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Catholic Caucus: Our Lady of Guadalupe: She Who Smashes the Serpent
Tradition Family and Property ^ | Monday, 30 November 2009 | Cesar Franco

Posted on 12/12/2009 3:13:07 AM PST by GonzoII

Our Lady of Guadalupe: She Who Smashes the Serpent

Written by Cesar Franco   

Monday, 30 November 2009 11:59

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Pope Pius XII gave Our Lady of Guadalupe the title of “Empress of the Americas” in 1945. Since December 12 is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, this is a propitious moment to recall how she reigns over our nation from Heaven, protecting and guiding us with motherly solicitude and tenderness. The constant miracle memorialized on Saint Juan Diego’s tilma and the context of the apparitions remind us that Our Lady is victorious over the serpent, intervenes in history and is eager to intercede for those who seek her intercession in this vale of tears.

How Our Lady Intervened in History
The oldest reliable source of the apparitions of the Mother of God to Saint Juan Diego was written in Náhuatl by Antonio Valeriano. He was a contemporary of Saint Juan Diego and Bishop Frey Juan de Zumárraga. Mr. Valeriano’s account was published in 1649 and is known as the Nican Mopohua.

 

“My Holy One, my Lady, my Damsel, I am on my way to your house at Mexico-Tlatilulco; I go in pursuit of the holy things that our priests teach us.”

On December 9, 1531, Juan Diego was on his way to attend Mass in what is today Mexico City. It was dawn as he approached Tepeyac Hill, a few miles from his destination. Juan Diego was no ordinary Indian, but the grandson of King Netzahualcoyotl,1 and the son of King Netzahualpilic and Queen Tlacayehuatzin, who was a descendant of Moctezuma I.
As Juan Diego neared the hill’s summit, something extraordinary happened. Unseen birds began to sing in a supernatural way. The birds would pause while others responded, forming a heavenly duet. He thought he was perhaps dreaming and pondered how unworthy he was to witness something so extraordinary.

The heavenly symphony stopped and a sweet voice called him from the summit, “Juanito. Juan Diegito.” Hearing this, he happily ascended the hill. What he found upon reaching the source of the voice changed his life forever. There, on a rock, stood a beautiful lady. Everything around her was transformed. Her clothing was as radiant as the sun. The rock she stood upon seemed to emit rays of light. She was surrounded with the splendors of the rainbow. Cacti and other plants nearby looked like emeralds. Their spines sparkled like gold and their leaves were like fine turquoise.

Juan Diego bowed before her in ceremonious respect. A tender dialogue between Our Lady and Juan Diego followed, “Listen, xocoyote mio,2 Juan, where are you going?”

Rejoicing, he happily responded, “My Holy One, my Lady, my Damsel, I am on my way to your house at Mexico-Tlatilulco; I go in pursuit of the holy things that our priests teach us.”

The celestial lady revealed to him that she was indeed the Mother of God, telling him of her desire to have a church built, where she might bestow all her love, mercy, help and protection. She showed overflowing love to Juan Diego, “and to all the other people dear to me who call upon me, who search for me, who confide in me; here I will hear their sorrow, their words, so that I may make perfect and cure their illnesses, their labors and their calamities.”

Then Our Beloved Lady, respecting the authority established by God, sends the noble Juan Diego with this message to the bishop-elect of Mexico. She tells him to accomplish the mission diligently, promising to reward his services. He bows, telling her that he will go straightaway to fulfill her wishes, and departs.

Frey Juan de Zumárraga was one of the first twelve Franciscan missionaries to go to Mexico and the first bishop of that new land. When Juan Diego reached the bishop’s palace, he promptly announced he wished to deliver a message for the bishop. The servants made Juan Diego wait before allowing the audience. Obediently, and with great enthusiasm, he told the bishop what he had seen and heard. Bishop Zumarraga listened attentively, but told Juan Diego to return when they could discuss the matter at greater length. After all, how did he know the story was true?

Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac Hill. As he approached the hill, Our Lady was waiting for him. He drew near and knelt. With sadness, he told Our Lady that he failed in his mission. The marvelous dialogue continues, “My Holy One, most noble of persons, my Lady, my xocoyota, my Damsel . . . .”

Juan Diego explained why he failed, how unworthy he was for such a mission and how the bishop was suspicious. Our Lady listened tenderly and patiently as he suggested she send one of the well-known and respected lords of the land. Then, he thought, her message would be believed.

Our Lady was not persuaded. She wanted him to accomplish the mission, and said, “I pray you, my xocoyote, and advise you with much care, that you go again tomorrow to see the bishop and represent me; give him an understanding of my desire, my will, that he build the church that I ask . . . .”

Juan Diego did not fear the difficulties of the mission, he was only afraid the mission would not be accomplished. However, he told Our Lady he would fulfill her command and return the following evening with the bishop’s reply.

“And now I leave you, my xocoyota, my Damsel, my Lady; meanwhile, you rest.” Juan Diego suggested that Our Lady rest! It is impressive that she not only allowed him to treat her this way, but also loved his candidness.

The next day, he traveled to Mass. Afterward, he went directly to the bishop’s palace, fell on his knees and repeated all that Our Lady had told him. The bishop, in turn, asked questions about the lady. Not entirely convinced, however, the bishop told Juan Diego that he could not affirm that the apparition was Our Lady and asked for a sign of reassurance from Our Lady to build a church.

Juan Diego confidently stated he would ask Our Lady for a sign. The bishop agreed, and sent a few servants to follow Juan Diego and report on everything he did. But they lost him and could not find him. They returned annoyed, speaking poorly of him to the bishop. They even resolved to seize and punish Juan Diego when he appeared again.

Juan Diego should have returned with the sign on Monday, but when he returned home, his uncle Juan Bernadino was seriously ill. His health worsened throughout Monday night, and on early Tuesday morning asked Juan Diego to call a priest. The nephew obediently went, making sure his route did not pass near Tepeyac Hill as he feared Our Lady would see him and persuade him to continue the mission she entrusted to him. So he took a shortcut he thought concealed him from Our Lady.

Stealthily advancing along, he was discovered by Our Lady, who descended the slope and asked, “Xocoyote mio, where are you going? What road is this you are taking?”

Caught red-handed, Juan Diego replied diplomatically, “My daughter, my xocoyota, God keep you, Lady. How did you waken? And is your most pure body well, perchance?” Then he explained his predicament, “My Virgin, my Lady, forgive me, be patient with me until I do my duty, and then tomorrow I will come back to you.” One cannot help but smile while imagining Juan Diego, in his simplicity, asking Our Lady to wait until he returned the next day after helping his dying uncle.

The Mother of God responded affectionately, “Do not be frightened or grieve, or let your heart be dismayed; however great the illness may be that you speak of, am I not here, I who am your mother, and is not my help a refuge?”

She told him his uncle was already cured. Juan Diego rejoiced, and asked her to give him the sign that the bishop wanted. She told him to go to the hilltop and cut the flowers he would find. Then, he was to bring them back to her. It was December, and only cacti and a few other sparse plants grew on the hill. However, Juan Diego found Castilian roses in abundance there and delighted in their fragrance. He carefully cut several, wrapping them in his tilma or cloak made of cactus fiber. He returned to Our Lady and she tenderly arranged them inside his tilma with her own hands, and commanded him to go to the bishop and show him the sign he was waiting for. She also told him not to open his tilma for anyone but the bishop.

