Prayer for the DACA Children – A Litany for Our Lady of Guadalupe – The Morenita – the Brown Skinned Virgin

For Public and Private Prayer For The Dreamers

A litany is a prayer in call and response. The reader reads each line, pauses at the asterisk and the people respond with the refrain. There are 4 parts to this litany, each with their own refrain. Length of Litany – 5-10 minutes

In December 1531 an Aztec man, Juan Diego, saw a vision of the Virgin Mary at the Hill of Tepeyac and she spoke to him. For more about Our Lady of Guadalupe see below the litany.


Part I: In Praise of the Virgin

Refrain: Her Origins Are in the Rocky Summit, Mother of Unending Possibilities. (Tequatlanopeuh)

Who is she that comes forth arrayed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars? *

Our Lady of Tepeyac, la Santa Patrona de los Mexicanos, Empress of the Americas, *

Boundary-crossing mestiza, your warm beauty dazes our senses,*

Mother of the Son of God, Mother of the Sons and Daughters of God, *

Mother of the Lord of Heaven and Earth, *

Mother of the Lord of Near and Far, *

Dissolver of boundaries of time and space *

Dissolver of borders of nations and races *

Here and there are one in you. Now and then are one in you, *

Embodiment of the Sacred Traditions *

Embodiment of the wounds of the past *

Embodiment of the violence and courage of the present *

Embodiment of the hopes of the future *

Woman of borders and liminal possibility, you came to us pregnant with a new race of people’*

Mother of the Giver of Life, Embodiment of life *

Your body is the holy beauty of the mother of peoples and nations, *

Mother pregnant with the future, your warm breath is on our brows, *

Sensuous, wounded, strong you live on the skin in the vulnerable, *

You are the Mother of the Unending Possibilities of Transformation, *

Our Lady of Tepeyac, Empress of the Americas,

Boundary-crossing mestiza, your warm beauty dazes our senses. *

Part II: Intercessions

Refrain: “Am I not your Mother? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms?”

Mother Most Compassionate, hear the cries of the orphan children, *

Mother who protects us against danger, protect especially those most vulnerable from violence and oppression. *

Mother Who Never Turns Her Back, tear down the fences that divide us from one another, *

Sister in Suffering, comfort those who live in the cold, have no food, cry for basic human needs, *

Subversive Virgin, teach us to be community beyond nation states, *

Undocumented Virgin, enfold in your arms the “illegal” immigrants in the desert’s wilds. *

Mother Most Vulnerable, fleeing violence and the injustice of rulers, fleeing through the desert, help us to become justice. *

 La tele Virgen, “sustainer of life”, sustain those who are in despair, who have little hope, whose lives are stolen away by criminals, the callous rich, and the indifferent. *

Mother who comforts our sorrows, be with us in our grief and fear. *

Mother who “understands everything,” become forgiveness in the hearts of those we have hurt or betrayed, become forgiveness in our own hearts. *

Mother Most Faithful, let us embrace the beautiful children that you have given us and not send them away.

Part III: Calling Forth Justice: the Co-Redemptrix

 Refrain: She defends the needy among the people.

Give your justice, and your righteousness to governments and rulers. *

That they may rule your people righteously and the poor with justice.*

That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, and the little hills bring righteousness.*

She shall defend the needy among the people; she shall rescue the poor, crush the oppressor. *

She shall live as long as the sun and moon endure, from one generation to another. *

She shall come down like rain upon the mown field, like showers that water the earth. *

In her time shall the righteous flourish; there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more. *

She shall rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. *

Her foes shall bow down before her, and her enemies lick the dust. *

All rulers shall bow down before her, and all the nations do her service. *

For she shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress, and the oppressed who has no helper. *

She shall have pity on the lowly and poor; she shall preserve the lives of the needy. *

She shall redeem their lives from oppression and violence, and dear shall their blood be in her sight.*

May there be abundance of grain on the earth, growing thick even on the hilltops; may its fruit flourish like Lebanon, and its grain like grass upon the earth. *

