The Catholic University of America

Rev. Michael Witczak, associate professor, theology, was interviewed by Catholic News Service for a story on Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast day is Dec. 12. See below.

Our Lady of Guadalupe shouldn’t be viewed as just a Mexican tradition

From: Catholic News Service (via Catholic Chronicle)
Date: Nov. 29, 2015
Author: Chaz Muth

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When Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego, the Spaniards and Aztecs were on the brink of war, and scholars believe it would have been brutal. Many have suggested the result of such a war could have diminished Christianity in the region.

Instead, the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe brought an end to the Aztec's worship of stone gods and the practice of human sacrifice, said Father Michael Witczak, an associate professor of liturgical studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington.

When the indigenous people embraced Catholicism, the religion of the Spaniards, the two groups discovered a way of living together in relative harmony, Father Witczak said.

"The story is captivating," he told CNS. "That whole image of this 57-year-old Aztec Christian encountering this woman and not wanting to get involved with something he knew would be viewed with great skepticism. Yet, (the news) was eventually seen as a miracle that helped spread Christianity throughout the Americas."

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