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Poems about Apparitions

Poems about Apparitions

Poems Dealing with Marian Apparitions

The poems in this collection give us a glimpse at the impact that Marian apparitions can have on the religious spirit of Christians. We present poems dealing with Marian apparitions at Lourdes and La Salette. We also include a poem which commemorates one of the earliest visionaries, St. Bernard. To some readers, the poems dealing with apparitions will facilitate some questions. First, what is an apparition? Second, what is the Church's response to reports of apparitions?

What is an Apparition?: Apparition is the technical term for an inexplicable appearance of someone, usually someone deceased. While there are instances in Church history of claims regarding apparitions of saints or of Jesus Christ, the most frequent claims are those involving the Blessed Virgin Mary. Reports of Marian apparitions date as far back as the earliest days of the Church. However, most of the historical accounts recorded in writing begin with the Middle Ages. From the Middle Ages on, as devotion to the Blessed Virgin became an evermore integral part of Catholic devotional life, word of apparitions has spread and given the Church hierarchy new challenges regarding the discernment of spirits. In all cases, the alleged supernatural character of a reported Marian apparition is not to be presumed; rather, it must be proven.

What is the Church's Response to Reports of Apparitions?: For the most part, the Church reserves judgement concerning the nature and truth of any particular apparition. In many cases, the Church itself will make no official pronouncement but will allow the local Catholic magisterium, under the leadership of the bishop, to test the truth of and respond most appropriately to reports of apparitions. Each claim is checked by the local bishop, who may also appoint a commission to study the situation. While some apparitions have been recognized by the Church as authentic, such recognition does not mean that belief in the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary at a particular place and time is binding on all Catholics. It means only that the Church does not regard belief in the apparition to be misguided or harmful to the faithful.

Main Point: Though significant for piety and devotion, apparitions play a small role in Catholic theology as a whole. They are understood merely as aids to the worship of God, from whom all such supernatural graces are derived. Further, they must never be seen as contradicting or replacing God's revelation in the person and life of Jesus. Nonetheless, we should be aware that reports of apparitions constitute still another "sign of the times" which serves to remind us that God is still active in our lives and calling all of us to repentance and obedience to the Church.

The Vision of St. Bernard
Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes
Song of Bernadette
The Miracles of La Salette
A Song of La Salette
Ballade to Our Lady of Czestochowa
Spring at Lourdes
The Mystic Roses of Salette
Evening Falls on the Grotto
The Canticle of Bernadette
An Apparitions
Our Lady of La Salette
Ode to Mary 
Ballad of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Lines to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Juan Diego
Mary, Virgin of Guadalupe
Hail, O Empress of America
A Guadalupe Poem
Our Lady of Gudalupe: 1952
Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Virgin of Guadalupe
To the Most Holy Virgin Under the invocation of Guadalupe
La Virgen de Guadalupe

 The Vision of St. Bernard

Bernard reads late, alone; and twilight falls
Dimming the page. Soon must the keen eyes probe
Vainly for words ... But whence has spread
This glow illuminating his cloister's walls
To stretch them to horizons past our globe?
What hand - divinely pure - is on his book?

He knew her by the light about her head,
And by the cloak of heaven that she wore -
But more
He knew her by her grave regardful look.

So stood she that swift shining moment through,
Her hand still touching where St. Bernard read
Of truth unchanged in changing time or place;
The while a corner of her mantle blue
Was folded round an earth child, and his face
Shone in the glory compassing her head.

– M. Whitcomb Hess
Sister M. Therese. I Sing of a Maiden. New York: Macmillan Company, 1947.


 Lady of Lourdes

Untouched by Adam's curse - our Mary's soul! Like great bell tones the Pontiff's edict rings -
While every heart on earth re-sounds the word,
And all earth sings.

Comely she stands before a shy young girl
Who tells her Ave, trembling to await
The bright air broken by a word - "I am

O happy cave, majestic rock that felt
Her feet press lightly as they do in dream,
Whence waters brimmed with healing break their source,
And with life, stream.

