Sophia, Olivia, and I took my parents to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe - a place that my parents had wanted to visit for many years. Both were unable to drive (my mom due to vision issues and my dad due to Alzheimer's Disease), so we rented a mini-van and took the trip together.
The Shrine is in a very scenic and lovely part of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The grounds are immacuately kept; and the buildings and sculptural art are tucked into groves of trees and placed along paved pathways.
Sophia, Olivia, and I didn't know much about Our Lady of Guadalupe before the trip. After spending part of the day there, we knew a lot more and understood why this was such an important place for my parents to visit.
Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
On a Wikipedia site about our Lady of Guadalupe, "According to Roman Catholic tradition, on December 9, 1531, Juan Diego, a recently converted Aztec indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady asked him to build a church exactly on the spot where they were standing. He told the local Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, who asked for proof in exchange.
"Juan Diego went back later and saw the lady again. He told her that the bishop wanted proof, and she instructed Juan Diego to go to the mountain top, where he found Castillian roses, which were native to Bishop Juan de Zumarraga's hometown and could not possibly bloom during wintertime. Juan Diego cut the roses, placed them in his apron-like tilma and returned to the bishop; an imprint of the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared on the tilma from the residue of the soil and roses.
"Today, the icon is displayed in the nearby Basilica of Guadalupe, now one of the most visited Catholic shrines in the world. The Virgin of Guadalupe is Mexico's most popular religious and cultural image, with the titles 'Queen of Mexico', 'Empress of the Americas', and 'Patroness of the Americas'."
In LaCrosse, there's a beautiful bronze image of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the tilma of Saint Juan Diego in the presence of Bishop Juan de Zumárraga that is located in the plaza of the Shrine Church.
Saint Juan Diego's showing the tilma with
the image of the apparation of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
After learning more about Our Lady of Guadalupe, it would be interesting to visit Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Saint Juan Diego's tilma is there and is kept behind glass to protect it. Until then, we have memories of a wonderful trip that we took during the summer of 2010.
Sophia, Olivia, my dad, mom, and me at
the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in
In the evening of the twelfth day of the Countdown to Christmas, we enjoyed a Mexican dinner (tacos) with beverages from Mexico. The girls tried a pineapple pop and a mandarin orange pop. Sophia liked both of the beverages, while Olivia liked the latter one.
Sophia and Olivia having a Mexican dinner
with beverages from Mexico.