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December 12


Saint of the day:
Our Lady of Guadalupe

Patron Saint of the Americas, Mexico

The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The feast in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe goes back to the 16th century. Chronicles of that period tell us the story.

A poor Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized and given the name Juan Diego. He was a 57-year-old widower and lived in a small village near Mexico City. On Saturday morning, December 9, 1531, he was on his way to a nearby barrio to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady.

He was walking by a hill called Tepeyac when he heard beautiful music like the warbling of birds. A radiant cloud appeared and within it stood a young Native American maiden dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to him in his own language and sent him to the bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan named Juan de Zumarraga. The bishop was to build a chapel in the place where the lady appeared.

Eventually the bishop told Juan Diego to have the lady give him a sign. About this same time Juan Diego’s uncle became seriously ill. This led poor Diego to try to avoid the lady. The lady found Diego, nevertheless, assured him that his uncle would recover and provided roses for Juan to carry to the bishop in his cape or tilma.

When Juan Diego opened his tilma in the bishop’s presence, the roses fell to the ground and the bishop sank to his knees. On Juan Diego’s tilma appeared an image of Mary exactly as she had appeared at the hill of Tepeyac. It was December 12, 1531.






Basilica de Guadalupe (Old)

Basilica de Guadalupe (New)

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Tilma (outer garment worn by St. Juan Diego )


  • The image is proven to not be painted by human hands

  • The image and fabric have miraculously lasted in its original condition for nearly 500 years

  • The weak cactus fiber, of which the tilma was made, should have decomposed within 15-20 years of being woven

  • No natural or animal mineral colorings, or paint, are found on the image

  • The image itself is iridescent, which cannot be produced by hand

  • Mary stands on a crescent moon, the same crescent moon in the sky on the day of her apparition

  • Mary’s mantel is a constellation map, the same constellations in the sky as on the day of her apparition

  • These constellations tell the story of the Gospel with the arrangements of Leo in the womb of Virgo

  • On her rose garment is a topographic map of the geographic location of her apparition

  • On Mary’s neck is a small black cross, identifying her with the Catholic missionary priests

  • Over her womb on her dress is a four-petal flower, the Aztec symbol of life and deity

  • In the image Mary is “clothed with the sun” with “the moon at her feet” as described in Revelation 12:1

  • A doctor once heard a heartbeat coming from the image through a stethoscope over the womb

  • The eyes of the image have the refractory characteristics of human eyes

  • The eyes, when examined through a microscope, reflect the images of the witnesses present at its unveiling, including Juan Diego and the bishop


Songs & Stories of the season:

The Legend of the Pointsettia

The Night of Las Posadas - Tomie dePaola 

Silent Night

O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)

Michael Buble ft Thalia - Feliz Navidad (Christmas Special)



In Mexican homes during the Christmas and New Year holiday season, hot Mexican holiday punch, or ponche navideño is sold at night by street vendors who ladle it out from steaming cylindrical vats. The tejocote is a small fruit, golden in color when mature, similar in taste to an apple, but with a pastier texture. It is not easily found outside of Mexico, but apples make a good substitute. In Michoacan, a piece of beet is often added instead of jamaica to color the punch.


Mexican holiday punch: Ponche navideñoby 


  • ¾ pound small apples or tejocotes, peeled and sliced

  • 10 guavas, halved

  • ½ pound raisins or prunes or a mixture of both

  • 6 oranges, scrubbed and sliced with rind

  • 1 cup jamaica (dried hibiscus) flowers

  • 4 pieces sugar cane stalk, peeled and cut into strips 

  • 3 sticks cinnamon, each about 6 inches long

  • 7 quarts water

  • sugar to taste (the usual proportion is 1/3 cup to each quart of water)

  • brandy, rum or wine to taste (optional)


  1. Place the apples, guavas, raisins or prunes, oranges, sugar cane and cinnamon in a large stockpot with the water.

  2. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

  3. Add sugar to taste, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.

  4. If adding brandy or other alcohol, add and simmer a few minutes longer.

  5. Serve hot in mugs. Serves 16-18.


Cuisine: Mexican


  • 1 Pork Leg about 10 pounds withe the skin removed 

For the marinada:

  • 10 garlic cloves

  • 1/2 large white onion

  • 6 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon of coarse salt

  • Alumninum foil or baking bag

For the Adobo Sauce

  • 8 Ancho Peppers cleaned and deveined

  • 6 Pasilla Peppers cleaned and deveined

  • 2 cups of orange juice

  • 1 cup cider vinegar

  • 1 cup of water

  • 1 tablespoon of coarse salt

  • 3 tablespoons of melted lard


  1. First pierce the pork leg with the help of a sharp knife.

  2. Roast the garlic and onion on a skillet. Transfer the roasted onion and garlic along with bay leaves, oregano, black pepper, cumin, orange juice, vinegar and salt into a blender. Process until you have a smooth sauce, almost like a paste.

  3. Transfer the Pork leg to a large baking dish and cover with the marinate sauce making sure it gets inside the incisions and penetrates the meat.