From every countryside and city square
A troop of pilgrims crowds upon the way:
Some come to kneel in child-eyed wonderment,
Some come to pray.

She dries her children's tears as mothers do,
And pours a draught of grace from prayer-cupped hands,
That each may journey back refreshed and glad
To better lands.

O Virgin, let thy fleet compassion's spark
Light up the murky paths we stumble on;
Give us the warmth of thy embrace when earth's
Cold pain is gone.

All song and glory to our Father rise
And to the Christhead (Mary's Only Son!)
With Their swift Spirit winged with love for Both,

– Raymond F. Roseliep, translator.
Sister M. Therese. I Sing of a Maiden. New York: Macmillan Company, 1947.


Our Lady of Lourdes

Here, lovely gems, King Winter throws
On bramble, weed, and stone,
And trailing seared bleak wild-rose
Around Our Lady's throne.

Beneath small Lourdes gray-blue sky
Cool February's airs
Encanopied in ether high
All serve as courtiers.

While Bernadette kneels on the ground
Where Heaven's luster gleams
On solemn quiet all around
And meadow's ice-bound streams.

The Peasant is emparadised
With vision on the sod -
The Mother of our loving Christ
All luminous - from God.

"My child, Immaculate I am,"
She said to Bernadette,
"And truly Mother of God's Lamb
Whose blood dyed Olivette."

In loving sympathy, your Queen,
From Paradise, through thee
Bequeaths this sparkling water stream
To heal humanity.

– Francesca Brennan
Cyril Robert. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry. Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.


Song of Bernadette

Immaculate Mother, Queen of Peace,
Would your children might recall
The Rosary Song of Bernadette,
The loving care you have for all.

For the scourge of war is not lightened
By the tears and lamenting of men;
Only prayer, repentance, atonement,
Can ever bring peace again.

So enfold in your Rosary Crusade
All your war-torn children today -
The sinful, suffering, despondent,
Dear Mother, please help us to pray.

Then take all our Ave Marias
To the Sacred Heart of your Son;
And plead with Him, dear Mother,
That Peace on earth may come.

Immaculate Mother, Queen of Peace,
Awaken in the hearts of men
Devotion to your Son and thee -
The Song of Bernadette again.

– Bernice Gleason Grant
Cyril Robert. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry. Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.


The Miracles of La Salette

All who invoked her, kneeling at her shrine
Or looking towards her from some far-off land,
Soon felt the virtue of her gracious hand
Or learnt before the cross their wills incline.
But still more pilgrims came here to beseech
For greater cure - that of a wayward heart
Intent on nobler ways and brave new start,
For strength to make with past a lasting breach.
Of these two signs say which more wonderful -
Some portents wrought before our spell-bound eyes
Or rather inward victories of grace?
If such of things divine the measured rule,
Conceive what unsung glory hidden lies
In the mute annals of this hallowed place.

– James P. O'Reilly, M.S.
Cyril Robert. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.


A Song of La Salette

On flower-enamelled peak of Dauphine
The lilting voice of nature's Mistress rings,
And quickly a sweet water-music springs
From streamlet sadly mute until this day.
Nature unfolds a carpet blue and green
Before this light which makes the sun to pale,
Forget-me-not, blue gentian, violet frail,
A color-rhapsody sing to their Queen.

All round, the vast and snow-capped mountains
Like stairs that beckon to eternal halls;
Beyond the birds and trees their purple walls
Go steeply up into the noonday skies.
Below, the cataracting torrents lead
Down craters dense with fir and silver pine;
On sloping meadows browse the peaceful kine,
The fertile loam lies harrowed for the seed.

O pilgrim! Stand, admire this vast creation,
This great cathedral built by Master-hand
And placed in wildness terrible and grand;
Ah! Well our Lady chose this tranquil isolation
To wean us from all worldly dissipation
And make us sigh for our true home and land!

- James P. O'Reilly, M.S.
Cyril Robert. Our Lady's Praise in Poetry. Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.