Bishop Juan de Zumárraga
He made haste to Bishop Zumárraga, confident now that he would accomplish Our Lady’s designs. Along the way, the wonderful fragrance of the roses pleased him. At the bishop’s palace, he was left waiting for a long time. The servants saw him as a nuisance and made him wait until it was very late, and even demanded to see what was in his tilma. Because he refused to show them, they pushed and knocked him about. When he perceived he would not see the bishop unless he showed them something, he let them peek in the tilma. Seeing and smelling the celestial roses, the servants made three attempts to take some. At each attempt, the roses miraculously became part of the tilma as if they were painted. With this, they ushered Our Lady’s ambassador in to see the bishop. Juan Diego knelt down and began to explain all he saw and heard from Our Lady. The bishop listened intently. To prove what he said was true, he untied his tilma and let the roses fall to the ground. Those watching fell to their knees in silent amazement. Miraculously imprinted on the tilma was Our Lady’s perfect image. Recalling their disbelief and mistreatment of the Blessed Mother’s ambassador, the servants were shamed.

Bishop Zumarraga tearfully took the tilma from Juan Diego, placed it in his private chapel, and entreated Juan Diego to stay with him for the night in the palace. The next day, with a crowd following behind them, the two went to the site where Our Lady wanted her church built. Juan Diego gave a detailed account of the apparitions. Then they went to see Juan Bernadino and check on the state of his health.

She Who Smashes the Serpent
Juan Bernadino was surprised to see his nephew accompanied by the bishop and a crowd of admirers. Naturally, he asked what was happening. The miracle was told again and Juan Bernadino acknowledged that he was cured. Our Lady appeared to him and cured him. She told him of her desire to be called Santa María de Guadalupe. Guadalupe in Spanish corresponds phonetically to Coatlaxopeuh in Náhuatl, which means “I smashed the serpent with the foot.”

The bishop then displayed the tilma in the Cathedral of Mexico for public veneration, and called on all to help in the construction of the new church, which was completed on December 26, 1531. On that day, a great procession was made from the cathedral to the new church. Spaniards and Indians, ecclesiastical and imperial officials alike, accompanied Our Lady of Guadalupe to her new shrine. The Indians performed war dances in her honor, and covered the whole path to Tepeyac Hill with flowers.

Amid the festive rejoicing, an overzealous Indian fired an arrow, mortally piercing the throat of another Indian. There were cries and sobs over the dead Indian. Then, inspired by grace, all began to ask that his lifeless body be placed in front of the tilma. As everyone began to invoke Our Lady of Guadalupe’s help, the dead Indian came back to life, his throat instantly healed. Everyone cheered as he rose to his feet. Strengthened by the miracle, the procession resumed and the image was placed in the new shrine.

Miracles That Defy Science

Since the tilma is made of cactus fiber, it should have disintegrated after 20 years. However, it has survived from 1531 until the present day without cracking or fading. Scientists cannot explain how this is possible. In the 18th century, Dr. José Ignácio Bartolache had two copies of the image made and placed where the original was. After several years, the two copies deteriorated.

Over time, the faithful have tried to “embellish” the tilma. A crown was painted on Our Lady’s head and angels in the clouds. However, unlike the tilma, these additions have worn away and are no longer visible. The rays of the sun, for example, were coated with gold and the moon plated with silver. These embellishments also faded away. In fact, the silver-plated moon turned black.

Scientists are baffled how the image was imprinted on the tilma. There are no brush strokes or sketch marks on it. Richard Kuhn, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, ascertained that Our Lady of Guadalupe’s image does not contain natural, animal or mineral pigments. The tilma defies natural explanation.

At the Guadalupe shrine in Mexico City, a stone sail ship monument is visible near the chapel on the hill. The landmark commemorates a miracle that took place in 1565 when General Miguel López de Legazpi was returning from the Philippines and his ship was engulfed by a tempest. On the verge of sinking, the crew in desperation made a vow to Our Lady of Guadalupe; if she saved them, they would carry their last remaining sail to her on pilgrimage. The storm abated and they fulfilled their promise.

The greatest miracle was that eight million Indians converted in only seven years following the apparitions. The early Franciscan and Dominican missionaries were busy night and day baptizing and administering the Sacraments. On average, over three thousand Indians a day were baptized throughout the seven years.

