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Ode to the Dark Virgin

On December 12, 1531, on a hill where the goddess Tonantzin had been worshipped before the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the Virgin Mary appeared to an Indian peasant named Juan Diego.  This dark-skinned apparition became known as the Virgin of Guadalupe.

When Juan Diego spread out his tunic
Carmine roses cascaded before the bishop
Who fell to his knees before the dark Virgin
Whose image was seared into the rough cloth.

When Juan Diego spread out his tunic
His arms embraced his Divine Mother.
Tonantzin, or Mary by her Christian name-
Her effulgence rapturing the New World with the Old.

When Juan Diego spread out his tunic
God fell off the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
A girl lay aglow in the manger of Christmas
And a young woman became the hope of the world.

When Juan Diego spread out his tunic
The Trinity became the Quaternity
Religion collapsed into spirituality
And Christianity lost its boundary.

When Juan Diego spread out his tunic
A gentle woman for once was in charge!
And made the bishop drop his mitre
And his dogma with his cry of “Milagro!”

Miracle!  God appearing as a young Mother
Blessing her children, east and west,
North and south; Juan Diego’s open arms
Offering us the shelter of Her presence.

Topics: Devotional and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 2: Pluralism and Point 3: Inclusive Community. Seasons & Special Events: Advent. Resource Types: Poetry.

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