Ballade to Our Lady of Czestochowa

Lady and Queen of Mystery manifold
And very Regent of the untroubled sky,
Whom in a dream St. Hilda did behold
And heard a woodland music passing by:
You shall receive me when the clouds are high
With evening and the sheep attain the fold.
This is the faith that I have held and hold.
And this is that in which I mean to die.

Steep are the seas and savaging and cold
In broken waters terrible to dry;
And vast against the winter night the world,
And harbourless for any sail to lie.
But you shall lead me to the lights, and I
Shall hymn you in a harbour story told.
This is the faith that I have held and hold,
And this is that in which I mean to die.

Help the half-defeated, House of Gold,
Shrine of the sword, and Tower of Ivory;
Splendour apart, supreme and aureoled,
The Battler's vision and the World's reply.
You shall restore me, O my last Ally,
To vengeance and the glories of the bold.
This is the faith that I have held and hold,
And this is that in which I mean to die.

Prince of the degradations, bought and sold,
These verses, written in your crumbling sty,
Proclaim the faith that I have held and hold
And publish that in which I mean to die.

– Hillaire Belloc


Spring at Lourdes

In the clefts of the rock the dove,
In the hollows of the wall
The beautiful one, my love,
Comely, slender, and tall.

The flowers at last in our land -
Sandaling slim white feet,
The voice of the turtle, and
A voice that is strange and sweet.

Here let the heart abide,
For winter is over and done
Where Heaven is opened wide
On a woman clothed with the sun.

– Sister Mary St. Virginia
Cyril Robert. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.


The Mystic Roses of Salette

Amongst her ornaments, the children told
Of roses, oh! So richly hued and bright,
That fringed Our Lady's diadem of gold
And graced her fairest brow. Fine threads of light
Shone from their centres, flames that upward streamed
Like incense in a sun-gilt fane. Across
Her white cape, too, a chain of roses gleamed,
And round her shoes they weaved their shimmering
Mystical roses, these! And symbols all
Of fervent rosaries her clients thread,
And of the Aves from their lips that fall
As petals for her maiden feet to tread;
Their rosaries, as flowery crowns, adorn
With love's devotion to her who came to mourn.

- James P. O'Reilly, M.S.
Cyril Robert. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.


Evening Falls on the Grotto

The molten sun was setting
Through a heavy woodland screen,
And fair, among the beams of light,
Stood a grotto of Our Queen.

Around her head a diadem
With jewels was shining bright,
The jewels were warm as little stars,
The same as light the night.

Her face gave forth a radiance,
That filled my soul with love,
Her eyes were raised towards Heaven
And the tinted skies above.

Her hands were hanging by her side -
They gave a wondrous glow,
The beams that fell were graces
She has obtained for us below.

The sun has set, the moon is up,
The scene is still the same -
Symbol of her who does not change
Towards those who call her name.

– Mary Moffitt
Cyril Robert. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.


The Canticle of Bernadette

'Tis near the noonday on Massabielle
When the rock will resound to the Angelus bell.

A maiden of Lourdes from the old mountain town
Goes gathering driftwood the Gave may bring down.

No wind in the poplars, no sound in the hills -
A sudden breath passes, and Bernadette thrills.

What vision beams yonder? The green - ivied grot
Enshrineth such glory as mortals know not.

Oh, fairer than queens is this Queen undefiled,
Who tenderly smiles on the shepherdess child.

God's angels have garbed her in white robe and veil;
Beside her blue girdle the blue sky looks pale.

A rosary gleams in her fingers so fair;
The fine gold is beaded with jewels most rare.

Gold roses of Eden her white feet adorn,
For Mary remaineth the Rose without thorn.

Fifteen times Bernadette kept her pilgrimage tryst
With Mary, the mild maiden - Mother of Christ.

"Oh, pray for poor sinners, do penance and pray!"
What sorrow the tones of Our Lady betray!"

"Go wash in the well-spring," said Mary - "and drink,
And taste of the wild herb that grows by the brink."

Oh, strange! When the child digs a hole in the ground,
At the touch of her fingers well-waters abound.