Symbolism of the Tilma

The miraculous tilma is like a catechism class for the Mexican Indians. Our Lady, as she appears, eclipses the sun, showing her superiority over the Aztec sun god. She stands on the moon, trampling the Aztec moon god under foot. She is surrounded by clouds and attended by an angel, showing that she is not of this earth. Yet her hands are folded in supplication and her head is tilted in a position of humility, thus showing that while she tramples the pagan gods, she is not God. Around her neck, she wears a brooch with a cross, leading mankind to the Supreme Being, the God of the Christians.

May the goodness and tenderness Our Lady showed to Saint Juan Diego encourage our readers to have more devotion to her. Like every good mother, she is also the implacable foe of those who inflict harm on her children. Therefore, she is our special aid in the struggle against evil today. Let our battle cry be “¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!” (“Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe!”)

 

Footnotes

1. Netzhualcoyotl is famous in Mexican history as a warrior, philosopher and poet. Analyzing the order of nature, he deduced the existence of only one, invisible God, the Creator of all things, Whom he adored by burning incense and in Whose honor he composed sixty psalms of praise similar to those by King David. He disliked human sacrifice and the worship of pagan gods. (Cf. Juan Antonio Montalvo, “Plática sobre la Virgen de Guadalupe,” in Historica, órgano del Centro de Estudios Guadalupanos, AC, Colección II, México, Editorial Hombre S. de R.L., 1983, 7, 8.) [back]
2. This Náhuatl word means “smallest of my sons.” Xocoyota is the feminine for daughter. [back]

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 December 2009 18:53
 


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: bvm; catholic; ourlady; ourladyofguadalupe

1 posted on 12/12/2009 3:13:07 AM PST by GonzoII
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To: Salvation

Got this one?


2 posted on 12/12/2009 3:13:30 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

Great read, thanks for posting.


3 posted on 12/12/2009 3:22:15 AM PST by agere_contra
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To: GonzoII; mlizzy; Tax-chick; NYer; trisham; Victoria Delsoul; kassie; Miss Marple; kstewskis; ...
Thank you so much.

In the Chicagoland area today the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is being celebrated, and the largest gathering of the faithful in North America are attending. More than 100,000 people are expected to take part this weekend in the annual festival honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe at an outdoor shrine in Des Plaines, Ill.

I must confess I did not know much about Our Lady of Guadalupe until I finally started reading about this several months ago. What a incredible Miracle. I would love to see the Tilma at some point during my lifetime. What a treasure it is for us to have.

4 posted on 12/12/2009 4:32:15 AM PST by Northern Yankee (Where Liberty dwells, there is my Country. - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Northern Yankee
What an incredible Miracle!

Fixed. ; )

5 posted on 12/12/2009 4:38:53 AM PST by Northern Yankee (Where Liberty dwells, there is my Country. - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: GonzoII

From the opening chants of the Akathist to Our Lady of Guadalupe:

Kontakion 1
To Thee, our great and constant Intercessor before the Throne of Almighty God, do we, Thy children, offer this hymn of praise, glorifying Thy wondrous Image revealed to Thy humble servant, Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac, as we sing of Thy enduring heavenly
Protection of all who keep the festival, joyfully exclaiming with arms uplifted: Rejoice, O Lady from Heaven, Virgin-Mother clothed with the Sun!

Ikos 1
The peoples of Mesoamerica saw a most Divine Light when they gazed upon Thy sacred and miraculous image inscribed by the Finger of God upon the tilma of Juan Diego. They recognized in it their salvation at last and liberation from the darkness of enslavement to the cunning Serpent of old and they cried with grateful love amidst tears:
Rejoice, Most Immaculate Messenger from on High!
Rejoice, Great Sign that appeared in Heaven and in our midst!
Rejoice, Woman shining with the Brightness of Thy Son and our Lord!
Rejoice, Lady crushing the Serpent of old beneath thy feet!
Rejoice, Victor over evil!
Rejoice, Queen of Heaven and Earth!
Rejoice, unfailing Intercessor for those lost in darkness!
Rejoice, Star of the Sea bringing us to the harbor of safety!
Rejoice, Defender of children!
Rejoice, Protector of such as are of the Kingdom of Heaven!
Rejoice, Standing with the moon at Thy feet!
Rejoice, with hands enfolded in prayer to God on our behalf!
Rejoice, O Lady from Heaven, Virgin-Mother clothed with the Sun!


