Regnum Christi

August 17, 2023

A Path for Meeting Mary, Jesus, and Other People

A Path for Meeting Mary, Jesus, and Other People

In the context of the 500th anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s apparitions to Juan Diego, the “Camino of Guadalupe” arises on the mountain Pico de Orizaba, Veracruz: an initiative of the Catholic Church at the service of the poorest and most marginalized.


The Pico de Orizaba, the highest summit in Mexico, symbolizes the most elevated destination one can aspire to: heaven. Making the pilgrimage of the Camino of Guadalupe is a metaphor for walking with determination toward eternal life, holding the Blessed Virgin Mary’s hand.

The Camino of Guadalupe offers a choice of itinerary: you can start from the municipal trailhead or from Great Macuilacatl and make the journey of either 29 or 22 kilometers to the Garden of Guadalupe, located in the village of El Minero. The intermediate stops established so far are San Martín, La Ciénega, Chilapa, and Las Trincheras.


We interviewed Fr. Evaristo Sada, LC, director of “Misión MasAlto,” a promoter of the Camino of Guadalupe.


What does the Camino of Guadalupe consist of?
The Camino of Guadalupe was inspired by the Intercontinental Guadalupana Novena, commemorating 500 years of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego, which will be celebrated in 2031. 


It consists of a path that crosses villages on Pico de Orizaba, with one unique feature: every five or six kilometers, you arrive at a plaza, and on each plaza is a large, beautiful image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. One is sculpted out of stone; she appears in another with Juan Diego, and another is with St. John Paul II, and with St. Rafael Guízar y Valencia in another; there is one made of iron that is five meters high—but they all share the context of the place’s beauty. The Pico de Orizaba is an extraordinarily beautiful place, a mountainous area with flowers, birds, rivers, waterfalls, and extraordinarily beautiful people, too.


This is the atmosphere in which a pilgrim can climb the mountain. In Sacred Scripture, the mountain is the place of encounter with God. And this is what we seek: that as they climb the mountain, holding Mary’s hand, pilgrims encounter God in an atmosphere of beauty.


Why beauty? Because it is how the Blessed Virgin presented herself to Juan Diego. If you remember, Tepeyac Hill is an arid region full of cacti and boulders, but suddenly, Juan Diego finds that the rocks are diamonds, the cacti are roses, and he is surrounded by a sunrise and the songs of birds, as the Nicán Mopohua expresses. Juan Diego then realizes he is in a heavenly setting, introducing him to a supernatural environment. This is the same experience that pilgrims can have.


What is your suggestion?
One of the things we seek is what we could somehow call “the Guadalupan method.” Our Lord wanted the evangelization of Mexico to come through Our Lady of Guadalupe. Therefore, if God already chose this path for the evangelization of Mexico, then, as the saying goes, “look no further.” Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Events of Guadalupe have countless elements of a masterful pedagogy: the pedagogy of God and Mary. May these same methods of the Blessed Virgin be how the communities of Orizaba are evangelized and, even more, become the evangelizers of our time: farmers with incredible faith, from whom we learn much and who can be a wellspring of faith for all of Mexico.


How does the Camino de Guadalupe relate to love for one’s neighbor?
Another key element is that prayer and action, devotion and works of Christian charity, go together. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that charity is the seal of authenticity of the prayer life: if you are filled with God’s love, then you overflow with love; if you don’t overflow with love, then it is doubtful that there is a strong interior life.


Here we seek very intentionally to take hold of a path of prayer, but also a path of works of mercy, just as the Blessed Virgin cared for Juan Diego’s uncle and resolved the conflicts between the Spanish and the indigenous Mexicans, as a mother who encourages mercy and charity. 


We are beginning a project to build 25 houses in a village called Chilapilla with the help of the Banorte Foundation. We are implementing a system of drinking water with the Rotoplas Foundation. We are building greenhouses to grow flowers because the people in the region are extraordinary at cultivating flowers; at the moment we run 83 greenhouses that belong to high-school girls and mothers, giving them the means to support themselves and their families; and other activities aim to improve the living conditions in the area.


In this way, we propose that the people who do the Camino indeed grow in their love for the Blessed Virgin, but growing in love for the Blessed Virgin, they also grow in love for Christ since Mary always brings us to Jesus. Our Lady of Guadalupe presents herself as the bearer of Christ: a pregnant woman who brings us the Savior and, at the same time, the works of mercy that are the seal of the authenticity of Christian life. Thus, we hope that anyone who does this Camino ends up loving Mary, Christ, and their neighbor much more.
Translated from the original Spanish first published here.

