The season of Advent has always been my favorite of the year. Each week brings us closer to the nativity of our Lord, but perhaps there is no Pre-Christmas celebration that I treasure more than the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The preparation for the festivities of December 12th has always been a family affair, initially led by and culminating at the home of my dearly departed Grandma. As a child, the impression of how emphatically she loved Our Lady was profound and has served as the example which I have followed in my love for our Blessed Mother. Grandma, the most impressive and powerful maternal figure in our Family, looked to Our Lady with a child's wonder, admiration, deep respect and love. After attending Mass the Caballero Family made their pilgrimage to my Grandmother's home, warm and fragrant with menudo. Her tender hands dressed the wall reserved for her Woven Guadalupan Tapestry with twinkling warm lights and red velvet Poinsettia garland with the same affection with which they buttoned up my winter coat. Her eyes brimming with tears, glimmered in the lights which enshrined Our Lady's Image as she lead us in praying the Rosary and her voice cracked with emotion as she sang "La Guadalupana" as we mumbled the words in a language we did not speak, trying still to match her passion.
The emotional threads of prayer, song, liturgy and celebration wove together the tapestry of tradition that we observe to this day. This year we celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast day with a renewed enthusiasm. It's my infant niece's inaugural year, and she named after my Grandmother, Maria Elena, is sure to know of the miraculous apparition of our Lady at Tepayac and her enduring love for us all. As I write this, my sister Jazz and Brother in Law Jonathan follow in Grandma's footsteps, enshrining an Image of Our Lady in poinsettias and Fairy Lights, as baby Maria Elena watches in amazement, the same twinkling in her eyes as in Grandma's. In this moment, heaven and earth meet.
In the weeks preceding this year's Feast Day, Our Lady's words to St. Juan Diego repeat in my heart, "Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more?" They've inspired me to create a Mantilla veil which conceptualizes this phrase and quite literally puts the wearer in the Hollow of Our Lady's Mantle. I wanted to create a sacramental which pays homage to Our Blessed Mother while glorifying her Son, Our Lord in the Eucharist, and so the Guadalupana Veil from Armor of God was created. With each stitch of thread I am reminded of the precious memories past, imagining the great comfort that was brought to our brother Juan Diego as he heeded Our Lady's encouragement and praying that my small efforts to bring the beauty of this sacred day might also become an act of glorification in the tradition of someone else's celebration.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Caramia Caballero is a 27 year old Catholic woman living in Las Vegas, NV. As one half of two Catholic and sister based companies, she works as a Photographer with @missiodeimedia and a Mantilla Veil maker with @armorofgodlv who seeks to glorify God in all she does.