Am I Not Your Mother?

 Archbishop Luis María Martínez Am I Not Your Mother ? Reflections on Our Lady of Guadalupe Translated by Father Allen Moran, o.p. Edited by Father Sebastian White, o.p. With a foreword by Monsignor Eduardo Chavez, Ph.D. MAGNIFICAT Paris • New York • Oxford • Madrid

The present work is a translation of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, published in 1943. La Cruz. All rights reserved. The work has been edited in order to reduce repetition and to make the work more readable to a contemporary Englishspeaking audience. Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Publisher: Romain Lizé Editor-in-Chief: Rev. Sebastian White, o.p. Managing Editor: David Wharton Iconography: Isabelle Mascaras Layout: Julia Pateu Cover: Gauthier Delauné Production: Florence Bellot Copyediting and proofreading: Br. Nicholas Hartman, o.p., and Samuel Wigutow Front cover: Virgin of Guadalupe (detail, c. 1700), Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN, USA. photo: courtesy of Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Copyright © 2022 by Magnificat Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in France by Sepec First edition: February 2022 Job number: MGN22012 ISBN: 978-1-63967-005-5 No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address Magnificat, PO Box 834, Yonkers, NY 10702.

Contents Foreword 7 Introduction 15 The Song of Tepeyac 23 The Great Promise 43 Words from Heaven 49 Water, Blood, and Fire 57 Ephesus and Tepeyac 71 Mary Is Our Mother 91 Tepeyac in an Era of Religious Persecution 115 The Poem of Tepeyac: A Novena 121 Day One 126 Day Two 136 Day Three 147 Day Four 160 Day Five 172 Day Six 184 Day Seven 196 Day Eight 209 Day Nine 219

Foreword Foreword


9 Archbishop Luis María Martínez: A Man Full of God What is known as the Cristero War (1926–29) was a bloody persecution in Mexico against the Catholic Church. The people rose up to defend their Catholic faith—a people in the strictest sense of the word. That is to say: the struggle involved not only men, but also women, young people, the elderly, and even children. Their leader was none other than Christ the King himself. Together with the faith, it was the people themselves who were persecuted, a people who felt wounded in the most intimate part of their being. Although Church leaders and the federal government had appeared to reach a peace agreement in 1929, it was short-lived; the terrible persecution gradually resurfaced in the 1930s. “La Segunda,” from 1934 to 1938, was a second attempt by the Catholic faithful to resist a new wave of government impositions combined with a religious persecution. The government eventually came to realize that its path of draconian anticlericalism was backfiring, and decided to opt for a more pragmatic approach in its relations with the Church—but always without losing control of the situation, and seeking to maintain a subjugated Church.

10 Am I Not Your Mother? By the mid-1930s, Mexico was already quite worn out by the persecutions. An attempt was made to bring about a climate of peace. It would not be easy, since in some states in the Republic the situation continued to be violent. On the other hand, some members of the government no longer supported the aggressive methods in use since the mid-1920s. Reparation and a new direction for the state’s policy were urgently needed. On February 10, 1937, a notice of general amnesty was published in the most widely distributed newspapers in the country, which President Lázaro Cárdenas granted using the extraordinary power conferred to him by the Congress of the Union, to help achieve peace in the nation. Under this amnesty, the political crimes of the past were to be forgotten, and, in this way, all Mexicans would be reincorporated into the common project of the nation. In the United States of America, many Catholics, among them the Knights of Columbus, tried to help their brothers in the Catholic Church in Mexico and protected the lives of many priests, nuns, and religious, as well as bishops, giving them asylum. From San Antonio, Texas, where he had gone into exile, the apostolic delegate, Leopoldo Ruiz y Flóres, clearly saw that concrete steps were being taken to achieve peace in Mexico. He declared that he

