“Virtues that fill our poverty in the simplicity of small gestures of love”

The Holy Father presided over the Eucharistic celebration in memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Vatican Media
Vatican Media

This afternoon, Tuesday, 12 December 2023, in the Vatican Basilica, the Holy Father Francis presided over the Eucharistic Celebration on the occasion of the Liturgical Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe.

“The image, the tilma, the roses, this is the message. So simple, without gloss, together with the certainty that she is my mother, who is here,” said Pope Francis.


Homily of the Holy Father

The first thing that comes to mind is the image of Our Lady imprinted on the tilma.

It is the image of the first disciple, of the mother of believers, of the Church itself, which is imprinted in the humility of what we are and what we have, which is not worth much, but which will be something great in the eyes of God. It is imprinted on the tilma.

Our Lady asks Juan Diego to do a small job, to pick some flowers. The flowers, in mysticism, signify the virtues that the Lord instils in the heart, they are not our own work. The act of picking them reveals to us that God wants us to accept this gift, to perfume our weak reality with works of good, eliminating hatred and fear.

If you look at the message of Guadalupe, Our Lady’s words: “Am I not here, who am your mother”, take on a new meaning. This “being” of the Virgin, this “being” is to remain permanently imprinted on these poor clothes, perfumed by virtues gathered in a world that seems incapable of producing them. Virtues that fill our poverty in the simplicity of small gestures of love, which illuminate our tilma, without us realising it, with the image of a Church that carries Christ in her bosom.

Image, tilma, roses, this is the message. As simple as that, without gloss. Together with the assurance that she is my mother, that she is here. And this message defends us from so many social and political ideologies with which this Guadalupan reality is so often used to justify itself, to justify itself, and to make money. The Guadalupan message does not tolerate ideologies of any kind. Only the image, the tilma, the roses.