The year is 1487. The place is a little settlement in what is now Mexico, known as Tenochticlan, capital city of the Aztec empire. It is here that the most brutal and vicious act ever known by man is performed: that of deliberately slaughtering helpless people. The Aztecs believed that in order to satisfy the wants of their gods, they were required to make a sacrifice of human life. Thus, in the year 1487, thousands of unwilling victims were dragged to the top of a pyramid, laid upon a flat ritual stone table, there to have their chests cut open, and their hearts ripped out. Their bodies were then thrown down from the top of the pyramid.
It sounds horrific and gruesome, and is repulsive just to think about it. Yet it sounds frighteningly familiar.
Now the year is 2011. The place is a little building on a street in Worcester, or Fitchburg, or any other city in the United States. Once again, it is here that the same brutal deed is occurring: taking the lives of thousands of unprotected people. In our own day, many Americans believe that in order to satisfy the wants of their own passions and desires, they must reject human life. Just like the Aztec human sacrifices, abortion slaughters thousands of people every day. Upon a flat operating table the victim is placed, there to be taken from its mother’s womb and its body to be thrown away. However, in this instance, the situation is much worse. The horrific crime of abortion requires the consent of not just a complete stranger to the defenseless victim, but that of the victim’s own mother. The victim, a tiny baby not yet born, is voiceless in the decision of its own life, relying on its mother to save it and keep it from all harm. Unfortunately, it is, not always, but often the mother herself who abandons her child to the knife of the abortionist.
What can be done to cease these senseless murders that take the lives of so many people? Who can stop this terrible crime from being done? The Aztec nation eventually ceased to perform their satanic rituals; what event compelled them to do so? In 1531, in what is now Mexico City, the all holy Mother of God appeared to a poor Indian named Juan Diego, calling this 57 year old man, “my little son.” She requested a chapel to be built on Tepeyac Hill, the site where she had appeared to Juan Diego. As proof that she actually did visit this earth, she imprinted her image on the humble Indian’s tilma, an image which can still be seen today. It is the image of an Aztec princess, proving that Our Blessed Mother wished to be a part of the Indian culture and to be accepted as their queen. She wears a long red dress and a beautiful green veil covered with stars. And around her waist, symbolically placed there by Divine Providence, is a black sash, the symbol of motherhood.
It was this heavenly event that put an end to the Aztec human sacrifices. It was Our Blessed Mother’s appearance on earth that inspired millions of conversions in Mexico and eventually throughout the world. Her own people, the Aztecs of Mexico, accepted Our Lady, the little Aztec princess, as their queen and their mother. They realized that as long as they remained under her protection, and ended the brutal killing of innocent people, she would protect them, as poor as they seemed. Yes, Our Blessed Mother appeared as an Aztec to show that she was indeed part of that nation. Yet her appearance had deeper significance to it because of the fact that she appeared as a mother.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is a mother. Just as she ended the Aztec slaughtering, so she can end the slaughtering of our own children today. She is the one to whom these children can turn in their greatest of needs: that of protecting their little lives and saving their tiny precious souls. The baby who is in danger of losing his life through the great evil of abortion has in a sense already lost his earthly mother because she has made the decision that her own selfish desires are more important than his dear little life. This child has already lost his mother’s love, and he hasn’t even been born! But because of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, his situation, as well as the situation of millions of other babies across the world, is not completely hopeless. Mary will never abandon these children. Mary will never stop loving these children. To her, these children are the most precious, because they have the greatest need of her intercession. Our Lady assured Juan Diego, her “little son,” and all unborn children, of her undying protection when she said to the humble Indian, “Let not your heart be disturbed. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe has a twofold appearance. First, as Aztec princess, she is the patroness of the Americas. Second, as a woman expecting a Child, she is the patroness of all unborn children. Combining these two appearances, we can say that she is the Mother of America, and the Mother of all her citizens, especially the smallest, the weakest, the ones under attack. Let us then turn to Our Lady, the queen of the Americas, to protect the unborn of this country, and let us accept her as queen in each of our hearts, hopeful that one day, our entire country may do the same.