11 Foreword would gladly return to the country, but first he wanted to understand clearly what the terms of this amnesty law would be in order to determine more clearly his position. In this difficult and complex situation, on February 20, 1937, a man full of God was appointed as Archbishop of Mexico, Monsignor Luis María Martínez y Rodríguez. When he took possession of the archdiocese on Wednesday, April 14, thousands of enthusiastic people arrived at the cathedral to witness his installation. The crowd was so large that even part of the floor of the right nave of the cathedral collapsed, causing some to suffer minor injuries. Apart from this mishap, everything looked resplendent. In the cathedral, there were numerous Catholic congregations, each one with their banners. There were also the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Action groups, and the Catholic Youth. Several bishops from Mexico and other countries, such as the United States, were able to attend. Archbishop Martínez limited himself to these words: “I only come to promise you one thing: that I will give you my life.” The personality of the new archbishop of Mexico, who was from the same region as the nation’s president, Cárdenas, helped reduce tensions and create an environment of greater tolerance. Relations between the state and the

12 Am I Not Your Mother? Church improved somewhat. At least there was no longer a violent persecution, even if there were some members of the government who did not give up in their efforts to continue persecuting the Church. A very significant moment was when Archbishop Martínez gave to the North American bishops a relic of the tilma on which the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe miraculously appeared, in gratitude for the important help they offered to Mexican Catholics during the awful period of religious persecution. <> In 1939, in one of his first addresses, Pope Pius XII condemned moral, legal, and social modernism, which led to a disastrous relativism that disregarded the laws of truth. The Holy Father exhorted those who were being formed as, or who already were, ministers of God, saying: “As preachers of the Gospel, you must courageously counteract this modernism by opposing it to the complete and absolute truth that comes from God. This is the basis of the fundamental rights and obligations of man, of the family and of states, which safeguard the dignity and welfare of civil society.” He also noted the importance of studying moral theology and canon law. Likewise, he attached special importance to

13 Foreword the study of Church history, and not only as an instrument for apologetics, but so that the very identity of the Church, her achievements, and her sufferings might be known. “To strengthen your courage and your perseverance,” the pope said, “draw daily, if possible, from the rich wellspring of Scripture, from the New Testament especially, the true spirit of Christ and his apostles so that it may radiate its light in your minds, in your words, and in your actions.” Furthermore, the Holy Father encouraged us to maintain always a true love for the Eucharist. This was precisely what Archbishop Martínez did in a remarkable way—especially in his homilies. They were filled with a great depth with that Spirit that only God can give, and with a transcendent vision for transmitting the truth of God. Additionally, Archbishop Martínez was famous for his kindness, prudence, intelligence, cordiality, and great sense of humor—which greatly helped the word of God to enter the heart of so many people. Martínez was not only instrumental in achieving a stability for the Catholic Church in civil society, but also greatly strengthened the souls of Catholics in Mexico, so that they might never lose faith in the love of God. There is no doubt that in his homilies he poured all his experience of this real world where the Word of the Lord can and should be sown. He

14 Am I Not Your Mother? invited everyone not to lose sight of those eternal goods whose value surpasses that of one’s life. In all this, he was a living witness bearing much fruit for that love of God. The Servant of God Luis María Martínez entered the house of the Father on February 9, 1956, and his legacy continues among us thanks to publications such as the present one. Monsignor Eduardo Chavez, Ph.D. Monsignor Chavez was the postulator for the cause of the canonization of Saint Juan Diego. He is a canon of the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City and an expert on the apparitions at Guadalupe.

15 Introduction Introduction

17 Introduction These collected homilies, reflections, and talks by Archbishop Luis María Martínez on Our Lady of Guadalupe are treasures too long hidden from the English-speaking world. While the beauty and insight of the late archbishop’s words speak for themselves, some historical and cultural significance might be lost on contemporary readers. I hope these few paragraphs will help to bridge that gap. Archbishop Luis María Martínez was born in 1881 in the Mexican state of Michoacán, due west of Mexico City. His father died when he was quite young, and his uncle, a priest, had a great influence on him as a child. He was ordained in 1904, and by the time the Mexican Revolution (1910–20) broke out, he was involved in the formation of priests in the local seminary. The brutal war claimed the lives of up to ten percent of the population of Mexico and caused hundreds of thousands to flee into exile. For the Catholic Church, however, the end of the Revolution did not bring peace. The victorious forces at the end of the long and complicated war, known as the Constitutionalists, had incorporated a number of anticlerical provisions into the 1917 Constitution,1 and in 1926 these provisions 1 Article 5 of the 1917 Constitution restricted religious education; Article 5 outlawed monastic orders; Article 24 banned worship outside the walls of church buildings;

