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Hymns for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (12 December)

This is a selection of  English-language hymns for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is marked on 12 December.

About St Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe, sometimes called the Dark Virgin, is the patron saint of the Americas, the Mexican Republic, and the pro-life ministries. 

On December 9, 1531, an Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac, who had been baptized and renamed Juan Diego, was travelling to a nearby village to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady.

He heard unusual music coming from Tepeyac Hill, and then a woman's voice called his name. Juan Diego investigated, and found a young woman, who appeared to be Indian. She identified herself as the Virgin Mary, and told Juan Diego to request the bishop of Mexico City to build a chapel on Tepeyac.

Juan Diego told the bishop, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, of his encounter. The bishop was sceptical, and did not act on this first request. Juan saw the lady again, and told her of the bishop's doubts. She told him to try again. When the bishop heard the story for a secon dtime, he told Juan Diego to ask the lady for a sign. When Juan Diego returned to the hill, he found roses growing there even though it was mid-winter. He gathered them in his tilma, (cloak), and the lady arranged them for him. When Juan released returned to see the bishop, he opened the tilma: the flowers fell out, and an image of Our Lady had been imprinted by them on it.

After this, the bishop believed in Juan Diego's message and build a church was built on the site of the apparition. The story was almost forgotten until 1640, when it was re-discovered and sparked a lot of religious practise - some historians say especially among the criollos, viz people in Mexio who are of Spanish descent. Huge numbers of Mexican people converted to Christianity after hearing of the apparition.

Today, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is deeply embedded in into the life of many Mexican people. Most towns have a church dedicated to her, and people ask her for help in most occasions in their lives.  Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe is a festival which starts a week before December 12. Pilgrims from all over Mexico travel to the Basilica of Ville Madero in Mexico City, where the most ceremonies in honor of the Virgin are held. Streets around the church are packed with people wanting to enter the church and make their offering.

Juan Diego was beaitified in 1990 and declared a saint in 2002 - becoming the first Roman Catholic indigenous saint from the Americas. His tilma is displayed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the image from it is Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural icon.

John Paul II used the titles “Patroness of the Americas”, “Empress of Latin America”, and “Protectress of Unborn Children” for Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1999.

Liturgical note

When the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe falls on a Sunday, the Sunday celebration (which will always be one of the Sundays of Advent) supersedes it.

About these hymns

There are a great many Spanish-language hymns about and in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe.   some, and these have are not been listed here.    Instead, this list focuses on English-language hymns - ones created as translations of Spanish-languages ones, or ones written directly in English. So far few, if any, of these hymns are in the public domain, because it is only in recent years that interest in Our Lady of Guadalupe has grown among English-speakers.

Many general Marian hymns, or hymns about the Visitation or the Annunciation, may also be suitable, depending on the readings to be used.