August 17, 2023 – Human Harshness vs. the Charity of a Saint





Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time


Matthew 18:21 – 19:1


Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt. Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.” When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.


Introductory Prayer: Lord God, I believe you are present here with me as I begin this moment of prayer. I hope in you. I know that you will always take care of me. I want this time with you to be a sign of my love for you. I seek only to please you, without desiring any spiritual consolation for myself.


Petition: Lord, grant me a more forgiving heart!


  1. Human Harshness: “He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’” The Gospel gives a startling example of human harshness. History recalls another one. We celebrated his memorial Monday. In Auschwitz, the camp deputy commander, Karl Fritzch, decided that the most effective way to keep prisoners from trying to escape would be an overwhelming example of reprisal. Ten men in Block 13 were picked out for starvation. The thought of innocent men dying because of another’s escape would definitely make anyone think twice about it. The master of our Lord’s story is angry at the harshness of his servant. We can only imagine the Lord’s anger at the harshness of a place like Auschwitz, called by Pope Benedict, “a place of horror” and “unprecedented mass crimes” (May 28, 2006). Let us purge our own hearts of the evil of harshness, which brings down such misery on our own soul.


  1. St. Maximilian Steps Forward: The Lord’s answer to Peter in this Gospel, “not seven times but seventy-seven times,” points to a heroic living of the virtue of charity and forgiveness. St. Maximilian Kolbe, whose feast we celebrated Monday, gives us an example of that kind of love. When the commander had picked out his ten victims, St. Maximilian had been passed over. No doubt the others who were spared were breathing intense sighs of relief. Instead, St. Maximilian stepped forward and offered to take the place of one of those chosen, Franciszek Gajowniczek, who cried out in anguish over his family. We can only shake our heads in amazement that the flame of love could burn so brightly in that “place of horror.”


  1. The Cross Sets the Standard: The examples of the saints challenge us. They don’t give us a “superhuman” example, but rather the testimony of what men and women are capable of doing when they allow the grace of God to work in their souls. We, too, have many occasions when we are called to live a higher degree of virtue, but so often we cut ourselves a little too much slack. When Peter asked about a seven-fold forgiveness, he was being quite generous. But the “seventy-seven times” that Jesus speaks about is measured against the Cross, the symbol of the Lord’s infinite love and forgiveness. Saints like Maximillian Kolbe understood this. Let’s try to imitate it today, in ways both big and small.


Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I can only be amazed at your work through the soul of St. Maximilian Kolbe. You enabled him to lay down his life for another, in imitation of your own self-sacrificing love. Help me to embrace the same path of love and forgiveness.


Resolution: I will immediately forgive any wrongs I suffer today, and I will try to sacrifice myself in a hidden way for someone else.

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Alex Kucera


Alex Kucera has lived in Atlanta, GA, for the last 46 years. He is one of 9 children, married to his wife Karmen, and has 3 girls, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way. Alex joined Regnum Christi in 2007. Out of the gate, he joined the Helping Hands Medical Missions apostolate and is still participating today with the Ghana Friendship Mission.

In 2009, Alex was asked to be the Atlanta RC Renewal Coordinator for the Atlanta Locality to help the RC members with the RC renewal process. Alex became a Group Leader in 2012 for four of the Atlanta Men’s Section Teams and continues today. Running in parallel, in 2013, Alex became a Team Leader and shepherded a large team of good men.

Alex was honored to be the Atlanta Mission Coordinator between 2010 to 2022 (12 years), coordinating 5-8 Holy Week Mission teams across Georgia. He also created and coordinated missions at a parish in Athens, GA, for 9 years. Alex continues to coordinate Holy Week Missions, Advent Missions, and Monthly missions at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Cumming, GA.

From 2016 to 2022, Alex also served as the Men’s Section Assistant in Atlanta. He loved working with the Men’s Section Director, the Legionaries, Consecrated, and Women’s Section leadership teams.

Alex is exceptionally grateful to the Legionaries, Consecrated, and many RC members who he’s journeyed shoulder to shoulder, growing his relationship with Christ and others along the way. He knows that there is only one way, that’s Christ’s Way, with others!