18 Am I Not Your Mother? were activated by a series of penal laws called the “Calles Laws” after President Plutarco Elías Calles (1924–28), who signed them and rigorously enforced them. Among these federal laws were prohibitions on priests criticizing the government, bans on clerical attire in public, and restrictions on property ownership and education. Some local laws went even further, as in the State of Tabasco, which limited the number of priests for the entire state to one. To protest these bigoted laws, the bishops of Mexico suspended public worship in Mexico on August 1, 1926. This ban stayed in place until 1929, and during this time the Cristero War raged. During this time, Martínez was serving as an auxiliary bishop of Morelia, where he had been appointed in 1923. The earliest of Archbishop Martínez’s contributions to this collection (“Tepeyac in an Era of Religious Persecution”) was delivered at the conclusion of this painful Article 27 turned over Church property to the state; Article 37 jeopardized one’s citizenship if he disobeyed the Constitution at the behest of a member of the clergy; and Article 130 banned foreign-born priests, gave local governments the authority to limit the number of the clergy, took away the clergy’s right to vote, prohibited the clergy from speaking critically of the government, limited the clergy’s ability to inherit property, banned the public wearing of clerical garb, and rescinded the right to a trial by jury for anyone accused of infractions of these laws.

19 Introduction period for the Church and the Mexican people in 1929. One can sense here the pain and suffering that so many of the faithful in Mexico had just endured. The year 1931 marked the 400th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Juan Diego on Mount Tepeyac. It also marked the 1,500th anniversary of the decrees of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus. The council was convoked to rule on the controversial teachings ofNestorius, thepatriarchofConstantinople (428–31), who taught that it was heresy to call Mary the Mother of God (Theotokos) since being born was not proper to the divine nature. Instead, he argued, she should only be called the Mother of Christ (Christotokos). At stake in this controversy was the identity of Jesus. In what way was he human and divine? The Council of Ephesus solemnly taught that Christ was one person with two natures: human and divine. He was fully human, and he was fully divine. Since Mary gave birth to the one person, she gave birth to himwho is fully divine. She is rightly called the Mother of God. Archbishop Martínez’s essay on this anniversary is arguably the most theological entry in this collection and adroitly connects the implications of the dogma defined at Ephesus with the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe 1,100 years later.

20 Am I Not Your Mother? The majority of the texts gathered here come from the period after Martínez was named Archbishop of Mexico City in 1937. Although Calles’ presidency ended in 1928, he continued to be the puppet-master behind the scenes. Hostilities to the Church reemerged in the 1930s, and Calles assumed that his successor in 1934, Lázaro Cárdenas, would also be easy to control. About this he was mistaken, and Cárdenas exiled Calles from Mexico in 1935. In 1937 he took steps to heal the deep rift between Church and state through an amnesty law, and in 1938 he suspended the anticlerical legislation throughout the country. The pain the Church in Mexico suffered over these years can be seen in the fact that the number of priests serving in Mexico had declined from over four thousand before the Cristero War to 305 in 1935 (well over a ninety-percent decline). A number of the states in Mexico did not even have one priest remaining by this date. The works from this period repeatedly emphasize the special grace given to the Mexican people. The anticlerical forces of the Revolution and their predecessors in the 19th century had tried to sever the ties between the Church and the Mexican people in a bid to “modernize” and “liberate” the multitudes. Martínez’s preaching underscores the great privilege given to the Mexican people. The

21 Introduction Mexican people are the descendants of Tepeyac. To no other nation has God given such a gift as the artifact of the tilma of Saint Juan Diego that carries our Lady’s image and a message so convincing that it led to the conversion of the multitudes en masse in just a few years. The speeches of this period reflect the spirit of reconciliation ushered in by the actions of President Cárdenas following the ouster of Calles and the beautification project of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1938. After nearly three decades of war and over a decade of persecution of the Church and the loss of many of her clergy, the faith of the Mexican people showed its strength in the campaign to pay for these renovations, at a time when Mexico was suffering deep economic hardship. May the inspiring words of the archbishop find a welcome home in your heart, that you too may know Our Lady of Guadalupe as that tender mother who is here for you. Father Allen Moran, o.p. Father Allen Moran, o.p., is a Dominican priest of the Province of Saint Joseph.

