The akathist to Our Lady of Guadalupe is beautiful! I know of fellow parishioners at my parish who definitely will love having this akathist for their personal use. Copies of this akathist should be sent out to all the parishes of the Ruthenian Metropolia in the U.S. since the feastday of Our Lady of Guadalupe is now an official liturgical feastday.
Alex, a few years ago you made me an "honorary Ukrainian" due to the fact that, although I am of Mexican heritage, I also have a love for the Ukrainian Catholic Church. At that time my forum name was "Byzantino". As a result of your composing this beautiful akathist to "La Morenita", I now officially declare you to be a "guadalupano"!!!!
IN STUNNING TREND, GUADALUPE DEVOTION IS CROSSING INTO PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS
The Los Angeles Times reports that the Virgin of Guadalupe -- whose feast is celebrated today (December 12) -- is growing in popularity not only among Catholics, but among Protestant denominations.
"In some Catholic parishes it's a bigger day than Christmas or Easter: the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe," says the newspaper. "Beginning well before dawn, worshipers today will gather to celebrate the brown-skinned mother of Jesus who, legend says, appeared before a poor Mexican peasant in 1531.
"But the celebration isn't just for Catholics anymore. Increasingly, the pregnant Virgen de Guadalupe is turning up in other Latino-dominated churches as a way to make worshipers feel at home while honoring the mother of Christ and champion of the downtrodden."
The paper quoted a priest, Father Francisco Schulte, a scholar at St. John's University in Minnesota, as saying that any church wanting to attract Latinos "that doesn't take into account how deeply that message [of Our Lady of Guadalupe] is rooted in the Latino identity � is pretty well doomed."
The Virgin of Guadalupe -- who converted millions of pagan Aztecs back in the 16th century -- is now finding her way into denominations that once denounced such devotion. "The trend is particularly noticeable at Episcopal and Lutheran churches, whose liturgical traditions are closest to Catholicism," says the Times. "Parishioners at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in National City, south of San Diego, will gather this evening to sing and bring roses for Our Lady of Guadalupe. During the service, eight children will have their first communion. 'Mexicans identify with her because she looks like them,' said the Rev. Patricia Andrews-Callori, rector of the parish. 'She's been a consolidating force for Mexicans.'"
While not all Mexicans are Catholic (about ten percent are in other denominations), all of them, note scholars, are guadalupano. "So to connect with Latino congregants, especially Mexicans who've strayed from the Catholic Church, Protestant leaders find themselves grappling with what to do with her," says the newspaper.
Of all places, in Berkeley, students at a major West Coast seminary for Episcopalians, the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, honored her Thursday evening with a service that mixed Catholic readings into the standard liturgy. The same was done elsewhere. "Some people don't understand it because these things are Catholic," said Margarita Farias, a 33-year-old parishioner and mother of two who lives in San Clemente. "But I felt that [the Virgin of Guadalupe] is the mother of us all. I feel we can have her, celebrate her and be a part of this church too."
In converting the Aztecs, Mary turned them away from their devotion to the Aztec mother-goddess, Tonantzin. Her appearances there took place, ironically, around the time that Martin Luther split the Church. Concludes the Times: "Our Lady of Guadalupe's appearance in non-Catholic services has scholars and others wondering whether the beloved apparition that has united Mexicans for nearly five centuries can bring together Christian denominations.
But High Church Episcopalians and Lutherans practice varying degrees of liturgical veneration of Our Lady, as I've heard from them.
Also, during the apparitions of Our Lady of Zeitoun in Egypt, Protestant Evangelicals came out in force to praise the Mother of the Saviour - according to the eye-witness report of one of our priests who was there.
It's interesting that while the Lutherans and Episcopals thre in the USA have a very possitive attitude toward Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Marian Devotion in general, Lutherans and Anglicans in Mexico are very opposed to it just like the other Protestant sects.
I've talked to both Lutherans and Episcopalians who hold a very rationalistic attitude toward the apparitions and say it was a political manipulation, but they never try to offend or proselitize at all.
I suppose that in the USA they support the veneration of the icon as long as they can bring people to their sects. I read an article about this about a month ago, about Hispanics who get confused when they go to Britain or the USa and they get involved in non-Catholic churches by accident because Protestabnts there use statues for example.
Here the European Protestant Churches (Lutherans, Anglicans), unlike the American ones, do not try to convert anyone and have a respectful relationship with Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
Dear Alex, +May the Lord with His Most Holy Mother bless you for this labor of love! I think that this Akathist is equal to any that I've personally prayed over the years. You have truly done something most beautiful in Her honor...it is like you have laid roses at Her feet! May She reward you!
Two years ago Father Michael and I were gifted with a two week trip to Mexico and we brought back (of course) a wonderful copy on wood of the Icon of the Mother of God of Guadalupe. May She constantly intercede for all Americans and especially for her son, Alexander and his family!
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