Our Lady of Guadalupe

12        Our Lady of Guadalupe

Feast Day: December 12 Screen Shot 2012-12-10 at 5.44.18 PM

We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 9. Our Blessed Mother appeared to a fifty-five year old Indian, Juan Deigo on December 9, 1531.

Juan who had become a Catholic, was going to Mass early one morning when Our Lady stopped him as he was making his way down Tepyac Hill. Mary asked him to go to the bishop and tell him that she wanted a great church built on the very spot where she was standing.

The Indian was very troubled. He wanted with all his heart to do what the Lady commanded. But how could he approach the bishop? How could anyone believe such an unusual request?

Juan Diego went to the bishop. The bishop of course, did not believe his story. He did not want to offend Juan and told him to ask the Lady for a sign the next time he met her.

Juan was caught in the middle. The Lady knew what she wanted; the bishop had the power to make her wish come true, but he wanted proof.

On December 12, early in the morning, Juan Diego was hurrying along the path. His uncle was dying and he was going to get the priest. Juan had no time to waste and did not want to meet the lady so he took another route.

But Mary appeared again to Juan and told him that his uncle was better. In fact, Juan found out a little later that Our Lady had for a moment appeared to his uncle and he was immediately cured.

The Lady asked Juan to go back to the bishop. She wanted him to build a church. Juan remembered the bishop’s request and asked Mary for a sign. Mary sent Juan into the rocky area nearby and told him to gather the roses that were there.

Juan was confused. He knew there were no roses. It was winter, there was snow on the ground and the bushes were bare. But Juan did as he was told and there really were roses, beautiful roses. Excited, Juan picked them all and went to the bishop.

He carried them carefully in his tilma (cloak). Juan clutched his cloak and made his way into the room where the bishop was. Slowly he let down his cloak and the beautiful roses, fresh and wet with dew, fell to the floor.

Juan smiled but was shocked when the bishop and his attendants knelt down in front of him. He followed the bishop’s eyes that were staring at his cloak. And then he saw her, the picture of his beautiful lady, glowing on his tilma.

Her image was life-size, exactly as she had appeared. The bishop had received his sign and Mary would have her church.

Today a great church, called a basilica, stands on the spot where Our Lady of Guadalupe came to her people. Our Lady of Guadalupe was named patroness of Mexico and is also patroness of Latin America and the Philippines.

Taken from this site.

(By the way, all of the posts from numbered 1- 25 are part of an Advent calendar for a friend from school; most of the words are borrowed from other websites.)

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

11        Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5sYJfIYOF8&feature=related

 Screen Shot 2012-12-10 at 5.41.20 PM

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Had a very shiny nose,

And if you ever saw it,

You would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer

Used to laugh and call him names;

They never let poor Rudolph

Join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve,

Santa came to say,

Rudolph with your nose so bright,

Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?

Then how the reindeer loved him

As they shouted out with glee,

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,

You’ll go down in history.

Sugar Cookies

9          Sugar Cookies

Judy’s Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe (this is not mine- it’s Judy’s)

Ingredients:sugarcookies

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar

1 cup butter (softened at

  •  room temperature)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (egg should be at room temperature)
  • 3 Tablespoons half-and-half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) .

2. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

3. Cut in butter and blend with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.

4. With a fork, stir in lightly beaten egg, vanilla and half-and-half. Blend well with fork, then your hands to ensure thorough blending. Chill dough for one hour for easier rolling.

****If you are not rolling the dough, chill for 15 minutes then skip to step 6 for baking.

5. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes.

6. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sugar or leave plain for decorating with icing.

7. Bake for 6 – 7 minutes, or until lightly brown.  Mmmmmmmm!

The Legend of the Poinsettia

8 The Legend of the Poinsettia Screen shot 2012-12-05 at 6.55.29 PM

  • The Aztecs called poinsettias “Cuetlaxochitl.” During the 14th – 16th century the sap was used to control fevers and the bracts (modified leaves) were used to make a reddish dye.
  • Montezuma, the last of the Aztec kings, would have poinsettias brought into what now is Mexico City by caravans because poinsettias could not be grown in the high altitude.

The legend of the poinsettia comes from Mexico. It tells of a girl named Maria and her little brother Pablo. They were very poor but always looked forward to the Christmas festival. Each year a large manger scene was set up in the village church, and the days before Christmas were filled with parades and parties. The two children loved Christmas, but were always saddened because they had no money to buy presents. They especially wished that they could give something to the church for the Baby Jesus. But they had nothing.

One Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo set out for church to attend the service. On their way they picked some weeds growing along the roadside and decided to take them as their gift to the Baby Jesus in the manger scene. Of course they were teased by other children when they arrived with their gift, but they said nothing for they knew they had given what they could. Maria and Pablo began placing the green plants around the manger and miraculously, the green top leaves turned into bright red petals, and soon the manger was surrounded by beautiful star-like flowers and so we see them today.

Thin Ice!

Screen shot 2012-12-05 at 6.51.57 PM7            Thin Ice!

Every year people fall through the ice in Minnesota.  Be careful and don’t let that be you!

When is ice safe?

There really is no sure answer. You can’t judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. Strength is based on all these factors — plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body,

Some cold facts about ice

New ice is usually stronger than old ice. Four inches of clear, newly‑formed ice may support one person on foot, while a foot or more of old, partially‑thawed ice may not.

Ice seldom freezes uniformly. It may be a foot thick in one location and only an inch or two just a few feet away.

Snowflakes

5            Snowflakes

Make a snowflake:  http://www.highhopes.com/snowflakes.html

What are snowflakes?Screen shot 2012-12-04 at 9.01.20 PM Snowflakes are made of ice crystals. Each snowflake is six-sided and made of as many as 200 ice crystals. Snowflakes form in clouds where the temperature is below freezing. The ice crystals form around tiny bits of dirt that has been carried up into the atmosphere by the wind. As the snow crystals grow, they become heavier and fall toward the ground.

(By the way, all of the posts from numbered 1- 25 are part of an Advent calendar for a friend from school; most of the words are borrowed from other websites.)