Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration

We celebrated the feast days of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe this past Friday! Juan Diego's feast day was Thursday, and Our Lady of Guadalupe fell on Sunday, so we chose a day in between the two feasts to celebrate with friends!

For those who don't know the story, Juan Diego was a man living in Mexico who became one of the first converts to Christianity in that area. Mary appeared to him on a hill as he was walking to Mass one day, and she asked him to tell the bishop that she wanted a church built on that site. The bishop told him to ask the lady for a sign, and she had Juan Diego gather the fresh roses that had grown on the hillside (in winter), and she arranged them in his cloak, or tilma. When he arrived to show them to the bishop, a greater surprise was found: Our Lady had left her image on the inside of his tilma! To this day, the image remains unfaded, and scientists and artists have studied it and been baffled, not being able to figure out how it was made or what it is made of. You may have heard of when Hilary Clinton recently visited the church where the tilma is displayed and asked the asinine question, "Who painted it?" to which the bishop there replied, "God!"

Caroline and Cecilia and I colored these pictures which illustrate the story. We got them from Holy Heroes Advent Adventure, which the girls have been enjoying for the past couple of weeks!

When our friends arrived, we first read the book seen above, The Lady of Guadalupe. Then the kids moved to the table and made their own tilmas with images of Our Lady and paper roses! I found this idea here at Domestic Church.

Supplies needed:
large paper bags with sides cut out and holes for heads
coloring page of Our Lady of Guadalupe
roses (my husband made this pdf which you are free to use)
markers, crayons, or colored pencils

While they colored, we listened to Fresh Flowers in Winter: The Story of St. Juan Diego. this is one of the Glory Stories CDs. We have a few of them, and Caroline really enjoys them.

Once they were finished coloring, they could actually wear their tilmas. Cecilia is holding hers up with the roses inside here, after I helped her cut them all out...

...and here she lets the tilma open, revealing the image of Our Lady as the roses fall on the ground!

Here's Caroline pretending to bring her tilma full of roses before the bishop, and then...

...letting them fall!

Showing their finished projects!

~Our Lady of Guadalupe Luncheon~

This idea comes from the "Liturgical Teas" from the blog Cottage Blessings. It was lots of fun to put together, even if it can seem like a lot of work with little kids! Everyone at our celebration was age six and under. I imagine these kinds of things will be easier to pull off once their are some children old enough to assist with setting up and doing some food prep!

Our centerpieces:
Holy cards of Our Lady and Juan Diego, an Our Lady of Guadalupe candle, and some floating rose candles!

View of the table set up for the luncheon
In this shot, you can see the plate of star puffs (representing the 46 stars on Mary's mantle) and the "Sun Dip" (representing how Mary appeared to be "clothed with the sun")... I didn't get a close-up shot of either of these dishes.

Aztec Hot Chocolate
Juan Diego was an Aztec Indian, so this Mexican Hot Chocolate (basically hot chocolate with cinnamon in it) was our drink. Beth made it, and it was soooo good, especially when topped with fresh whipped cream!!

Tepeyac Hill
A mound of guacamole with tiny diced tomato on top represents the hill where Our Lady appeared and where the roses grew. I topped it with a laminated OLoG image which my wonderful husband made for me the night before when I was prepping things.

Juan Diego's Sombreros
As Alice, the inventor of the Liturgical Teas, said, I don't know if Juan Diego wore an actual sombrero, but it gets the idea across that he was in Mexico, and surely he wore some kind of similar hat outdoors...

Praying Hands
Our Lady's hands are folded in the image on the tilma, so we had these peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into the shape of hands folded in prayer.

Crescent Moons
Our Lady appeared t be standing on a crescent moon, so I made these "half moons," which Beth pointed out looked like empanadas, a Mexican food. These were sweet and filled with an apple and honey mixture.

Supporting Angels
An angel appears beneath Mary's feet in the Our Lady of Guadalupe image. I was not planning to include these, but when I had extra pie crust dough and happened to own an angel-shaped cookie cutter, I figured, why not? Then I brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled them with Sucanat and cinnamon.

Bishop Zurmarraga's Crozier
These cookies, made few days earlier along with the St. Nicholas cookies, are just J-shaped cookies to represent the crozier of the bishop who Juan Diego had to convince to build the church.

The Roses
These are made by folding a slice of ham at the top, flipping it over, and then rolling it up. I also was able to flip the excess up around the rest of the rose to give them a better appearance and help them to hold together pretty well.

Juan Diego's Tilma
These were fun to make - a tortilla cut into the shape of the tilma, and inside each I placed a slice of cheese cut in the approximate shape of the image of Our Lady, and then topped with the ham "roses."

Here's Cecilia opening her tilma to discover the roses inside!

A close-up of a plate of food... again, you can see the sun dip here, which Beth made, and I ate about half of the dish myself - yummy, yummy!

All seven kids enjoying their lunch! I kept referring to it as a "luncheon" as we prepared, and so Cecilia, before we sat down to eat, said, "Mommy, I want my luncheon!"

Cecilia enjoys her Mexican hot chocolate. These tiny teacups belong to the Johnstons, and they are so cute and fun, but require very frequent refills for something this tasty!

After lunch, we had our final activity...

"Build Me a Church"
Following the command given by Mary to Juan Diego, the children constructed a church themselves... with some adult assistance!

We used graham crackers, bell-shaped candies, an ice cream cone steeple, fruit leather stained glass, flower sprinkles, a pretzel cross, and leftover St. Nicholas icing to hold it all together!

The church stayed on our table as a centerpiece for a few days... replaced by our St. Lucy bread this morning! This was a fun project!


For dinner that night, we had leftover guacamole and fish tacos - they turned out really good! We had chicken enchiladas the night before, and we went to Moe's for dinner tonight, so lots of Mexican food surrounding these feast days!

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