Today, December 12th, is the day when we commemorate the visits of our Lady to St. Juan Diego. The Mass readings for today are from the book of Revelation, and remind us not only of the end times, but also of the woman whose offspring would "rule all the nations with an iron rod." The First Reading is:
"A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God."
(Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab)
There are several cultural festivities around celebrating the Feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, from singing Las Mananitas at 5am, to pinatas, to re-enacting the apparitions themselves. Another way to honor our Lady on this special day is to make a wreath to hang in your family Prayer Space. I created the simple wreath above in about 30 minutes. The great thing about making wreaths is that they last for years. Once you spend the time making one, you don't have to make it again next year. You're already set to remember this feast day. Here are the directions:
Step 1: Gather your materials.
an ornament or picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe
a round wire wreath ring
a slightly smaller pre-made wreath with a bow
several bushes of roses (I used 5)
a battery powered string of lights
a hot glue gun
several twist ties
Step 2: Attach the ornament of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Using a twist tie or the ribbon on the ornament, attach the picture of Our Lady of Guadaulupe behind the red bow, so that it hangs down in the center of the wreath.
Step 3: Tie the Wreaths Together
Using the twist ties, simply tie the smaller wreath into the center of the larger wreath ring at several different places around the ring, so that it stays.
Step 4: Cut and Glue the Roses
Cut or pull the roses off the rose bushes first and lay them around the outside of the wire wreath ring, so that you can see where to glue them. Then, using the hot glue gun, glue the roses on to the wreath ring.
Step 5: Add the Light String
When the roses are dry, turn the wreath over and tie the battery box for the light string onto the wire ring. Secure it with more twist ties. Be sure to lay it on top of the wire, so that you can change the batteries. Then string the lights in between the roses, all around the wreath.
Step 5: Final Details
Add any additional items you would like, such as the small white bow on top of the red bow.
Congratualtions! You have a reusable element to put in your Prayer Space every December 12th, to honor our Lady and pray for her help on guidance.
Storage Tip: To keep this wreath protected during the year, hang it on a wall on the inside of a closet.