Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz celebrated a special Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville Dec. 12. Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is the patroness of all of the Americas. Her feast day is Dec. 12.
The Mass, which was not public, was live-streamed on the Cathedral’s YouTube channel. Representatives of nine parishes, invited by their pastors, attended the Mass.
Prior to the liturgy, Archbishop Kurtz blessed a life-size image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The image was a gift from Father Martin Linebach, rector of the Cathedral and vicar general of the archdiocese, to the people of the archdiocese.
“It is a gift to the Cathedral, to the archdiocese and to the Hispanic community,” he told The Record in a recent story about the gift.
He noted that just as Mary is Christ’s mother and “a mother to all of us,” the Cathedral is often referred to as the Mother Church.
“It is important that her image, her presence, be in the Cathedral,” he said.
During his homily, Archbishop Kurtz said we recognize Our Lady of Guadalupe from her place in Sacred Scripture.
“Our Blessed Mother received a visitation, a visitation from the angel Gabriel who told her that she had a special vocation to the mother of God, to bear Jesus in her womb and her heart,” he said.
The angel Gabriel said to her, “Do not be afraid.”
“Do not fear for God is with you in the troubles, in the challenges even in the joys that life will bring. God will always be your anchor and so your faith will always save you,” the archbishop said.
Mary was a woman of faith, the archbishop said. She was “on a mission, on an errand.”
“She had a mandate, the errand to visit in mercy her cousin Elizabeth, who was also pregnant, who was with child with St. John the Baptist. She also had a mission of mercy to go to the little town of Bethlehem, to give birth to our savior Jesus,” he said.
And, just as Mary was on an “errand of mercy,” so too was St. Juan Diego.
“And to whom did Our Lady of Guadalupe appear? She appeared to Juan Diego, not to the bishop, not to a person of great wealth or power. She appeared to a humble simple man of faith who was also on an errand of mercy.
“People of faith who are an ‘errand of mercy’ will always, in a special way, experience the tender loving mercy of Our Lady of Guadalupe because they have prepared their hearts. They have opened their hearts to that gift,” the archbishop said.