23 The Song of Tepeyac* The Song of Tepeyac* You are the honor of our people. (Jdt 15:9)

* Sermon preached in the Basilica of Tepeyac on the morning of December 12, 1931, on the great solemnity with which Mexico and Latin America celebrated the fourhundredth anniversary of the apparition.

25 The Song of Tepeyac It is not only the magic of an immortal memory that has gathered the venerable prelates and this numerous crowd of priests and faithful into this splendid basilica around this glorious image. It is not only the past that mysteriously emerges after four centuries, imbued with the fragrance of the miraculous roses and ornamented by the glow of national traditions, that makes the faith and love of the Mexican nation rejoice on this fortunate day. For there is also a living and happy reality that bathes souls with radiant light, that warms hearts with its inextinguishable fire—something that does not die, that is not subject to the fluctuations of time, that overcomes the centuries with a flash of eternity. It is what makes us feel on this most solemn day the happiness of being Mexicans. It is what reveals the unity of our fatherland and our race and what makes us taste the delight of living under the maternal protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Just as the glory of God passed over the summit of Sinai, so the Virgin Mary passed by this immortal hill. It was a flash of light that shone for an instant in the firmament of our country. It was a song of love whose cadence faded into the night of time. It was an aroma of heaven that permeated the splendid and fleeting dawn of our history. But the mystery of love realized four

26 Am I Not Your Mother? hundred years ago will never pass, because it is for yesterday, today, and all centuries. When the Mother of God placed the fragrant roses in Juan Diego’s coarse tilma with her immaculate hands, she forged the soul of our country and our race. And in that immortal soul she tenderly left her mother’s heart. Nothing and nobody can ever remove the divine treasure from our innermost heart, just as nobody can separate what Mary’s hands joined: the tilma, which is the symbol of our people; and her image, which is the emblem of her love. More than simply reciting an epic tale, we should sing a tender lyric on this day; or better yet, our glorious epic is a song of motherly love. May my stammering lips intone the glorious hymn! It is a word, but it is deep and very sweet because it is a word of love. It is an indescribable word. It is the only word which, since it is always being spoken, is never repeated. Mary pronounced it four centuries ago and has still not finished pronouncing it. We have said it to her throughout our history, and it still resonates on our lips as the prelude to an immortal hymn. You have wished, sweet Mother of Guadalupe, that my clumsy word should resound on this solemnity. You have wished that in your name I should tell your children the word of love that cannot be contained within

27 The Song of Tepeyac your soul and that, in the name of my country and my people, I should tell you the sweetest secret of our immense love. Make perfect praise burst from my lips. Make the filial love of all my brothers well up in my poor heart. Or better yet, let Eternal Love—the Holy Spirit: inexhaustible fountain of most holy love, perfect inspirer of the most harmonious songs—descend upon them and upon me so that I may intone the celestial hymn of our love, the affectionate story of our people. We ask this for the centuries-old remembrance of your apparitions. -IIn a page as fresh and fragrant as a spring morning, Scripture refers us to the creation of man. The earth had just come out of God’s hands and in its virginal beauty still seemed to preserve the divine traces of the Creator. Magnificent Eden boasted the radiant hues of its flowers, the opulence of its fruits, and the abundance of its aromas; in a solemn moment, the majesty of God descends to that most pleasant garden wrapped in the glory of the sun. With his omnipotent hands, the Lord forms the body of man from the clay of the earth, and, bending over his masterpiece like a mother who wants to kiss her little