At Lady-Day dawning the secret is told -
"In me the Immaculate Conception behold!"

All hail to thee, Mary, God's beautiful one,
Who gave to the world God's own holy Son.

- Cyril Robert. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.


An Apparition

"A sign was seen in heaven; a Woman stood;
beneath her feet the moon." That waning moon
'Neath yonder pictured apparition curved,
Is time there dying with his dying months;
The Spirit showed that Vision to Saint John
Exiled in Patmos Isle. The best beloved
Deserved such solace best.

– Aubrey De Vere
Cyril Robert. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.


Our Lady of La Salette

Two Shepherd Children once of long ago
Espied as in a Dream - all ray'd in Light
One - bowed deep in prayer - and weeping there.

"Who could the Lady be, so sad, so fair?"
They thought within themselves,
"What brings her here?"
Than at their wondering prayer - the Lady spoke!

At the sweet accents, gathering close - all rapt -
They gazed upon the tender smile of winning grace!
Who knows, but what they saw - Another's Face
Therein reflected ! E'en the Face of God?

The Lady spoke! "None go to Mass to pray!
But spend God's Sabbath in useless, idle way!
Blaspheme! - E'en take His Holy Name in vain!

"Fain do I pray - I stay His Arm
And ask the world shall know no harm!
Who disobey His Rule.

"My children! You your prayers must say!
One Pater, Ave, night and day!
And if the world converted be
God's goodness it shall shortly see."

The Shepherds pondered every word
Of the Sorrowing Mother of Our Lord!
Yet knew not She was Mary Mild
Who gave us the Holy Child.

Sweet roses play'd on rainbow'd Light
As on Her gown all colors danc'd!
While on Her breast - a gold Cross gleam'd!
The Holy Sign of Christ's Redeemed.

Yet not alone the Cross - but chains!
The Hammer and Tongs of cruel pains
Upon Our Mother's breast they lay!
Sad tokens, on that happy day!

Then as Our Lady bid Goodbye,
And again assumed was to the sky
She said "This to my People make ye known
And bid them kneel at Mercy's Throne."

– Ferne M. Montague
Cyril Robert. Mary Immaculate: God's Mother and Mine. Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1946.


Ode to Mary

O Blessed Mary
Immaculate Virgin
Most holy and pure
free of all sin

Mother of God
and all mankind
Loving and gentle
sweet and kind

Full of grace
and merciful
Perpetual help
and prayerful

Our Lady of Sorrows
so sorrowful
Soul eternally spotless
so beautiful

Messenger of God
our intercessor
Perfect human
our protector

To save mankind
reveal Your faces
at Knock, Tre-Fontane
and other places

At La Salette
and at Pontmain
At Rue du Bac
and at Beauraing

Lady of Carmel
and Guadalupe
Lady of Fatima
and Medjugorje

Lady of the Rosary
and of Lourdes' Shrine
Lily of the Valley
Torch of Love sublime

Cape of Juan Diego
Song of Bernadette
Miracle at Fatima
the world dare not forget

Queen of Peace
and of Heaven above
Queen of Earth
And Queen of Love

You gave us the grace
of First Saturday
And specially taught us
the rosary to pray

Please help us convert
and help us to pray
To open our hearts
to do penance each day

To love one another
and do every good deed
To respond from our hearts
Your teachings to heed

Draw us ever closer
to Your Divine Son
That we may become holy
and our hearts become one

For you are the Handmaid
of the Lord
You live eternally
according to His Word.

– Peter Heintz
A Guide to Apparitions. Part I. Sacramento: Gabriel Press, 1995.


Ballad of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Just listen to me, Sirs,
I'd like to sing you a song,
It's something that really happened:
I wouldn't string you along.
I want to tell you a true thing
About Our Lady of Tepeyac,
Who appeared to Juan Diego
On a deserted mountain track.

Juan Diego was an Indian,
Who came from Cautitlan.
He was crossing the mountains
Walking to beat the band.

He was crossing this mountain
That is known as Tepeyac.
Juan was going to Tlatelulco
And came from Tulpetlac.

