This phrase in Latin means “He has not done thus for any other nation”, and is a verse from Psalm 147. It is also frequently associated with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I would say that the majority of the older churches in Mexico have this motto displayed along with its replica of the miraculous image of the Virgin.
The association of this Latin phrase with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe arises from something that happened in 1754. A Jesuit priest from Mexico brought a painted reproduction of the image to Rome, to Pope Benedict XIV, and recounted to him the history of the apparition and the great wonders that followed thereafter. Upon hearing about it, the Holy Father fell to his knees and exclaimed this Latin phrase – a phrase that he would have known by heart, since he would have prayed it at least weekly in the Breviary.
But what is so extraordinary? How is it, exactly, that God “has not done thus for any other nation”?
My recent post, The Kindly Face, explains summarily – quoting the words of Cardinal Ratzinger – what happened. But to add a bit of detail: During the first 15 years or so of the Spanish conquest of Mexico the conquistadors had very little success in converting the Mexican natives to the Catholic faith. It was only once Our Lady appeared at Tepeyac (in what is now Mexico City), that Mexico became Catholic. Within 10 years, nine million people were baptized.
As then-Cardinal Ratzinger said, “In Mexico, at first, absolutely nothing could be done about missionary work – until the occurrence of that phenomenon at Guadalupe, and then the Son was suddenly near by way of his Mother….and suddenly the Christian religion no longer wears the terrible face of the conqueror but the kindly face of the Mother.”
God had truly not done thus for any other nation, working such a prodigy of conversions in such a short time after such a period of failed missionary efforts!
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego some 482 years ago, and left her image permanently imprinted on his cape (called a tilma); that image is still displayed for the veneration of the faithful today, all these years later. It is to this image I will be traveling this weekend and bringing your prayer intentions.
May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen of the Americas, obtain for us all many special graces. And though our country has no claim on God’s favor, through her intercession may He mercifully work for us again some prodigy so that we may come back to Him and serve Him in true freedom.