It is written by John Lee, a Melbourne artist and playwright ,
who graduated from the Royal college of Art, London . He has staged plays in
New York, Kuala Lumpur, and Australia. The music for the play has been written
by Peter Foster, a Melbourne composer, who is one of the leaders in the
charismatic music ministry.
The production has been staged for 14 seasons around Australia and three
seasons in the Philippines and it is being staged to foster in everyone, especially
in the youth/young adults, a respect for life. Also we have performed at about
25 locations doing excerpts of the play and giving pro life talks at schools and
nursing homes. The musical itself shares a vision for a future that respects the
sanctity of human life at all stages. Already 25,000 people have seen the
musical & it has excellent reviews the musical is inspirational.
"Call of Guadalupe" is a colourful and up-beat stage musical combining drama
and comedy. The story is a tale of love that tackles the real-life struggle a couple
faces in addressing an unplanned pregnancy and draws a parallel from a time in
Mexican history when Mary appeared to an Aztec peasant, Juan Diego.
The story begins with an Australian family who face dilemmas and seek god and then there is a flashback with a visit of “Our Lady of Guadalupe”, the Mother of God to an Aztec peasant, Juan Diego. She requested a church built to pray that the sacrifices would stop. To prove her appearance to non-believers, a miraculous appearance occurred of Herself in a life-sized image on his cactus-fibre tilma cloak (which still persists in perfect preservation, after 500 years, in Mexico today) This brought an end to all human sacrifice and the conversion of nine million Aztecs to Catholicism in less than ten years.
The musical draws a parallel between this period in Mexican history and Australian life today. Today, our culture is seemingly growing to accept the killing of babies in their mothers’ wombs, lacking care of the old, disabled, infirm, and an increase in youth suicides have contributed to a modern day “Culture of Death’ (Pope John Paul II).
Five years ago, Anne Lim, a Singaporean lady with operatic training and John Lee a Melbourne drama lecturer shared a pressing and powerful vision. Both were convinced that the vision came through Jesus and Mary His Mother now with Him in Heaven.
The vision challenged them to tell the world that only God is the Creator and Author of life and that no human being has the right to terminate the life of another human being whatever the circumstances, without exception. The vision inspired them to spread the message of life through the instrumentation of public theatre.
In Singapore that year, John and Anne spent three days and three nights working out a plan to write a musical play based on a great historical event in Mexico to accentuate the mission of supplanting the contemporary culture of death with that of life.
John went home to Melbourne and wrote a play with lyrics for sixteen songs. God also led him to Peter Foster a very talented music-leader serving the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Australia. Peter agreed without hesitation, and working together with John for two years, produced music made in Heaven.
Before she died of cancer, John’s wife Teresa, encouraged him above all things to launch the play with five thousand dollars, all she had saved. John was moved, and with the help of his family Geraldine, Patrick and Francesca, friends, strangers emerge from all walks of life giving their time, talents and money to progress the project until fruition.
As you witness the show, you will see all coming together to give you two solid hours of entertainment that will leave you exhilarated, encouraged and thinking.
John confesses that he departs occasionally from historical and cultural accuracy for the sake of enhancing the theatricality of the play. But the main events and components of the documented history of the conversion of the Aztec (Mexican) people from pagan human sacrifices to living the Christian way, have been faithfully adhered to and highlighted in special dramatic ways in the show.
From Melbourne, Kyabram, Werribee, Albury, Darwin, Balwyn, Philippines, this play seeks forays into other cities in Australia and from then on, bravely and boldly to other areas of the world.
Such is the vision. Your prayers and support will carry this through.
The musical has a blessings from Bishop Prowse, Bishop Elliot and encouraged by Cardinal Pell and Archbishop Hart.
Human sacrifices to pagan gods were common everyday events in the Aztec land of Mexico. In fact, on a single day, up to 20,000 human beings being sacrificed to celebrate the opening of a national feast throughout the land. Franciscan missionaries, arriving in the wake of the Conquistador invasion in 1524, tried to stop the ritual slaughter of human beings, but to no avail. Bishop Zumarraga prayed earnestly to the Blessed Virgin Mary for a sign that she would intercede to God to end the national slaughter.
Juan Diego, a simple peasant and recent convert to Christianity, used to walk miles on mountain trails to attend mass at a distant church. Suddenly Our Lady appeared to him on Mount Tepeyac, showed him a mysterious appearance of Castilian roses and miraculously imprinted her own image on his tilma.
Through Juan Diego, Our Lady instructed the Bishop to build a church to mark the end of human sacrifices in Mexico. The natives were confirmed in their new faith when one of their own people, killed accidentally by an arrow, was miraculously brought back to life when his body was placed before the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. (“Guadalupe” means to the natives ‘one who conquers the devil’).
The supernatural apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe caused the conversion of Mexico to the Christian Faith, a fact that still persists today. Also persisting and in perfect preservation after 500 years is the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe now enshrined in modern day Mexico. Our Lady’s actual words to Juan Diego (recently canonised as a saint by the Catholic Church) have echoed and echoed down the ages till today for all who want to hear:“I am your Merciful Mother … Listen and let it penetrate your heart. Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow or protection? Am I not your foundation of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need? “
WHAT’S THE STORY?
The story begins with an Australian family who face modern dilemmas. They seek God and then a flashback takes us to the 16th Century Aztec Mexico: a time when a visit of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” (Mary), appears to an Aztec peasant, Juan Diego. She requested a church be built so that people could pray that the sacrifices would stop. To prove her appearance to non-believers, a miraculous appearance occurred of Herself in a life-sized image on his cactus-fibre tilma cloak (which still persists in perfect preservation, after 500 years, in Mexico today). Another miracle was the raising of a dead Aztec that brought millions of Aztecs to conversion & brought an end to all human sacrifice.