He was crossing the mountains
To hear a Christian Mass;
The Franciscan fathers had taught him
that was worth the pass.

And as he crossed the mountain
He heard a voice divine,
And Juanito saw a Person
Lovelier than the Vine.

The Person said to Juanito
Where are you going now?
And Juan Diego answered
To hear the Mass, I vow.

Then the Virgin told him:
I'm Mary of Guadalupe
The Mother of Jesus Christ
And the Queen of all this group.

I've come to guard my children,
To make your country Mine.
Go and tell the Bishop
That he has to build me a shrine.

Tell him that Mary sent you,
Don't let him ever forget.
Juan Diego said farewell
And kept his purpose set.

Finally Juan Diego
Came to the Bishop's House,
And when he came to his presence
Told him what it was all about.

It was a Queen that sent me,
She told me to come to your house;
She told me to tell you
She wanted a Cathedral hereabouts.

The Bishop answered promptly:
You have to show me a sign
That it was the Virgin sent you
And that you haven't been drinking wine.

Go back, Juan Diego,
And bring me, if you can,
Some token superhuman
That has no taint of man.

Juan Diego left there promptly
With sad heart and dragging feet,
And went back to that hillside
Sad and unreplete.

When he reached the hillside
Where the Virgin had once surprised him,
She appeared again
And thus She catechised him.

My son, what did they tell you?
And why do you look so sad?
Did you talk to the Bishop?
What did he say to make you mad?
Juan Diego stood there speechless
He didn't know what to say
Or how to inform Her
That only a sign could carry the day.

The Virgin simply answered:
Well if it's a sign he craves,
Don't cry and don't you worry
We've thousands in these caves.

And when he plucked those roses,
His heart began to sing
He went right to that Bishop
As glad as anything.

And when he came to his presence,
He didn't waste a word;
All the Bishop's servants
Knew that Juan had to be heard.

And when the Bishop saw him
His heart forgot to doubt.
Let's see what you have in your cloak, boy,
And what this is all about.

It's the token that you've asked for
The loveliest flowers that there've been,
With a freshness and a savor
That the world has never seen.

Juanito dropped his cloak then,
Let the roses fall
And disclosed Our Lady's picture:
Mother of sinners all.

All dropped to their knees then
At this miracle serene,
Crossed themselves and shouted,
"Long live the Indian Queen!"

And this is what really happened
Four hundred years ago,
In fifteen thirty-one
As you all rightly know.

And all the world has noted
The miracle of Four
And to this date the nations
Worship at Her door.

Hidalgo with his wisdom,
In eighteen hundred and ten,
In Her Name proclaimed the freedom
Of all the Mexican men.

And in Her name we conquered,
Broke off the Spanish bands,
Gave ourselves to Mary,
Left our destiny in Her hands.

And to this day we hymn Her
Guardian of our soil;
In every Mexican breast She reigns
Queen of all our toil.

Today we come here singing
Pilgrims that we are,
The Song of Mary Virgin
Our Country's Guiding Star.

- Silvino C. N. Martinez
Demarest, Donald, and Coley Taylor, The Dark Virgin: The Book of Our Lady of Guadalupe, New York: Academy Guild Press, 1956.


Lines to Our Lady of Guadalupe

"Am I not here who am thy Mother -
What dost thou fear?"

Deep in the tangled brushwood of my hours,
You are a sudden clearing, Madre mia,
Amid the choke of thorn,
Incredible rose.

And where my fears sit huddled in their trembling,
You are a soft word spoken, O Maria,
In heart's cacophany, a splendid chord!

Brave alabaster out of hope-shards builded,
What need I dream of beauty, I who know
Curve of your cheek, the raven hair low-winging,
Soft swell of lip, the delicate flight of brow!

Exuberance, be hedged in Christ oh! Sweetly

By this rumorous smile's so wistful bands;
And sorrow, find your meaning, find your haven
In this gentle fold of olive hands.

