For Catholics in the Western Hemisphere, today (December 12) is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
To read about our belief in this appearance in 1531 of Mary to St. Juan Diego on a hill outside present-day Mexico City, visit this site or, for a more scholarly look, check out this entry at wikipedia.
The Gospel reading this morning at the Feast Day Mass was from the Gospel of Luke (1:39-47). It tells of Mary's visit to her kinswoman Elizabeth after learning that she was to be the mother of Jesus:
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said:
“Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”