Now to the Adobo sauce Directions:

  1. Toast the peppers on a griddle or comal over a medium heat. Remember that this is a quick step to avoid bitter flavors from burnt peppers.

  2. Place the peppers in a small saucepan and cover with water. Simmer for about 8 minutes until they are soft. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

  3. Drain the peppers and place them in your blender with the orange juice, vinegar, and water. Puree until mixture is smooth and season to taste with the salt.

  4. Baking day, remove pork leg from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature. Preheat oven 20 minutes before roasting at 350F.

  5. Using a pastry brush, spread the melted lard on the meat, making sure to cover it all around. Then cover pork leg all over with half of the Adobo sauce and place in the preheated oven. Cover meat with aluminum foil. If using the baking bag, make sure to tie the bag and make the incisions according to the package instructions.

  6. After 1 hour, turn the meat and baste with it’s own juices, baste the meat one hour later and turn the pork leg over. Turn the meat at least twice during the cooking process. It is very important to keep the baking dish tightly covered with aluminum foil to have a moistened meat. If you see that it’s getting dry, add more of the adobo sauce. The cooking time will depend on the pork leg’s size and weight. The average baking time is 1 hour of baking for every 2 Lbs. of meat.

  7. When the meat can easily be pierced by a fork then it’s almost done. It will take about 5 hours. I like to have a moist, almost falling-apart meat. when you see that the meat is done, uncover and turn the oven temperature up to 450F. Roast for about 8-10 minutes to have browned meat. Make sure you don’t burn it. It will take just a few minutes. Remove meat and let stand about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

  8. Place leftover juices from the baking pan and the remaining adobo sauce in a medium size skillet and simmer for about 8 minutes. Taste, add more salt if needed and add more of the spices used for the marinade if you wish to. Use this sauce to pour over the slices of meat when serving.

Recipe Notes

*If you are using the baking bag, then the pork leg should beplaced inside the bag and then into a large baking dish. Marinate for at least 6 hours, or preferably, overnight. Turn the meat at least once during the process. This step will tenderize the meat and infuses the flavors. Baking the meat in the oven bag will take less time and will render a juicy meat.


Servings: 10


For the Meat

  • 2 lbs. pork loin country-style ribs.

  • 4 Lbs. pork leg cut in cubes

  • 1 large Bay Leaves and ½ tsp. Thyme leaves to cook the meat

  • 2 large white onions cut in half

  • 2 garlic heads

  • Salt to taste

  • Water enough to cover the meat

You can also use Chicken in this recipe instead of pork:
2 large cooked chickens:

deboned the chickens and strain the broth.

For the Garnishes

  • 6 -8 15oz cans of precooked White Hominy

  • 1 Large Lettuce finely shredded

  • 1 Large white onion finely chopped

  • Limes cut in wedges

  • Radishes cut in slices

  • Crushed or Powder Dry Piquin Pepper

  • Mexican Oregano

  • 2 Large bags of Corn Tostadas 20 each

For the sauce

  • 2 cups of pumpkin seeds cleaned

  • 2 Poblano Peppers cleaned and seeds removed

  • 2 ó 3 serrano peppers or jalapenos

  • 1 Lb. tomatillo husk removed

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro

  • 1/4 cup of chopped epazote

  • 1 small bunch of radishes leaves

  • 1/4 white onion

  • Pork or chicken broth enough to make the sauce

  • 4 Tablespoons Vegetable oil

  • 1 Tablespoon Salt

  • Oregano and cumin to taste. I usually add 1 Tablespoon of cumin and 1 teaspoon of dry oregano.


  1. In a large stock pot cook the meat with salt, onions cut in half, garlic heads, bay leaves and thyme with enough water to cover the meat.

  2. After opening the cans with Hominy, rinse, drain, and set aside.

  3. Once the meat has cooked and the bones can be removed easily from the meat, discard the bones. Place the meat in a large bowl to cool. Cut the meat in small bite size pieces and shred the rest of the meat from the Country style ribs or cut it too. Strain the broth where the meat was cooked. Remove the herbs, garlic and onion. Place the meat, broth and Hominy back in the stock pot.

Directions for the Salsa:

  1. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a hot griddle until they start “dancing”(popping), taking care not to burn them. Remove and cool. Place in your blender.

  2. Add the tomatillos, Serrano peppers, cilantro, epazote, radish, leaves, garlic, onion, spices and freshly ground black pepper to your blender with some of the meat broth. Maybe you will need to do this step in batches. Process it until you have a smooth sauce.

  3. In a large frying pan heat the vegetable oil. Add the sauce and cook until it changes color, about 7 minutes. Season with salt, lower the heat and keep cooking, stirring frequently for about one more minute.

  4. Place your stock pot with the meat, broth and hominy back in the stove to medium high heat. When the broth starts simmering add the sauce. Keep simmering for 5 more minutes. Taste to check if it needs extra seasoning. You can add Granular Chicken broth (Knorr Suiza) to increase the flavor. Serve the Green Pozole with Corn Tostadas and its garnishes.

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