Authentic glimpse of heaven, Madre mia,
Your image my supernal dividend
On sorrow, and my pledge past all devising

Of paradisal day. What shall I fear
Of pain, of death, of diverse ignominy
When you are here, Maria, when you are here.

- Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.


Juan Diego

An Indian's brown cheek curved to a dusky rose,
Once long ago upon Tepeyac's barren hill
When winter roses bloomed
And roses were mere roses in the glowing laughter
of the lady's smile.
My little son. I love you.' So all Tepeyac's holy hill
Now sang an Indian lullaby of roses and wild birds.

- Anne B. Quinn


Mary, Virgin of Guadalupe

Dark lady, you smile at me across the mountains
The secret smile of ancient people.
What thoughts do you send me, dark beautiful lady?
Will you someday tell me when I come with great
armfuls of roses
Over the mysterious mountains to your feet?
Dear, dark queen will you give me too
Lovely roses in December?

- Anne B. Quinn


Hail, O Empress of America

Hail, O Empress of America,
Our dear Queen without a stain.
Guadalupe is your title
And the throne from which you reign
Is Mount Tepeyac made blessed
When you came to earth again.

Mother Mary graced our country
With her loving presence rare.
She appeared to Juan Diego
Sending him with gentle care
To the bishop with a message
That she wished a shrine built there.

"Build a temple to my honor,
Where my mother heart may reign,
Calling all with sweet compassion;
None will come to me in vain.
All in labor or affliction
Strength and peace will find again."

The good bishop, wisely prudent,
Begged a sign of Heaven's Queen;
And the gracious Lady answered
In a manner sweet, serene;
Working miracles, inspiring
Hope through ages yet unseen.

She commanded Juan Diego
Gather roses fair and bright
Which she caused to bloom in winter
On a barren, rocky height,
On the twelfth day of December -
Blessed day! O blessed site!

She arranged them in Juan's mantle
Saying with a smile benign:
"Take these to the holy bishop,
Here he has the heavenly sign.
Do not look within your mantle
Till the bishop you will find."

When Juan opened his poor mantle
To the bishop's great surprise,
Roses fell in shower of glory
Spreading their sweet perfume wide.
But the prelate knelt in reverence;
Greater marvel met his eyes.

There upon the cheap, rough tilma,
Painted by an art divine,
Was the portrait of Our Lady,
Queen and Mother for all time,
Come to dwell in our dear country
Blessing souls with gifts sublime.

Hail, O Empress of America,
Guadalupe is your name.
Please accept our humble homage,
Bless our hearts and homes again.
Keep us loyal to our Savior
Till with Him and you we reign.

- Sr. Regina
The Missionary Catechist, December 1959.


A Guadalupe Poem

Four hundred and twenty-seven
years ago
Across the sea in Mexico
Our Lady of Guadalupe was seen
By an Indian poor, in clothing
Around Here shone a Heavenly
And as she left his wondering
Upon his lowly cloak so blessed
A picture of Herself she pressed.
So if there's no dissenting voice,
I feel that She should be our
choice !

- Frances Ash
Catholic Herald, December 12, 1958.


Our Lady of Guadalupe: 1952

We have learned to laugh like cannonades
When the corners of our tears rake our faces,
Because the night lurks so broadly in our day
And the trees put up their arms like deprecations.

Can you not hear us, Mary, hear our songs
Trickle down death? We plunge our prayers like swords
Deep in the lifting bosom of your mercy,
And all the world's a lonely Tepeyac
Yearning to kiss your feet.

Come, tease our winter
With your Castilian roses! Where we dance
Wrong measures, come and balance on the moon.
Because we all grow frowsy with our fears,
Wear the blue sun again in casual folds.

All men's faces turn like pitiless mirrors
To show our terror. Take the screaming stars
Back to their happy places on your mantle.

Mary, all the world's a Tepeyac
Bleak for your coming. Paint our shabby prayer,
A rougher tilma, with your saving face.

- Francis D. Clarke.
Spirit Journal, Volume 19, 1952-1953, pages 162-165.


