastically approved messages of Our Lady of Akita to Sister Agnes Sasagawa of Akita, Japan, the angel told Sister Agnes: “Do not be so surprised to see the Blessed Virgin weeping. She weeps because she wishes the conversion of the greatest number. She desires that souls be consecrated to Jesus and to the Father by her intercession.” – Catherine M. Odell, Those Who Saw Her: Apparitions of Mary (Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 2010), 205
On May 22, 2016, Bishop Hector Sabatino Cardelli approved the messages of our Lady to Gladys Herminia Quiroga of Argentina. Our Lady said, “…The weapon that has the greatest influence on evil is to say the Rosary…”
Pray. Pray with your family. Pray from the heart. Pray for the young and for those who do not believe. Pray for the knots in the ribbon of your life to be undone. Adore our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Repent and reconcile with Jesus. Return home and run into the merciful embrace of our Father.
- Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe
- 33 Days To Morning Glory
- Song to Our Lady of Guadalupe by Annie Karto
Copyright 2016 Brian K. Kravec