The Florida State Council of the Knights of Columbus recently donated a framed image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Office of Hispanic Ministry of the Diocese of Palm Beach. The image marked the celebration of the Encuentro XXXIII event, which took place May 16, 2021 and centered on the theme, “In the Diocese of Palm Beach, like Mary, the Hispanic community says “yes.” The theme focused on Mary’s “yes” to life, love, justice, family and her fiat to God the Father. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was implemented as the icon for this year’s Encuentro event, which was live streamed from the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola Family Life Center.
The image is a certified replica of the original icon in Mexico City and was blessed by Most Reverend Gerald M. Barbarito, Bishop of Palm Beach, June 16, 2021. It hangs in the Pastoral Center lobby in Palm Beach Gardens. In his blessing of the image, Bishop Barbarito read a prayer from St. John Paul II to Our Lady of Guadalupe upon his first foreign trip as Pope to her Basilica in Mexico, Jan. 1979. The prayer read, “Mother of Mercy, teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows. Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand.”
Beginning in 2016, the United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops named the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe a day of prayer in solidarity with immigrants and refugees. As the patron of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe serves as a model for how the faithful might reach out to and welcome those who seek better lives in the U.S.
To read more about the Encuentro XXXIII event, visit https://www.thefloridacatholic.org/dioceses/palm-beach/just-like-mary-the-hispanic-community-says-yes/article_5b4014a8-c955-11eb-9879-83f25cff74db.html.