My Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe

The first time I visited Mexico City was in 2000.  I was a missionary in my early twenties and there was always something from Mexico that always attracted me.  I did not know what it was, I just knew in my heart that there it was something special. There were neither the enchiladas nor the sopes (Mexican food that I really like) but the miracle of Guadalupe that brought me closer to the Lord. Definitely, in Mexico, I fell in love.  When I departed from Mexico in 2001, I cried not only because in a single year I made many friends, but because I have found a new devotion.  This longing to follow the Lord in the priesthood started on my first trip to Mexico.  I already had the calling, but being in the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe was a boost in my vocation. After that 200-2001 visit, I always wanted to come back.

I had a hard head, in the sense that I wanted that follow the Lord my way.  I was not completely happy by receiving orders.  I had problems with authority figures.  At the time, I was discerning even to profess religious vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience.  The most difficult thing for me was to be obedient to the voice of the Lord.  I had to learn the hard way. I was asked to leave a missionary community because I did not fit there. This was the year 2002.

I learned through Mary that being obedient is an act of faith, and my faith was in shambles.  I did not have a purpose yet.  I wanted to follow the Lord my way; that was it. When I discover the purpose of my life, my life started to change.  After several years, I had to come to terms with my parents first, to forgive them in to ask for forgiveness.  In 2008, I said yes to the calling again but this time I knew that I had to be obedient.  Being disobedient caused me a lot of problems.  I was ready for a new opportunity.

It was not easy, I still had the flashbacks from my first experience.  The sense of inadequacy was something that made me doubtful but I was sure of my calling.  I faced my own reality:  How to reconcile my feelings with my calling?  I needed help and that help was coming my way.  Even though I had a past of broken relationships, I found amazing people who helped me along the way.  A few, but great friends who help me to trust again.  Finally, I learned the meaning of unconditional love.  Now, I was ready to face harsh situations with more faith than ever.

In 2012, I had the opportunity to go back to Mexico.  It was a journey of faith.  The seminary where I went is named after the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe I had one more reason to believe.  I was less than an hour apart from the seminary to the Basilica.  I got to visit the basilica very often, like every other week.  I liked to go to confession there.  I started ministering a church nearby that helped me build a strong relationship with Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It is one of my particular devotions.  I became a true guadalupano.

In 2014, I finished my studies in Mexico and I came back to the U.S. that year.  I always ponder into the words of Mary who accepted the calling by saying “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Lk 1,38. In Latin: “dixit autem Maria ecce ancilla Domini **fiat **mihi secundum verbum tuum et discessit ab illa angelus”.

Last year I became a priest and thanks to the Lord and the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I was able to overcome many challenges and obstacles in my journey. The Lord is victorious in the example of our Mother.  The Lord rejoices in our obedience. I just want to continue pondering in the words of Mary and her fiat (Mary’s submission to the will of God).  Ask me how many Rosaries I have prayed for her intercession.  I lost count.  Even a lost wallet appeared after praying to her. I am into Rosary making too.  Ask me how to make a Rosary, if I have time I will show you how… I have lots of material.

Que viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

One thought on “My Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe

  1. Fr. Juan,

    So sorry for taking so long to reply to your email.

    Thank you, for sharing the challenges you have experienced during your discovery journey to the Lord’s will for you and your “fiat”. I would like at some future date an opportunity to share with you some of my journey. However, I feel comfortable in saying that I speak for the many thankful individuals whose lives have been touched in a good way by meeting you, I am very thankful.

    Tu Amigo, Dan Calderon

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


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