Dear Parishioners of St. James:
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Within the Season of Advent the Church celebrates two great feasts in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary: The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th and Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th.
Mary is the Immaculate Conception. She was conceived in her parents’ womb free of the stain of Original Sin. Since the mortal sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, mankind has inherited guilt through the generation of children. That is why we must baptize our children as soon as possible after birth in order that the Original Sin be forgiven by the saving waters of Baptism. Our Blessed Mother was uniquely preserved from Original Sin in her conception and was sinless her whole life long in order to cooperate most perfectly with her divine Son in our redemption.
The same Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a faithful Catholic man on his way to daily Mass at Tepeyac Hill (in modern day Mexico City) in the year 1531. She asked that a church be built to honor her Son and left a permanent living sign of her presence with the tilma (cloak) of the visionary St. Juan Diego. Mary’s message and image ended the wicked practice of child sacrifice by the pagan Aztec tribe which sought to appease the “sun god” in order to have a fruitful harvest. Our Lady taught them (and all of us) about how to honor the true Son God by practicing the Catholic Faith. Because she ended ritual child murder almost five centuries ago, she is the patroness of the pro-life movement which seeks to end the child-sacrifice of abortion in our day.
After God Himself, no one deserves more honor than Our Blessed Mother. She is God’s greatest human weapon against the evil one. Her humility, faith and love conquers evil and brings forth God’s saving grace through her Son, Jesus Christ. Ask Mary to pray for you. Entrust your heart and your family to her. Her power of intercession before God is unmatched. With her at our side we will be victorious in our battle of faith where we hope to rejoice with her in singing God’s praises forever in heaven.
God bless you,