St. John Paul II invoked Our Lady of Guadalupe’s intercession, asking her to end all violence and division.
When St. John Paul II visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1999, he spoke very strongly against all kinds of injustices and violence.
Dear brothers and sisters, the time has come to banish once and for all from the continent every attack against life. No more violence, terrorism and drug-trafficking! No more torture or other forms of abuse! There must be an end to the unnecessary recourse to the death penalty! No more exploitation of the weak, racial discrimination or ghettoes of poverty! Never again! These are intolerable evils which cry out to heaven and call Christians to a different way of living, to a social commitment more in keeping with their faith.
Not only did he speak against such evils, he also urged the American people to live-up to their vocation of holiness.
We must rouse the consciences of men and women with the Gospel, in order to highlight their sublime vocation as children of God. This will inspire them to build a better America. As a matter of urgency, we must stir up a new springtime of holiness on the continent so that action and contemplation will go hand in hand.
He saw the only way to end such grievances was through prayer and action, united together.
St. John Paul II concluded his remarks with a brief prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe, a prayer that still applies today.
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of Peace! Save the nations and peoples of this continent. Teach everyone, political leaders and citizens, to live in true freedom and to act according to the requirements of justice and respect for human rights, so that peace may thus be established once and for all.To you, O Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, belong all the love, honor, glory and endless praise of your American sons and daughters!
Hidden symbols found in Our Lady of Guadalupe’s images
Face and Hair
Instead of the typical “white” Madonna, Our Lady of Guadalupe appears with the complexion of the indigenous people. More specifically she is a mestiza, a combination of Mexican and Spanish, indicating that she is for all people. Her eyes are cast downwards, indicating to them that she was not a god and symbolizing humility. The gaze is also one of compassion and motherly tenderness. Her hair is loose, indicating that she was a virgin maiden.
Mantle and Tunic