28 Am I Not Your Mother? boy, with his divine lips he fills that beautiful body with the breath of life. The mysterious expression of Genesis—he blew into his nostrils the breath of life (Gn 2:7)— reveals to us that if the body has its origin on earth, the soul, immaterial and enduring, is infused in us by a breath from God. Something similar happens in the formation of peoples. There is something in them that has an earthly origin, which is formed by the swaying of human events: families that multiply, legendary expeditions of nations, wars and conquests that change the face of the earth. There is something in a people, however, that does not sprout from the fragile clay, but descends from the heights. It is a light that concentrates everything into an ideal, a love that melts all hearts into only one yearning, a mysterious force that pushes all souls to work and suffer for a collective good. We call this immaterial and fertile principle that gives unity to peoples and races—by analogy with our spirit— the national soul and the soul of the people. As for the individual man, so also for entire peoples: the body is formed by hands, but the soul is infused only by the lips. In order to forge the soul of our country and our race, God chose the immaculate lips of Mary as his instrument. The aboriginal races that mixed with the noble Spanish race formed the body of our people.

29 The Song of Tepeyac But it was necessary that the maternal kiss of the Virgin Mary should breathe into the soil of America—virginal and beautiful as a paradise— so that our country would have a soul and a vigor that comes from heaven and would show its splendid youth to the world and would fulfill its providential mission in history. It was here that the mystery of love and life was realized on a day like this. Today we imitate the Church who, in commemorating each year the unforgettable night of Holy Thursday, dares to say, “On the day before he was to suffer for our salvation and the salvation of all, that is today, he took bread in his holy and venerable hands.” We too can say, “that is today!” And why not? What are four centuries to an immortal spirit, to supernatural faith, to triumphant love? Today on this undying hill the loving mystery is realized. Looking back through the centuries, contemplate with the enlightened eyes of your heart the sweetest scene, bathed in the light of the heavens, perfumed with the fragrance of roses, filled with the incomparable harmony of a celestial voice. At the radiant dawn, on the immortal hill, we see a man covered with a coarse tilma and a lady of heavenly beauty: very pure, because she is a Virgin; sweet, because she is a Mother; majestic, because she has a glimmer of God. The man, Juan Diego, represents Mexico, Spanish

30 Am I Not Your Mother? America, covered with the tilma of his miseries. The Lady is Mary, who comes to tell us that she loves us—who comes to infuse the breath of life in us with her lips. Mary smiles at us as no one has ever smiled on earth and looks at us with a look so clean, so soft, and so deep that through her we gaze at heaven. She comes to tell us that she loves us. Listen: “My son, whom I love as a little and delicate one.” What treasures of purity, what heavenly gentleness, what outpourings of happiness did the Virgin put into that word of love when it was pronounced by her virgin lips! The message of love spread like a flash of glory throughout the Americas, surmounting the high Andes, crossing immense plains, and reaching the southern reaches of the continent. Our land was shaken and our oceans were silent before the majesty and sweetness of that word of love. The loving word pierced our hearts like a sharp arrow; it sunk into our nation, which cannot be healed from that deep wound of love. Our history will come with triumphs and defeats, with glory and with mourning, with tears and bitterness and songs of love. We will forget everything else, but we will never forget the love-song of Tepeyac. <>

31 The Song of Tepeyac Four centuries have passed, and the glory of this hill has not yet been tarnished. The immortal scene grows larger and more immense. Juan Diego now stands for a people—an enthusiastic people—who come to lay at the feet of the heavenly Lady the formidable burden of their history, who come to put their loyal heart in the sweet lap of their very tender mother. And here she is. Our mortal eyes do not see her as did those of the blessed Juan Diego. Better than that, however, our faith knows her and our love reaches her. Here she is loving us as she has always loved us—I dare say: loving us as she has never loved us. Her eyes probe the abysses of love and pain that we carry in our souls. She looks at us with greater sweetness, and with the glory of her ever-tender smiles is blended a delicate compassion for our sorrows and pains. Here she is—beautiful, smiling, heavenly. And with unspeakable tenderness and in an intimate language that only faith and love understand, she tells us what she began to tell us four centuries ago, what she always tells us, what she will still tell us when time is running out: “My son, whom I love as a little and delicate one.” To the word of her lips she adds a pledge of her love. Juan Diego gathers the roses that sprouted at the utterance of her word. By touching them with her very pure hands, she lays her

