Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Miracle for the DREAMERS: Madre Chole

Mexico City
Panteon del Tepeyac

In this old cemetery next to the Guadalupe Basilica there are many graves dating back to the early 1800s. The place is where many important people are buried.

In the middle of the cemetery is a small building/mausoleum - it looks fairly new, the only grave in the cemetery with graffiti on it- they were not drawings or gang symbols. They were notes from students asking Madre Chole for her help.

Around the time of the Cristero Rebellion (mid to late 1920s) a Capuchin nun named Sor Soledad became known as a caring and empathic teacher. After she died, a custom began where students would go to her grave and leave something of theirs that they used in the classroom - word is that many miracles have occurred - helping students that asked Madre Chole for assistance with their studies.

I saw Madre Chole's grave yesterday. It was a sort of rectangle concrete room, very small - with two photographs of her and one painting. I looked through the metal bars and saw hundreds of little strips of paper on the floor of the room. I thought of the DREAMERS, who are students and REALLY need Madre Chole's help - not so much for making good grades (they do that so well on their own), but for being able to study, graduate and work in their professions as residents and citizens of the U.S.

I thought of a few DREAMERS I know well and decided that I would be their intermediary and ask Madre Chole for help getting the DREAM ACT passed. I took out a piece of paper and wrote her a note with the names of the DREAMERS I have come to know at the University of Houston. There were so many, and our tour guide was waiting for me. So at the bottom of the paper I just wrote - For All DREAMERS - PLEASE HELP.

A couple of young people next to me asked for some paper so they could write their own notes. They smiled at me and seemed kind of embarrassed. I looked inside the little room again at the images of Madre Chole and I started getting choked up. It seemed so important to try and see if she could do something - especially since she is said to have performed miracles for students during the past 80 years. I am not necessarily a religious person. But as I told Madre Chole in the note, this is a desperate situation.

p.s. This post has no photo of Madre Chole because the cemetery administration does not allow photographs.


Anonymous said...

I discovered the Panteon del Tepeyac only after several pilgrimages over the years to La Basilica de Guadalupe due to the diligent research of my brother who learned about the cemetery’s scant tours in a guide book. We got in one of the limited tour groups that day. At the end of the very interesting cemetery tour, we were introduced by our young guide to Madre Chole (Sor Soledad) and were told that Mexican students have to this day a devotion to her as an intercessor to help them pass their exams, classes and get their oh-so-sought after academic degrees. Since the tour was over at that point, a few in our group decided to linger for a few moments and quickly each write a quick prayer petition on note paper and slip them though the thin space between the glass door and the frame of Sor Soledad's small mausoleum (it's not actually a chapel, but rather a locked, small, external free-standing building constructed as a simple monument that encloses the interment space of Madre Chole, whose tomb is inside). So I wrote my prayer petition, asking for Madre's help that I pass my graduate school course and get my degree (I now have only one class to go and then the Comprehensives in the Spring or Summer of 2011). I then folded my petition and slipped it in through the thin crack at the door so it would fall to the ground like the other ones already in there; instead, however, I really launched my folded prayer petition into Madre Chole's mausoleum and it caught the air inside the room and began to glide. As I looked through the locked glass door, I saw my prayer petition flit, float, and fly through air for a few feet inside the small room and come to rest, perfectly centered and leaning up against, what I think was a portrait picture of the saintly and beloved, nurturing religious sister who many instinctively turn to after just hearing a glimpse of her story. Like others, I was instantly drawn to what I perceived to be a selfless, loving, holy person, who as a nun, was a competent teacher, compassionate, and nurturing to students through her teaching and manner. I would love to find out more about her but have come up with zero when searching the internet several times on different occasions in English and Spanish. Can you post more about her? --Grateful for your webpage! May Madre Chole help your students and may their dreams come true por la Gloria de Dios. P. Pablo.

P. Pablo said...

Thanks Madre Chole--I graduated last May, 2011 and now have my professional diploma framed in my office. Madre Chole knows how to help, my GPA was 3.7 (just amazing for a B-student); it "felt" like I was swimming against the current for the 5 years it took to complete the academic program, P/T.--I wanna go down to Tepeyac to say "thanks, mom" to Our Lady and send prayerful hugs to Madre Soledad.--I pray the tide will change for Dreamers who seek higher education....P. Pablo