The feast of our Lady of Guadalupe, observed December 12, celebrates the story of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s appearance to Juan Diego, a poor peasant, as he crossed the barren mountains in Mexico. In her appearance, Mary wears the dress of a native Aztec princess with a sash around her waist, signifying pregnancy. Mary’s appearance and message to Juan Diego is one of life, renewed life for the Church and renewed life for the poor and downtrodden indigenous people who felt empowered by Mary’s love and presence. We too can ask for renewed life for ourselves and for others as we pray: Mary—mother of the homeless, unwed mother, widowed mother, mother of a political prisoner, mother of the condemned, mother of the executed criminal, pray for us. Mary—woman of faith, woman of grace and truth, woman pregnant with hope, woman centered in God, pray for us.