32 Am I Not Your Mother? immortal heart among the petals that wither. Her heart mixes the fragrance of her soul that never dissipates with the ephemeral fragrance of the roses. Juan Diego hides the delicate pledge of her love in the tilma, and because of its contact with the celestial roses the tilma is transformed into the image of Mary. This image is the emblem of our people and the center of our life, and in it the fragrance of the roses and the word of love seem to crystallize. Who does not guess at the precious symbolism? Formerly, our people were spread on the vast Mexican soil without love, without hope, without desire, naked and sad as Juan Diego’s miserable tilma. But on hearing the word of love, on perceiving the aroma of heaven, on feeling Mary’s maternal kiss, our people stands transfigured and happy. Now it has the light of Tepeyac to illuminate the paths of its history. Now it has the sweetness of Mary to alleviate its ancestral sadness and the love of a mother to warm its noble heart. It is no longer a wild and bloodthirsty tribe but Mary’s favorite people. The Scripture concludes the account of man with this sentence, sublime in its simplicity: and the man became a living being (Gn 2:7). In outlining the mystery of Tepeyac, I can say: “and Mexico had a national soul and began its history.”

33 The Song of Tepeyac <> I do not exaggerate. I am not misled by my heart as a priest and as a Mexican. Our history is the centuries-old development of the seed that Mary buried in the heart of this people. It is the great symphony that in all its changing and diverse times holds together the unity of the theme of love that began at Tepeyac. When the people who populated this continent learned that they had a Mother, they tore down the dead altars on which they worshiped bloodthirsty idols, and in their places—on the summits of our mountains, and on the towers of the new temples, and on the hearts transfigured by baptism—they erected the saving cross of Jesus: the symbol of love, redemption, and hope. Was it the heroic zeal of the missionaries who evangelized us, or the ingenuous docility of our spirit, or the triumphant efficacy of the Gospel that caused our rapid evangelization? Everything contributed, without a doubt, but the key to the marvelous phenomenon is here: it was this blessed image that is seen from all regions of America. It was the word of love that resounded throughout the continent. It was the mystery of life that was realizedwhen the hands of the Virgin put the roses of love into the tilma. The word wounded

34 Am I Not Your Mother? hearts with love, and when love has triumphed, it is easy to flood souls with light. Then came the three centuries of Spanish rule: sweet, quiet, monotonous if you will, as childhood always is. A superficial examination would make the years appear slow as well as sterile. But in reality, our spirit was being formed under the protection of the Virgin Mary in silence and peace. The years of childhood, apparently useless, are the most fruitful and transcendental of life. In them, our mother’s deepest tenderness forges our heart in silence, and amidst warm caresses she lays the foundations of the future in our souls. This is what Our Lady of Guadalupe did with her people. She watched over themwith tender care in their childhood years and silently formed our strong faith, our sweet and sincere piety, our gentle and enthusiastic character. Little by little, the tilma was losing its native roughness, and the heavenly features of Mary were being etched more intensely, more profoundly, and more beautifully into our national soul. The sweet melody of Tepeyac seems in the last century to have broken because strange dissonances broke the unity of the innocent and sweet theme of Tepeyac in the symphony of our national life. Many will think this and will identify our Guadalupan hopes as illusions. They do not realize that love, without losing its divine

35 The Song of Tepeyac unity, takes all forms, just as the theme of a symphony is wonderfully flexible in such a way that it contains in its heart an opulent variety. The story of love that is Jesus’ life on earth contains unfathomable and divine wealth. That infinite love took on all forms in order to set hearts on fire and ferry them to the eternal abode of love. It took the form of an extraordinary miracle in Mary’s womb, a heavenly smile in Bethlehem, a deep silence in Nazareth, a struggle in the desert, a light of life and profligacy of mercy in Tiberias, a glory on Tabor, a tenderness in the Cenacle, an agony in Gethsemane, and the pain, ignominy, and death on Calvary. Love is thus always one and manifold; it is immutable in its essence and prodigiously dynamic in its activity. Such has been Mary’s love for her favorite children—her loving predilection for Bethlehem and Nazareth, which was a radiant apparition four centuries ago and a sweet mother’s lullaby in colonial times. She has been light and comfort and strength; she has had her Tiberias, her Tabor, her Cenacle, and her Calvary. There was a blast of glory on October 12, 1895.1 It was 1 The date on which the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was given a canonical coronation, granted by the authority of Pope Leo XIII.

