Friday, December 11, 2009

December 13 - The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe - La Virgin de Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the oldest Marian Apparition in Modern times--even before Mary's appearances in Lourdes and Fatima.
In December of 1531, Juan Diego, a native Aztec Indian and recent Roman Catholic convert, was on his way to mass in the hills of Tepeyac when the Virgin Mary appeared to him. She told Juan, in his native language, to tell the bishop to build a church in her honor on the site where they stood. When Juan told the story to the Spanish bishop, he was told to ask for a sign to prove his story. Mary, then, told Juan to go back to Tepeyac and gather some flowers. Even though it was winter and there were no flowers in bloom, Juan found fresh flowers and gathered them in his coat. Juan returned to the Bishop to present him with the flowers, and as he opened his coat, an image of the Virgin Mary miraculously imprinted on the cloth of his coat. The Bishop immediately took the coat and hung it in the chapel.
The original coat is today on display in the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe on the outskirts of Mexico City where the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego. Many from Mexico and around the world make pilgrimages to stand in the presence of the image. For Mexicans, it is a major source of Latin American identity that historically displays an event of cultural unity between the native people and early Spanish settlers.
Since 1737, Our Lady of Guadalupe has been recognized as the patron saint of Mexico City. Juan Diego was declared a saint in 2002 by Pope John Paul II.

1 comment:

Sarah Harkins said...

Thank you for that! It is a beautiful post!