Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Patroness of Latin America
(1531)

One of the most beautiful series of apparitions of the Queen of Heaven occurred on the American continent on a December day of 1531, only ten years after the Spanish conquest. A fervent Christian Indian in his fifties, Juan Diego, a widower, was on his way to Mass in Mexico City from his home eight miles distant, a practice he and his wife had followed since their conversion, in honor of Our Lady on Her day, Saturday. He had to pass near the hill of Tepeyac, and was struck there by the joyous song of birds, rising up in the most melodious of concerts; he stopped to listen. Looking up to the hilltop, he perceived a brilliant cloud, surrounded by a light brighter than a fiery sun, and a gentle voice called him by name, saying, Juan, come. His first fear was transformed into a sweet happiness by this voice, and he mounted the slope. There he beheld the One he had intended to honor by hearing Her Mass. She was surrounded by a radiance so brilliant it sent out rays that seemed to transform the very rocks into scintillating jewels.
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Saint Damasus

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Saint Damasus

Pope
(† 384)

Saint Damasus was born in Rome at the beginning of the fourth century. His father, a widower, had received Holy Orders there and served as parish priest in the church of St. Laurence. Damasus was archdeacon of the Roman Church in 355, when the Pope, Saint Liberius, was banished to Berda; he followed him into exile, but afterwards returned to Rome. On the death of Saint Liberius in 366, our Saint was chosen to succeed him, at the age of sixty-two. A certain Ursinus, jealous of his election and desiring for himself that high office, had himself proclaimed pope by his followers, inciting a revolt against Damasus in Rome, in which 137 persons died. The holy Pope did not choose to resort to armed defense, but the Emperor Valentinian, to defend him, drove the usurper from Rome for a time. Later he returned, and finding accomplices for his evil intentions, accused the holy Pontiff of adultery. Saint Damasus took only such action as was becoming to the common father of the faithful; he assembled a synod of forty-four bishops, in which he justified himself so well that the calumniators were excommunicated and banished.
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St. Melchiades

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St. Melchiades, Pope

A.D. 314.

MELCHIADES, or MILTIADES, succeeded Eusebius in the see of Rome, being chosen on the 2d of July, 311, in the reign of Maxentius. Constantine vanquished that tyrant on the 28th of October in 312, and soon after issued edicts, by which he allowed Christians the free exercise of their religion, and the liberty of building churches. To pacify the minds of the pagans, who were uneasy at this innovation, when he arrived at Milan in the beginning of the year 313, he, by a second edict, ensured to all religions except heresies, liberty of conscience.  Continue reading