36 Am I Not Your Mother? sung in triumph in 1924,2 and it has been a deep and beautiful elegy in mournful days. The love of Mary lives always, but she never leaves us; she sings incessantly. When is that love more sublime? When does it bathe in splendors of glory on the shining Tabor, or when does it clothe itself with the majesty of pain on the tragic summit of Calvary? I would not know how to say this if Jesus had not taught us with his word of life and with his divine example that the supreme form of love is the cross—if he had not made the wonderful revelation that his Father gave him up to death because he loved him with infinite love, that the immense love of his heart made him go up to Calvary, and that all those who carry a deep and divine love in their hearts feel a strange longing for the pain of death. Today, Mary’s love seems to melt all its various shades into a single form. The centennial symphony seems to link all the themes of our history into the exceptional harmony of this solemn day. Today, Mary’s love is an exquisite mixture made up of all the perfumes, because in 2 The year that the “Codex Saville” was discovered. Now in the possession of the Smithsonian, it is a pictorial calendar depicting events in the history of the Valley of Mexico during the 15th and 16th centuries and attests to the authenticity of the apparition.

37 The Song of Tepeyac the amphora of her tenderness she has poured all the aromas of spring: spikenard and saffron, sweet cane and cinnamon, with all kinds of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the finest spices (Sg 4:14), and as the bride of the Song of Songs invites us saying: Eat, friends; drink! Drink deeply, lovers! (Sg 5:1). Let us become intoxicated with motherly love and enjoy this day that the Lord has made for us. -IIThis song, however, is not a monologue; it is a dialogue—the eternal dialogue in which those who love each other sing the same unfathomable word of love. We have heard it from Mary’s virgin lips. Let us hear it from the generous lips of our homeland. When four centuries ago the Mother of God appeared on this glorious hill, not only did she reveal to us the secret of her tenderness, but she also made a loving and ardent request of us. At its core was hidden with acute delicacy the delightful question that emerges from every heart that loves—the divine questioning that Jesus made of Peter on the banks of Lake Tiberias: Do you love me more than these? (Jn 21:15). “It is my desire that a temple be built for me on this site,” the Virgin Mary said to Juan Diego. Do we

38 Am I Not Your Mother? understand the hidden meaning of these words? In the beginning of time, Paradise was a temple and a home because it was filled with love, and in that garden love displayed the opulence of its mysteries in full light. In heaven, God’s heart is the infinite stage of immortal love. Yet in this cold, dark, and corrupt world, the love of earth and the love of heaven need to form a dwelling of purity, warmth, and peace in which to hide the secret of their happiness. Birds form their nests; the patriarchs erected their tents in the solitudes of the desert. God asked Israel to build him a temple, and Jesus has multiplied in the world the tabernacles of his love. Mary also asked us for a temple in which to keep the mystery of her predilection, a temple in which her heavenly love would meet our earthly love—in which her virginal soul would merge with our souls—in which the glory of her maternal kiss would burst forth. She also wanted the temple to be built here—where the light of her beauty shone—where the music of her word resounded—where the rosebushes bloomed as a pledge of her love—where her blessed hands deposited her heart in the depths of our national soul. There are higher mountains and more flowery prairies to our mortal eyes, but, from the viewpoint of our souls, this is the most beautiful place on the continent because love put its nest

