You may have noticed our new hand-carved panel hanging beside the St. Nicholas icon over by the Relic of the True Cross. The panel depicts the vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Saint Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill in December, 1531. Juan is shown gathering roses into his tilma, those roses he later carried to the bishop as a sign that the Virgin had appeared to him and that the Lady requested the bishop build a shrine to her on the hill. These miraculous visions were the impetus for mass conversions of thousands upon thousands of indigenous Americans to the Faith, and the news of these visions traveled far and wide. Less than thirty years later, the Native Americans who lived in our part of Georgia were told of these apparitions by Spanish missionaries and explorers. Thus, Our Lady, under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, has been named the Patroness of the Americas (and Protector of the Unborn).
Our Tepeyac Panel is hand-carved from Peruvian cedar by the artist Alejandro Ramirez (b. 1976). Born into a family of wood-carving artisans, he studied art and began making art for his village church in the Andes. He is pictured below. The panel was given to our parish anonymously and was blessed in May of 2014.