Our Lady of the Lowly
As the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I think it’s important to remember that Mary appeared to a poor Indigenous man as an Indigenous woman speaking Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. Mary did not appear to a Spanish conquistador or cleric, and she did not appear as a Spanish speaking White European.
Mary identified herself with precisely the people who were being oppressed by those flying the flag of “Christendom” and “Catholic culture.” Like her Son, Mary identified herself with the poor and the oppressed, not with the powerful, not with the colonizers.
She also offered the people something different from violent paganism or violent colonization. She wasn’t preaching a new ideology to replace an old ideology. She was offering something new. Something transformative. A beautiful Gospel. A God who castes down the mighty and lifts up the lowly.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of anyone who has been harmed or abandoned by those representing Christ, pray for us.
Image credit: Kristina Fahey at Painted Sanctuary. Check out her Etsy shop for this beautiful print and many others.