39 The Song of Tepeyac here. This hill is the highest in our soil because it is the closest to God. Mary also wanted us to build the temple. She could have sent her angels to bring forth a marvel of greatness and art from this arid land. She could have entrusted her loving wish to the noble conquerors of robust faith and undeniable chivalry. But no, this temple is a monument of love. It is the ineffable word that completes the glorious song. The lips that utter the word of love must be the beloved’s: only these lips distill honey from the skies; only these lips know how to impregnate with their fiery kisses the perfume of tenderness in the pledge of love. The Virgin entrusted her loving design to the ignorant and poor man so that the hands and the heart of the Mexican people, and not another heart and other hands, would build the temple of national love—the rich jewel that would contain the precious gem of that divine image. And Mexico pronounced its word of love to correspond to Mary’s tender word. It was a weak and stammering word as from a small and delicate son. What are the shy caresses of a child compared to the robust hugs and ardent kisses of a loving mother? First it was a small and humble hermitage where the precious image was placed. But every century has placed its wealth here. Every

40 Am I Not Your Mother? generation has placed its soul here. It must be so. Our Lady of Guadalupe did not ask only the generation that lived four centuries ago to build her a temple; she asked all generations, because she asks us all for love. This temple is national not only because it has been built by Catholics from all over the territory, but because Mexicans of all times put their hands and hearts in it. We also love you, sweet Mother. We also conform the word of our heart to your loving word. Here is the monument of our love! What we did was more than our poverty suggested but less than what our heart asked. More than our riches, we put into this temple our love and our sacrifices. Look at it, O Lady, with the eyes of a mother. These magnificent vaults and these worldly walls are anointed with the perfume of our gratitude and consecrated with the kisses of our filial love. What we did is worth very little in the eyes of men. But does it not in your motherly eyes have an immense value—nothing less than the inestimable price of our love? Other generations will come after us, and in this temple they will leave the traces of their faith and the seal of their love. Mary’s wish will continue to be fulfilled in this place she chose until time ends and the new earth, foretold by the Scriptures, stands as a perennial testimony to the love of the Mexican people—the definitive and

41 The Song of Tepeyac immortal temple of Guadalupe—while we enjoy the maternal caresses of Mary in the homeland of eternity. In that eternal homeland there are no more temples, because the immense temple of heaven is the all-powerful Lord and the Lamb. <> The hymn of love is complete: the word of love of the Mexican people harmonizes with Mary’s word of love. They form the most vivid contrast, but is not contrast the supreme source of harmony? These two words are linked; they merge in the divine unity of love. The word of heaven was crystallized into one image; the word of earth was expressed in one temple. This temple is the shell that contains the divine pearl that came from heaven, as it houses our love of Mary because it hides in its bosom the soul of our country and our people: the divine treasure of the heart of our mother Mary. This temple will not be destroyed, nor will the image ever disappear, nor will anyone separate what God has joined. To preserve the mystery, the two victorious loves of time and death are veiled. The scene of four centuries ago does not die. It does not end. It is immortal. On the glorious hill, there is still the most beautiful Lady and the poor Juan Diego. Both say they love each other,

42 Am I Not Your Mother? and the Virgin places the roses of her predilection on the tilma of our poverty. The mystery of love and life is perennially realized. Mary places her motherly heart in the heart of our people. And on the glorious hill there passes a gust of glory and a fragrant breeze of love. <> Most Holy Mary of Guadalupe, sweet Mother of the Mexican people! With stammering lips, I have spoken to your children theword of love— the one you uttered four centuries ago—the one you always carry in your heart—the one your lips would tell us today if they were open! Now I must speak the same word of love to you in the name of my country and my people. Hardly does the silence of worship seem worthy of your heavenly greatness and the solemnity of this moment. I ask nothing of you because I know that you love us, and I abandon myself sweetly to your love. I must, however, tell you the sweet secret, and to express it I adapt a formula from the Gospel, and in the name of my people and of my race I say to you with all the simplicity of my soul and with all the fire of my heart: Lady, you know that I love you!

Servant of God Archbishop Luis María Martínez Birth: June 9, 1881 Priestly ordination: November 20, 1904 Episcopal consecration: September 30, 1923 Appointment as Archbishop of Mexico City: February 20, 1937 Entrance into eternal life: February 9, 1956