Photo: Our Lady Of Guadalupe
Today is one of the most important Catholic celebrations of the year, The Feast Day of the Lady of Guadalupe, patron saint of the Americas who appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico City in 1531.
According to the Archdiocese of Mexico some 8 million people from all over the country make a pilgrimage to the Basílica of Guadalupe, in Mexico City, where the miraculous image of la Virgen Morena (The Brown Virgin) is kept.
The appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Aztec Indian Juan Diego in December of 1531 played a pivotal role in the conversion of Mexico, Central and South America to Catholicism.
The Virgin Mary, disguised as an Aztec princess, appeared to Saint Juan Diego (his pre-conversion name of Cuauhtlatoatzin translates as “Talking Eagle”), a Mexican convert, on December 9, 1531 as he strode to Mass and was passing by the base of Tepeyac hill. She spoke to him in Nahuatl, his native tongue, and told him to go to Archbishop Juan de Zumarraga, the primate of Mexico, and tell him that she wished for a shrine to be built on Tepeyac hill. She also gave him this message: ”I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me , of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes.”
The Archbishop told Diego he would not believe in his encounter with Mary unless he had a sign. Our Lady told Diego to visit the Archbishop again, but Zumarraga repeated his request for a sign. Returning to Tepeyac, Diego again encountered Our Lady who told him to present himself to Archbishop Zumarraga and give to him roses he was instructed to pick. Roses growing in Mexico in December were a miracle in and of themselves. Diego did as he was bidden, and when he presented the roses to the Archbishop, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on his tilma, his peasant’s cloak, where the roses had been held by him. News of the miracle spread throughout Mexico and before the decade was out some eight million Mexicans converted to the Faith. A chapel was built on Tepeyac and Diego cared for it and the image as a religious hermit until his death in 1548 at 73.¹
Watch the video below for more information, on the Our Lady of Guadalupe and don’t forget to say a prayer to her on this special day.