Here is an excerpt from an ancient writing about St. Lucy. Click on the “Read more” to read the whole thing…just one page. The last paragraph with complaints about young Christian ladies of the seventh century is interesting.
|ST LUCY, VIRGIN, MARTYR—A.D. 304|
|Feast: December 13|
|[Abridged from her Acts, older than St. Aldehelm, who quoted them in the seventh century,]
The glorious virgin and martyr St. Lucy, one of the brightest ornaments of the church of Sicily, was born of honourable and wealthy parents in the city of Syracusa, and educated from her cradle in the faith of Christ. She lost her father in her infancy, but Eutychia, her mother, took singular care to furnish her with tender and sublime sentiments of piety and religion. By the early impressions which Lucy received and
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Tuesday, December 12th, was the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a major event for the Hispanic parishioners of St. Peter’s and for all Hispanic citizens and immigrants to the US. Only Father Linsky and one other member of the Men’s Prayer Group had been present for the special Mass in her honor. Here is a photo of the Altar after that Mass.
On December 12, there was an interesting and informative NBC News feature about Our Lady of Guadalupe and her celebration in New York City. It includes considerable explanation of both cultural and religious importance to Latinos and Hispanics. Here are the introduction and a link to the whole article. I hope you can access it because it clearly addresses the intersection of faith and culture which we spent a lot of time discussing Wednesday morning.
Why Our Lady of Guadalupe is Celebrated Across the US
If you see a colorful procession in your city or town on Tuesday, it may have to do with a venerated “lady” whose presence is ubiquitous in many Latino communities across the U.S.
The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is celebrated on December 12. For Mexicans and Mexican-Americans as well as other Latinos, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a powerful symbol of devotion, identity, and patriotism. Her image inspires artists, activists, feminists and the faithful.
Yet while Our Lady of Guadalupe is revered, recognized, and commercialized throughout Latin America, many Americans are likely unaware of the origins and impact of her iconic status.
But that may be changing.
Last Saturday morning in New York City, a group of volunteers from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church at St. Bernard’s were undeterred as snow drifted down and the temperature dropped to 33 degrees. They arranged flowers, flags, and banners, and lined up behind vehicles bearing large images of Mexico’s patron saint, Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Catholic Church View of Marian Apparitions
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, these events are categorized as “private revelations.” Here is a screen shot of the pertinent section of the Vatican edition of the catechism.
Our Lady of Guadalupe heads a short list of apparitions or private revelations recognized by the authority of the Church. I found this explanation and list of approvals here: (No appearances of the BVM in toast are included.)
According to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, the era of public revelation ended with the death of the last living Apostle. A Marian apparition, if deemed genuine by Church authority, is treated as private revelation that may emphasize some facet of the received public revelation for a specific purpose, but it can never add anything new to the deposit of faith. The Church will confirm an apparition as worthy of belief, but belief is never required by divine faith. The Holy See has officially confirmed the apparitions at:
- Paris (Rue du Bac, Miraculous Medal),
- La Salette,
- and Banneux
Because of the large number of Hispanic immigrants in the US and their contribution to the USA Church, it is important, whether we personally choose to participate or not, that we recognize and respect this cultural aspect of the faith. That importance, especially true for St. Peter’s because of our Hispanic parishioners, is explained in this official position of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, that it is a “Day of Solidarity with Immigrants.”
More Than You Want to Know
Personal Note: For me, the leap from Southern Baptist through Presbyterian and Lutheran cultures to North American Catholic culture has been diversity enough. I am thankful for the Hispanic immigration and for growth of the US Church resulting from it and am happy St. Peter’s is home for a large and dynamic Hispanic congregation and am happy to support them. I’m assisting with Sixth Grade Religious Education, a mostly Hispanic group this year, and enjoying it very much. But I’m not personally much interested in participating in either Spanish (or Latin) Masses at this time.
I think it is important to an understanding of the influence of Our Lady of Guadalupe to have some understanding of the history of Christianity in Latin America. I found online a PDF of chapter 1 of this book and found it helpful. Maybe the Prologue will stir up some interest in reading chapter 1 which can be found here.
Latin America unites in itself the European, African, and American streams of civilization. Similarly so, Christianity did not develop in an airtight, pasteurized package but was influenced by the religions and worldviews of the cultures in which it took root.
As usual, the Wednesday morning discussions led by Father Linsky combined with my burden of posting something on this blog always challenge me to do a little research and try to better understand the issues. It is valuable, and I appreciate it.
And, I am thankful for the internet without which it would have taken many days, or maybe weeks, of effort to find the simple stuff reported above. This only took a couple of hours!