May the name of the Holy One remain forever and be established as long as the sun endures; may all the nations bless themselves and call la Madre, the Mother, blessed. *

Part IV: Celebration

Refrain: She Comes Flying from the Light Like an Eagle of Fire. (Tlecuauhtlaupeuh)

Mother who teaches her children we are one family, teach us.*

Mother who teaches her children to share, teach us. *

Mother who teaches her children to care, teach us *

Mother who teaches her children the sacred way, teach us. *

Mother who teaches repentance, teach us and help us to learn new ways. *

Breast of Heaven, Body of Earth, Sun, Sea, teach us the way of celebration and praise. *

Mother of borders and liminal possibility, you came to us pregnant with a new race of people, give birth once again to a new race of lovers and peacemakers. *

Beautiful is the skin of our children, *

Beautiful are the hearts of our children, *

Beautiful is the way of peace in our children, *

Brothers and sisters of one family, *

Beautiful their hearts, *

Beautiful our children of a new race,*

Beautiful their hands and feet. *

(An appropriate hymn with anointing of hands may follow.)


About Our Lady of Guadalupe

According to the accounts in December 1531 an Aztec man, Juan Diego, saw a vision of the Virgin at the Hill of Tepeyac, the home of the indigenous Mexican goddess Tonantzin. Speaking in Nahuatl, the Virgin requested an abbey be built on the hill. When Juan Diego spoke to the Spanish bishop, Juan de Zumárraga, the prelate asked for a miraculous sign.

In response the Virgin told Juan Diego to gather flowers from the hill, even though it was winter when normally nothing bloomed. At the top of the hill he found beautiful roses, and gathered them on his tilma (cloak). When the roses fell from the tilma an icon of the Virgin appeared imprinted on the cloth. Although replicas made with the same type of materials last only about 15 years before disintegrating, the iconic tilma maintains its structural integrity after nearly 500 years.

Guadalupe is sometimes called the “first mestiza” or “the first Mexican”. The image on the tilma is often read as a coded message displaying both New Testament and Aztec symbols. The 1648 tract Imagen de la Virgen María, described the Virgin’s image as the Woman of the Apocalypse (Revelations 12:1), “arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” Her blue-green mantle is of a color reserved for the divine. She wears an Aztec pregnancy belt with a cross-shaped image symbolizing the cosmos beneath the sash.

Some historians speculate the icon is a syncretic representation which provided a way for 16th century Spaniards to gain converts among the indigenous population of early Mexico. It also provided a way for 16th century indigenous Mexicans to covertly practice their native religion.

The blessing of La Morenita, the first mestiza, the brown skin Virgin, is of importance not only to the Mexican people, but to the people of both American continents. Pope Pius XII declared the Virgin of Guadalupe “Queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas.” Her feast day is celebrated on December 12.

The titles within this litany like her cloak are both Aztec and European traditional titles and descriptors for the Virgin of Guadalupe. She is the only pregnant apparition of the Virgin Mary. For those of us living in the diversity of the Americas today the Virgin clearly extends herself and her message. We look at each other; we look at our children with mixed blood and heritage, continually blessed with these words, “I am truly your compassionate mother, yours and of all the people who live together in this land, and of all the other people of different ancestries. Am I not here, I, who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms?” La Morenita’s continued blessing is of importance not only to the Mexican people, but to all the Americas, perhaps even the global village. She announces a unity beyond tribal gods


Copyright © Barbara Flaherty 2007 written for Our Lady of Las Palomas Hermitage and Retreat Center, Columbus New Mexico.

Copyright given by Barbara Flaherty to The Christine Center, a Franciscan Retreat Center Dedicated to Global Transformation, Willard WI. 2012

Copyright © The Christine Center 2012

Elements of this liturgy were taken from traditional Catholic and indigenous sources, from Goddess of the Americas: Writings on the Virgin of Guadalupe by Robert Orsi, Commonweal, 3/14/1997; and from Psalm 72.