When I went to the cathedral last weekend, instead of attending mass like I previously planned, I discovered the banner about the relic of Our Lady of Guadalupe one-week visit all the way from Mexico. The relic is exhibited from July 8 – July 14. The veneration / display of the relic will last until 12 AM on July 14th and made its exit at 1 PM.
Our Lady of Guadalupe or Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is one of Mother Mary nickname in Mexico as she appeared before Saint Juan Diego. Bear in mind that there are a lot of Mother Mary appearances around the world, and I barely knew some of them. I haven’t heard of this one before, but the other nickname piqued my interest which is the Protectress of the Unborn. I got the rationale at once because in the relic she is depicted as pregnant with baby Jesus symbolised by the black band around her waist.
I got a short briefing upon my entrance to the church about Mother Mary appearances in Mexico leading to this relic. I was also given the brochures containing the background information, and the prayers to read. A small piece of paper was also made available to write my personal intention.
I read all the history and the prayers when I was touched by this saying
Am I not here, your mother?
That is what Mother Mary said as she consoled Saint Juan Diego at her first appearance in 1531. I felt the saying is indeed comforting, it is always feel good to know someone got your back, that you are not alone. Especially as I struggled with my dissertation these days, I can totally relate to this. I felt good 🙂
I finished reading and praying then I walked toward the relic. I was confused and nervous at that moment, I did not quite know what to do and I was sure looked awkward af. I was told to grab some rose petal midway and I stood before the relic. After I said my prayer, I pressed my intention paper and the petals against the glass surface of the relic to be blessed. I walked away putting the paper in the basket nearby.
As an addition, I’d like to write my opinion towards this matter : abortion. I realised the Church has been active in supporting the unborn, pro-life, and refused the growing concept of legal healthy abortion in this modern world.
Speaking of the unborn, even though I am a Catholic I honestly cannot quite decide where I should stand, I have always been standing at the junction. On one side, I understand the rationale of the Church teaching to pro-life, to respect every living being who has been created by our God as early as conception. Abortion clearly defies the Ten Commandments because “Thou shalt not kill” Thus abortion is seen as murder in the eye of the Church.
On the other hand, as a modern woman, I also understand the point of view of pro-choice. In modern world, women deserved equal rights, one of which is the right to choose anything ranging from personal choice as in abortion to right to vote politically. We also demand more power where we got to decide our own fate based on our choice instead of letting others decide for you. I myself would prefer to keep my right to choose, and would love to feel empowered in general.
But if I were in a situation of unplanned pregnancy, I did not think I would do abortion simply because it defies my personal morale. I believe when conception happened a living being is created already, and as a pure tiny living being, I have no reason to end its life. What has it done wrong? Nothing actually. Looking for someone to blame for the situation? I’d rather blame myself for my recklessness, because even before the tiny living being is created, I kinda made this happen. At least, I had the eggs before the conception, and it was also happen in my body anyway.
In a worse case, if the living being is created by forced accident such as rape, I did not think I will abort it either if I were in that position. Because again, it has done nothing wrong, it may be an unwanted product of some tragedy, but it did not choose to be created that way on the first place. I’d say if this situation is seen as criminal acts in the law court, abortion seems like the judges’ decision to kill the victim instead of handling the crime doers. Sounds like an empty and frivolous solution for me.
Those are my mere personal thoughts if I were to be put in others’ shoes. At the end of the day, speaking of others, I wanted to judge no one. I believe in humans’ free will similar as what the Church has taught me. Everyone is free to do whatever they want, though in reality you also need to bear the responsibilities of your every actions.
Did you choose not to do the abortion and gave birth to the baby? Fine, there are going to be a lot of social pressures (especially in Eastern culture, like mine) and you also need to decide to put it up for adoption, raising it by yourself, etc.
Did you choose to do the abortion? Fine as well. Do your research and find a good legal clinic to do the procedure. Brace yourself for some health and psychological consequences that might occur during/after the procedure as commonly happen.
Wrapping up, is it worth it to visit the exhibition? Yes! Do visit if you had some time, as you got the chance to see the relic which has come a long way from Mexico. Do pray for the unborn as Our Lady of Guadalupe relic suggests, especially if you believe in life right after conception. I also felt comforted after coming there, and got some chance to reflect on this abortion issue.
Pretty good experience for me so I’d give this event 3 out of 5 rating.
Check the official event page on St. David’s Cathedral website
Check the official information hub on Our Lady of Guadalupe Relic website