ECCLESIA IN AMERICA

(POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION)

The appearance of Mary to the native Juan Diego on the hill of
Tepeyac in 1531 had a decisive effect on evangelization.20 Its
influence greatly overflows the boundaries of Mexico, spreading
to the whole Continent. America, which historically has been, and
still is, a melting-pot of peoples, has recognized in the mestiza
face of the Virgin of Tepeyac, "in Blessed Mary of Guadalupe, an
impressive example of a perfectly inculturated evangelization".21
Consequently, not only in Central and South America, but in
North America as well, the Virgin of Guadalupe is venerated as
Queen of all America.22

With the passage of time, pastors and faithful alike have grown
increasingly conscious of the role of the Virgin Mary in the
evangelization of America. In the prayer composed for the Special
Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, Holy Mary of
Guadalupe is invoked as "Patroness of all America and Star of the
first and new evangelization". In view of this, I welcome with joy
the proposal of the Synod Fathers that the feast of Our Lady of
Guadalupe, Mother and Evangelizer of America, be celebrated
throughout the continent on December 12.23 It is my heartfelt
hope that she, whose intercession was responsible for
strengthening the faith of the first disciples (cf. Jn 2:11), will by
her maternal intercession guide the Church in America, obtaining
the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as she once did for the early
Church (cf. Acts 1:14), so that the new evangelization may yield a
splendid flowering of Christian life.

full text