On October 13, 1917, your great, great grandfather and grandmother sat together on a sofa somewhere in the world as a miracle was filling the skies in Portugal. In the days that followed they heard the news, practically everyone worldwide heard the news, that a genuine miracle had occurred, and the most unlikely thing had happened.
The sun had danced around the sky and been witnessed by a crowd of between 30,000 and 100,000 people, including media, there to see it. It was, in many ways, the biggest news story in the world. To repeat: The sun had danced around the sky. Is it possible? It would hardly have been a miracle if it was possible. Did it happen? There is no court system in the world that does not allow witnesses to establish truth. There were thousands of witnesses. The sun had danced around the sky.
I have had one opportunity to view the Tilma of Saint Juan Diego prominently on display at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was in my early twenties while I was working as a contractor on the Mexican Railroad. The chance to see it could easily be described as providential. We were logging ninety hour weeks and had not begun a day with any destination in mind. Mornings began promptly with packing up suitcases from the night before, and at sundown we would find a room wherever the railroad had brought us. Somehow, Mexico City became the only extended destination of our month long journey down the railways of the Ferrocarril. Knowing I was as close to the Basilica as I would ever be; I hailed a cab and went to Tepeyac Hill where Juan Diego had first encountered the Blessed Virgin.
Just as the light of the moon is actually cast by the sun, devotion to the Mother of God is equally an effort toward a better relationship with her son. This simple principle has been understood from the earliest ages of Christianity, before the splits away from the Church He founded, indeed before the Bible was even written (reading on the early Church in this regard is highly recommended). Mary is central to the life of Jesus, and thus central to us, and there simply is no better understanding than that.
Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (31 January 1673 – 28 April 1716) was a French Roman Catholic priest and Confessor. In addition, he was one of the great writers on the topic of Mariology. His grandest work on the topic was his “True Devotion to Mary.” It has been inspirational to many since, with Pope St. John Paul II saying that reading this work was a “decisive turning point” in his life.