Saint of the day
Saint of the day: The feast in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe goes back to the sixteenth century. A poor Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized and given the name Juan Diego. He was a 57-year-old widower and lived in a small village near Mexico City. On Saturday morning, December 9, 1531, he was on his way to a nearby barrio to attend mass in honor of our Lady.
He was walking by a hill called Tepeyac when he heard beautiful music like the warbling of birds. A radiant cloud appeared and within it a young Native American maiden dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to him in his own language and sent him to the bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan named Juan de Zumarraga. The lady instructed Juan tell the bishop to build a chapel in the place where she appeared.
Eventually the bishop told Juan Diego to have the lady give him a sign. About this same time Juan Diego’s uncle became seriously ill. This led poor Diego to try to avoid the lady. Even so, the lady found Diego and assured him that his uncle would recover. She also provided roses in the winter when roses did not grow for Juan to carry to the bishop. Juan Diego wrapped his cape around the flowers.
When Juan Diego opened his cape in the bishop’s presence, the roses fell to the ground. In wonder and awe, the bishop sank to his knees before what he saw. On Juan Diego’s cape appeared an image of Mary exactly as she had appeared at the hill of Tepeyac. It was December 12, 1531. Within 10 years of that event, Mexico’s indigenous people were Christian.