6 posted on 12/12/2009 5:02:26 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Northern Yankee

My parish is celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe tomorrow, because there’s an Advent retreat in their building today. My Spanish choir will be over in a couple of hours to practice the traditional mariachi songs for the occasion. These are simple for the guitar, but work for the vocalists because of the bazillions of verses ;-).


7 posted on 12/12/2009 5:06:36 AM PST by Tax-chick (Here I come, with a sharp knife and a clear conscience!)
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To: Kolokotronis

I’ve heard it said that this is not a “painting” it’s and “icon”.


8 posted on 12/12/2009 5:21:38 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

The Akathist calls it that here:

Kontakion 5
Thy humble servant went with joy and great anticipation to the palace of the bishop with the roses Thou didst give him as evidence of Thy appearance. Believing the flowers to be the final signal to all affirming Thy coming on earth, Juan unfurled his tilma. Upon
seeing the greater miracle of Thy image not made by human hands, all cried: Alleluia!

Ikos 5
The bishop joined with everyone in kneeling prayerfully before Thy miraculous Icon, bowing to God’s revelation of His salvation of the Americas through His Most Holy Mother. Spellbound in wonder and amazement at Thy great love for those for whom Thy Son died for on the Precious and Life-giving Cross, they all sang:
Rejoice, Icon revealing Thy Son and Lord Jesus Christ!
Rejoice, Image reflecting His Heavenly Glory!
Rejoice, Sign from Heaven, bringing us the Abundant Life!
Rejoice, our Mantle of Protection!
Rejoice, covering us with an outpouring of Grace!
Rejoice, Who appears to us when we know neither the day nor the hour!
Rejoice, for Thou didst call us to the Kingdom of God suddenly!
Rejoice, Who imprints the image of Thy Son on those who honour Thee!
Rejoice, Robe of salvation!
Rejoice, Armour of Christ!
Rejoice, Witness to the Divine Incarnation!
Rejoice, Holy Garment without seam!
Rejoice, O Lady from Heaven, Virgin-Mother clothed with the Sun!

Later on, the tilma is compared to the Mantle of Divine Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos (Agia Skepi) which she spread over the City to protect it from its enemies.


9 posted on 12/12/2009 5:29:19 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis

Which city?


10 posted on 12/12/2009 5:52:22 AM PST by Tax-chick (Here I come, with a sharp knife and a clear conscience!)
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To: Tax-chick
"Which city?"

Not which "city", which "City"...! Constantinople of course! :)

You gotta get with the program, TC!

11 posted on 12/12/2009 5:54:59 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis

Not Mexico City?

Just pullin your chain, K.


12 posted on 12/12/2009 6:32:18 AM PST by Tax-chick (Here I come, with a sharp knife and a clear conscience!)
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To: Tax-chick
Have a great time!

Sounds like it will be a wonderful Mass.

13 posted on 12/12/2009 8:08:02 AM PST by Northern Yankee (Where Liberty dwells, there is my Country. - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: GonzoII

Hillary recently asked who the artist was. I think the Bishop responded “God”.


14 posted on 12/12/2009 8:25:40 AM PST by Radl
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To: Northern Yankee

Last night my husband came home after work with a huge bouquet of flowers — he had been at the 14th St subway station in Mnahattan, to come home, and happened into a huge fiesta for Guadalupe — her church is there — there were mariachi bands and people selling tmales and flowers everywere, so he brought some home, he said for me, but really they were for the Virgin — he has a beautiful hand-sewn sequin image of her that was given to him in Texas.


15 posted on 12/12/2009 8:33:36 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Northern Yankee

One of my choir members was a professional performer in Mexico. When the rest of us can imitate what she’s singing, in the mariachi pieces, it sounds really good.

