Editor’s note: This announce was originally published on 12/10/ 2013.
This month, in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we’re doing a three-part post on the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe, her supernatural epitome, and the two shrines is fully committed to her in Mexico City and La Crosse, Wisconsin. This narration is so rich in detail and fascinating happenings, I encourage you to read more about it in Mary of the Americas, A Handbook on Guadalupe, The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe Empress of the Americas, or Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness.
The year was 1531, 39 years after Columbus “discovered” America, ten years after Cortes extended the conquest* of the Aztec empire at Tenochtitlan( Mexico City) and seven years after Franciscan preachers began ministering to the locals, including Juan Diego, who was among the first to be baptized a Catholic. Fifty-seven-year-old Juan was a simple and good man whose spouse had recently died, and who was caring for his sick uncle. On December 9th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception **, Juan was crossing Tepeyac Hill on his road to Mass, when he heard heavenly music and a beautiful articulation calling out to him, “Juanito! Juan Diegito! ” Juan, unafraid, approached the beautiful noblewoman. When she asked where he was going, he said he was going to Mass. She said,
“Know for certain, least of my lads, that I am the excellent and perpetual Virgin mary, Mother of the True God through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of heaven and earth . … I hope very much that they construct my sacred little home here, in which I will show Him. I will extol Him in realizing Him manifest: I will give Him to the people, in my compassionate gaze, in my improve, in my recovery, because I am indeed your merciful Mother. I am your blessed mom, the gracious baby 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 sobbing, their regret, and will ameliorate and alleviate all their multiple loses, necessaries and misfortunes.” ***
Mary told Juan to go to the palace of the Bishop in Tenochtitlan and tell him what he had envision and discover, and to exhort him to build a temple in her honor. Juan did just that; but, although Fray Juan de Zumarraga had just been praying to the Blessed Mother for help in uniting the people of the land, Juan Diego’s narrative was … well … very hard to believe. He listened to Juan kindly and send him on his action, keeping decision but feeling many reservations.
Juan felt like a failing. Back on Tepeyac Hill, he told Mary what had happened. “I beg you, my piou one, my Lady, ” he prayed, “to choose one of the noblemen who are well known, revered and respected to undertake this so that your words will be conceived. It is true, I am only a good man. I am not worthy of starting where you mail me. Pardon me, my Lady and my Child, I does not want to realize your noble center happy. I do not want to displease you.”
The Blessed Mother appeared on him with compassion and said,
“Hear me, my lad. It is true that I do not shortage maids or envoys to whom I could entrust my letter so that my will could be fulfilled. But it was essential to that you speak for me on such matters, tired as you are.”
Juan returned to the Bishop the next day, but the Bishop was coming riled. All he had was Juan’s word; how could he trust him in such a serious matter? He told Juan to ask the Lady for a clue. Juan left, assuring him that he would get one from the Queen of Heaven.
Mary predicted Juan that she would give him the indicate he needed the next day, but when Juan returned home, he found his uncle sick to the point of demise. Juan wasted the next day caring for his uncle, forgetting his meeting with Mary. The morning of December 12 th, as Juan hurried to the city to find a clergyman to give his uncle the Last Rites, he retained his missed meeting and felt ashamed. He decided to take another route, hoping to avoid an humiliating meeting with Mary, but she fulfilled him at the bottom of the hill. Juan fell to his knees and requested forgiveness. He wasn’t trying to hurt her feelings or dismiss her wishings, but his uncle was so sick, and he had to get a priest!
Our Lady looked at Juan with love and said,
“Hear and make it imbue your heart, my beloved “sons “: let nothing discourage you , nothing depress you. Let nothing alter your heart or your visage. Also do not fear any illness or tribulation, feeling or ache. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my dark and protecting? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the crimp of my mantle, in the sweep of my forearms? Do not be hurt or make thought of your uncle’s illness, for he will not die of this. He is well previously. Is there anything else you need? ”
Juan said he would go to the Bishop with whatever sign the Blessed Mother payed him. She told him to go to the top of the hill where he would find many heydays. There, he should chip the develops, gather them in his cactus-fiber cloak, or tilma, and “re coming back” to her. Juan immediately obeyed , not questioning the fact that it was the middle of December, and that there was absolutely no way he would ever find roses on that barren mountain. But Juan knew the hill covered in Castilian lifts , not native to Mexico. He returned the flowers back, and as Mary rearranged them in his tilma, she said,
“My little son, these heightens are the sign that you must take to the Bishop. In my honour, tell him that with this, he will see and recognize my will, and that he must do what I ask.”
As Juan related the anecdote to the Bishop, he plummeted the hem of his tilma, making the smell roses fall to the floor. The Bishop and his entourage dropped to their knees as they investigated, imprinted on Juan’s tilma, a full-length image of the Blessed virgin. That persona, still intact 482 year later, can still be seen at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, near Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City.
When Juan returned home, his uncle was health and Juan was happy to recount his meeting with a beautiful dame who salved him and told him her call: Guadalupe. Since Our Lady spoke to Juan and his uncle in their native usage of Nahuatl, it is believed that she called herself Hehuatzin ni Coatlaxupeuh, which symbolizes “I am she who subdued the serpent, ” referring to the child-devouring Aztec snake goddess Coalticue, whose temple used to be atop Tepeyac Hill. In the end, the ancient chronicles of the supernatural mood, “The Virgin did not give the reason why she announced her portrait Guadalupe. So it will not be known until God discloses this mystery.”
* While some consider the conquest of the Aztecs to have been the inhuman wiping out of an entire civilization, it is important to remember that Cortez’ intention was to eradicate the regular and ruthless human sacrifices that were being carried out every day on top of Aztec pyramids.
** The Immaculate Conception of Mary had been celebrated on December 9th as early as the 5th century. The feast was changed to December 8th in the Roman schedule in the 8th century.
*** The report of these shadows comes from a rendition of the Nican Mopohua, the original account written in Nahuatl by Antonio Valeriano in 1556, which is housed in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library.
Special thanks to Sister M. Ancilla, FSGM, MA, of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe for her priceless penetration and editorial assistance.
Art: Fiel retrato do veneravel Juan Diego( True picture of Venerable[ now Saint] Juan Diego ), Miguel Cabrera, 1752, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less; Mirror of Old painting of Juan Diego by Miguel Cabrera, uploaded by Bewareofdog, 13 December 2006, PD-US author’s life plus 70 years or less; Painting of God[ Eternal Father] depict the Virgin of Guadalupe, anonymous, eighteenth century, photographed by proyectoguadalupe.com, author’s life plus 70 years or less; Virgin of Guadalupe, 16 th century( “this version somewhat darkened” ), PD-US author’s life plus 70 years or less; all Wikimedia Commons.
Editor’s note: Such articles initially appeared on SpiritualDirection.com and is reprinted here with nature permission.
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