A golden rose sent from Pope Francis to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City on Nov. 18, 2013. Credit: Michelle Bauman/CNA.
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Pope Francis sends golden rose to Our Lady of Guadalupe
“Our hearts more than our heads know the debt of love we owe you,” the cardinal said to the Blessed Mother. “This is why we beg you to receive from us a special gesture of grateful love.”
He prayed that the rose remind the Virgin Mary of “the gold, frankincense, and myrrh offered by the magi who once hastened to the manger to adore the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
The latino Mary of Guadalupe
Cardinal Ouellet presented the golden rose Nov. 18 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica in Mexico City as part of the “Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the New Evangelization” conference, led by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the Guadalupe basilica and the Institute of Higher Guadalupan Studies.
The cardinal led the congregation in a reflection and heartfelt prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe before the presentation of the golden rose to the Virgin Mary, whose 500-year-old image is imprinted on the tilma of St. Juan Diego.
“May our unity and ardor in evangelization be eloquent signs of our living faith, in this Year of Faith when the whole Church rejoices to celebrate Jesus’ victory over sin and death, the victory of love over hatred and ingratitude,” he said.
The African Mary
“May our faith be creative and conquering!” the cardinal exhorted, stressing the need for a renewal in faith.
“Let us ask God together, you our Mother and we with you as a single family, to increase, purify and strengthen our faith, to make it more courageous and radiant, so that the world may believe in the name of Jesus, the Son of the living God, our sole and unique Savior,” he said.
He praised Mary’s famous response to the greeting of her cousin Elizabeth, the Magnificat, saying her prayer “does not cease to glorify God from age to age for his goodness and his mercy.”
“Compassionate and fruitful Mother, we owe to your loving presence in each community the fidelity of this continent to its Christian vocation. Your maternal love knows no boundaries, but you have watched over the Americas in a particular way.”
The Chinese Mary
Cardinal Ouellet asked the Virgin Mary to help Catholics convert their hearts and spread the Gospel.
“We beg you to visit us again to illumine the path of evangelization in our age, which is so forgetful of God, for you are the living memory of his graces, the pole-star in the heaven of his wonders,” he said.
“Every one of your visits to our heart is an invitation to conversion, an incitement to live a more ardent charity toward all, but especially toward those who are suffering the most, those whom your son has privileged and whom he asks us to love without calculation or conditions.”
The White Mary
Cardinal Ouellet also voiced thanks that Pope Francis, the first Pope from the Americas, is “so zealously reviving evangelization among the poor.”
“Let us pray that he be loved and heard!” he said, asking that those who listened to the Pope’s July message at World Youth Day in Brazil remember the pontiff’s words and “commit themselves resolutely with Francis in the revolution of love.”
The Indian Mary
He further prayed that Our Lady of Guadalupe help the bishops of the Americas to listen to her message “with the same emotion” as “all the evangelizing saints who walked the same paths before us.”
“Blessed be God for your presence among us in this great holy house built by your care, Mother of the Church in the Americas,” the cardinal’s prayer concluded. “My soul magnifies the Lord!”