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‘Our Lady of Guadalupe — life, death, and the life hereafter’

Submitted by St. Luke Church
for Today’s Catholic

Guadalupanos have had a strong devotion to Our Lady ever since she appeared to San Juan Diego in Mexico City. Faith is passed on by family members such as grandparents, to their children, and their children’s children. Hope and love sustain us through our struggles and nourish our spiritual health and there is a joy and continuing love for our Lord Jesus Christ and his Mother. Argentina Balderrama and Margie Gavia are two sisters from St. Luke Church Guadalupanos who share their two stories below.

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Our parents, John T. and Argentina G. were faithful people. They taught us how to love and pray. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was always in our home. Praying for our loved ones, especially during the “hard times,” was evident because our parents faithfully prayed the rosary every night. When our father served during World War II, Mom fervently prayed the rosary until he returned home. He was wounded, but he returned. Our brothers served in the military during Vietnam and Desert Storm and our father lit an intercessory candle and prayed the rosary fervently for his sons safe return home. And return they did. Our mother died in January 2004 and our father died in May 2006.

The first story involves Argentina Balderrama’s young son. Benjamin was two years old when he developed a high fever of 105 degrees and began to convulse. He was rushed to the hospital and in those long, tense hours he was tested for spinal meningitis. Thanks to God and Our Lady of Guadalupe his test came back negative. His high fever, however, persisted at 103 degrees for three days. Argentina stayed with her son and prayed and prayed. On the third day after returning from the hospital chapel and entering the room, the nurse turned around and said, “His fever just broke.” What joy that my son was getting better. I am reminded of how Our Blessed Mother Mary also hovered as her son was walking the “Via Crucis.”

The second story involves Margie Gavia, her parents and her in-laws. In 2003, both parents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries. A Sunday morning mass intention for Margie’s parent’s recognition of their 50 years of marriage was celebrated.

The presiding priest invited a member of the family to come up and share a story with the congregation. Argentina was caring for a young niece, so she encouraged her sister, Margie, to speak. Father said, “Will the daughter in the red dress please come up,” and so she did. Margie shared a beautiful story of our parent’s great love for each other, their faithfulness, and knowing they shared a covenant with Jesus and a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe that strengthened their relationship. She then added that her in-laws would also be celebrating their 50th anniversary in a few months. She shared their great devotion to each other that was also steeped in great faith. At the end of her talk she had everyone in tears.

Both sisters, Argentina and Margie, are involved in different ministries at St. Luke Church and remain faithful to the sharing of their faith with the community by their example of devotion, prayer, and works of faith.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas — pray for us!

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