It’s freezing here today - made me wish we were really in Mexico!


16 posted on 12/12/2009 8:55:40 AM PST by Tax-chick (Here I come, with a sharp knife and a clear conscience!)
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To: GonzoII
Remembering Our Lady of Guadalupe

Catholic Caucus: Our Lady of Guadalupe: She Who Smashes the Serpent
The (Miraculous) Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe [Catholic Caucus]
Remembering Our Lady of Guadalupe [Catholic Caucus]
Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast: December 12 [Repost]
Brief History of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe [Catholic Caucus]

The History of Our Lady of Guadalupe [Ecumenical]
2 Questions related to Faith & Apologetics. A Feast day & Our Lady of Guadalupe [Catholic Caucus]
The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe called 'Mother Without Borders' in Los Angeles (Catholic Caucus)
Hernándo Cortés and Our Lady

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Church Militant (Catholic Caucus)
Scientists certify Our Lady of Guadalupe tilma
STRANGE LIGHT CLAIMED IN GUADALUPE IMAGE AFTER MEXICO CITY OKAYED ABORTION
STRANGE LIGHT CLAIMED IN GUADALUPE IMAGE AFTER MEXICO CITY OKAYED ABORTION -- posted on News Forum
The Story of Guadalupe: Hope for Our Violent World

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Protectress of the Unborn
Was Our Lady of Guadalupe Wrong?
METHODIST CHURCH DISPLAYS VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE
GUADALUPE DEVOTION IS CROSSING INTO PROTESTANT DENOMINATIONS
A Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Relic From Guadalupe Tilma to Tour U.S.
The Amazing Truth of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady Of Guadalupe
Celebrating 470 years of an ongoing miracle, the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe 1531
Science Stunned by Virgin of Guadalupe´s Eyes

17 posted on 12/12/2009 10:27:55 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: kabumpo
That is just great!

Hearing stories like yours makes my heart soar.

A far cry from the sordid life of D.C. politicians or a well known sport's figure as of late.

You and your husband are what make this country great.

God Bless!

- Jay

18 posted on 12/12/2009 4:11:45 PM PST by Northern Yankee (Where Liberty dwells, there is my Country. - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Tax-chick
Me too!

I still laugh when they talked about Hillary's visit there during this past year. They showed her the Pima and she said, "Wow... who's the artist?"

This from the smartest woman in the world? But I digress.

19 posted on 12/12/2009 4:14:06 PM PST by Northern Yankee (Where Liberty dwells, there is my Country. - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Northern Yankee

It’s a poor reflection on Hillary, but even more on her staff. You don’t expect a non-Catholic to know the details of Marian apparitions, but you do expect a Secretary of State to be properly briefed. Can’t these people even access Wikipedia?


20 posted on 12/12/2009 4:25:38 PM PST by Tax-chick (Here I come, with a sharp knife and a clear conscience!)
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To: Tax-chick
That's what I was thinking when I heard of the gaffe.

It seems that the whole executive branch of the government is so poorly prepared for anything.

Of course with a tax cheat as our treasury secretary, what can we expect?

21 posted on 12/12/2009 4:38:47 PM PST by Northern Yankee (Where Liberty dwells, there is my Country. - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Northern Yankee

Of course, with a gangster as President, the rot starts at the top.


22 posted on 12/12/2009 4:41:14 PM PST by Tax-chick (Here I come, with a sharp knife and a clear conscience!)
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To: Northern Yankee

Great read, thanks NY.


23 posted on 12/12/2009 6:10:20 PM PST by Victoria Delsoul
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To: Salvation

bump


24 posted on 12/12/2009 6:18:49 PM PST by Taffini ( Mr. Pippen and Mr. Waffles do not approve)
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To: Victoria Delsoul
You bet!

Happy Advent!

25 posted on 12/13/2009 4:51:52 AM PST by Northern Yankee (Where Liberty dwells, there is my Country. - Benjamin Franklin)
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