Our Lady of Guadalupe

The air was strangely still and calm
That cold December day;
When Juan Diego hurried on
To church where he would pray.

Good Juan would there assist at Mass
As was his wont to do;
When suddenly before him stood
A Lady dressed in blue.

The Lady gently spoke to Juan
Up there on Tepeyac hill;
Juan listened gravely to her words;
He would her wish fulfill.

The Lady asked him kindly
Would he the Bishop tell
That here a temple must be built?
This deed would please her well.

In haste good Juan walked down the hill
And gave the message clear.
Alas! The Prelate would not believe
The words that he did hear.

Poor Juan was very sad indeed,
For he was told to bring
A sign to prove his words were true;
How could he do this thing!

That eve the Lady came again
And stood on Tepeyac hill;
She waited there for Juan to say
He did her wish fulfill.

But Juan had gone another way
Where her he would not meet.
The Lady soon appeared to him;
Good Juan fell at her feet.

The Lady then addressed poor Juan;
She told him her own name:
"Holy Mary of Guadalupe."
His fears he overcame.

Juan told her of the Bishop's doubts;
He asked her for a sign;
The Lady bade him gather now
Some roses, fresh and fine.

The Indian knew no roses grew
On Tepeyac's rocky hill;
Yet Juan Diego went at once
To do the Lady's will.

Large, lovely roses Juan saw there
Where cactus plants had grown;
And in his "tilma" gathered fast
Bright roses all full-blown.

Juan joyfully went down the hill,
Then to the palace raced;
He had the sign the Prelate wished;
All doubts would be effaced.

The "tilma" Juan presented him,
And great was Juan's surprise!
Bishop Zamarraga knelt down
With reverence in his eyes.

The roses, they were beautiful;
On the coarsely-woven cloak,
Lo! A figure of God's Mother!
Awe-stricken, no one spoke.

The Lady in the picture wears
A mantle of blue-green;
Abundant of gold and flower-like tints.
In this painting can be seen.

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Stands there in perfect grace.
In the hearts of all her children
She holds a sacred place.

- Sr. St. Stanislas, C.D.P.


The Virgin of Guadalupe

The good Jehovah, dread, magnificent,
Once chose a people whom he called his own,
And out of Egypt in a wondrous way
He brought them in a dark and troublous
And Moses touched the Red Sea with a rod,
And the waves parted, offering them a path,
His people passed, but in the abyss remained
Egyptian horse and rider who pursued.
Marched on the flock of Jacob, and the Lord
Spread over them his all protecting wings,
As the lone eagle shields her unfledged young,
He gave them lands, and victories, and spoils -
Glad nation! Which the Master of the heavens
Loved as the very apple of his eye.
But now this people, seeing themselves blessed
By him whose slightest glance they not
Erected perishable images
In homage unto strange and pagan gods.
The Lord in indignation said: "They wished
To make their Maker jealous with vain gods,
Bowing in dust the sacrilegious knee
Before the dumb creation of their hands,
Well, I will sting their hearts with jealousy,
Showing myself to all unhappy lands
Without employing vail or mystery."
He said it, and his solemn word fulfilled,
Convoking from the farthest ends of the earth
Nations barbarian and civilized -
The Gaul, the Scandinavian, Roman, Greek,
And the neglected race of Mexico,
Whom the Almighty Sovereign loved so well
The holy truth he would reveal to them -
So that the hard hearts of his people should
Be softened. Yet his mercy was not full:
Down from the diamond heavens he bade
The Virgin, who with mother's sorrowing care
Nursed him in Bethlehem when he was a child.

Near to the tremulous Tezcoco lake
Rises a bare and solitary hill,
Where never cypress tall nor cedar grows,
Nor whispering oak; nor cooling fountain
The waste of herbless rocks and sterile sand -
A barren country' tis, dry, dusty, sad,
Where the vile worm scarce drags its length

Here is the place where Holy Mary comes
Down from her home above the azure heavens
To show herself to Juan, who, comfortless,
Petitioned for relief from troubles sore.
Sometimes it chances that a fragrant plant
In the dense forest blooms unseen, unknown,
Though bright its virginal buds and rare its
So doth the modest daughter of the Lord
Obscure the moon, the planets, and the stars
Which all adorn her forehead and her feet,
When lends she the poor Indian her grace,
In bounty wonderful to all his kind.
She tenders him the waters and the dew,
Prosperity of fruits and animals,
A heart of sensible humility,
And help unfailing in his future need.
The Angel of America resumes
Her radiant flight. With grateful ear he
Twice did he wondering kneel, and twice again
He kissed the white feet of the holy maid.

But did not end God's providence benign:
The Almighty wished to leave to Mexicans
His Mother's likeness by his own great hand,
In token of the love he had for us.
He took the pencil, saying "We will make
In heaven's own image, as we moulded man.
But what was Adam to my beauteous one?"
So saying, drew he with serenest face
The gentle likeness of the Mother-maid.
He saw the image, and pronounced it good.

Since then, with the encircling love of heaven,
A son she sees in every Mexican.
Mildly the wandering incense she receives,
Attending to his vow with human face;
For her the teeming vapors yield their rain
To the green valley and the mountain side,
Where the bend and wave the abundant harvest
And the green herbs that feed the lazy kine.
She makes the purifying breezes pass,
And on the restless and unsounded seas
She stills the rigor of the hurricane.
The frighten people see the approach of death
When the broad earth upon its axis shakes,
But the wild elements are put to sleep,
With but a smile from her mild countenance.
And she has moved the adamantine heart
Of avarice, who saw decrepit age
Creep like an insect on the dusty earth,
To open his close-shut hand, and bless the poor.
She maketh humbly kneel and kiss the ground
No less the wise than simple. She the great,
Dazzled by their own glory, doth advise
That soon their gaudy pageant shall be o'er,
And heaven's oblivion shall dissolve their

How often has the timid, trembling maid
Upon the verge of ruin sought thy help,
Shutting her eyes to pleasure and to gold
At thought of thee, O Maiden pure and meek!
Centuries and ages will have vanished by,
Within their currents bearing kings and men;
Great monuments shall fall; the pyramids
Of lonely Egypt moulder in decay;
But time shall never place its fatal hand
Upon the image of the Holy Maid,
Nor on the pious love of Mexico.

- Manuel Carpio
Catholic World, Volume 13, Pages 189-195, May 1871.


To The Most Holy Virgin Under the Invocation of Guadalupe

From her eternal palace, from the heavens,
One day descended to America,
When in its worst affliction, the great Mary,
Its sorrows to maternally console.
Behold in Tepeyac how watchfully
She frustrates the designs of heresy,
How she extinguishes the fire that flames
From the far French unto the Indian soil!
What matter, then, if proud Napoleon,
With his infernal hosts the world appalling,
Seeks to possess the land of Mexico?
To arms, countrymen: war, war!
For the sacred palladium of Guadalupe
Protects our native land.

The deity of peace have painters skilled
Portrayed with bounteous grace and elegance,
Painting a virgin who with fair white hands
An offering of tender blossoms bore.
Thus were their pencils' finest excellences
A promise and foreshadowing of this,
The image of Our Lady, which in heaven
Received its colors. Thus beheld it he,
The fortunate Indian, at Tepeyac,
That bare and desolate hill, a miracle,
That unto day has been perpetuate.
Now while the world's ablaze with lively war,
Seems that affrighted peace has taken refuge
Within the happy households of our land.

- Manuel Navarrete
Catholic World, Volume 13. Pages 189-195, May 1871.


La Virgen de Guadalupe

Of Guadalupe, that fair image pictured
Unto the venerating eye of Mexico;
With stars and light adorned, the figure painted
Of a most modest Maiden, full of grace;
What image is it? Copy 'tis divine
Of the Mother of God.

And what assures me this? My tender thought.
Who the design conceived? The holiest love.
Who then portrayed it? The eternal God.

- Father Manuel Sartorio
Catholic World, Volume 13. Pages 189-195, May 1871


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