Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego – videos, powerpoints, audio

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Saint Juan Diego – “I am a nobody, I am a small rope, a tiny ladder, the tail end, a leaf.”

“I am a nobody, I am a small rope, a tiny ladder, the tail end, a leaf.” – Saint Juan Diego

CNABorn in 1474 in Cuauhtitlán, Mexico, to an Aztec tribe given the name Cuauhtlatoatzin, or “talking eagle.” He belonged to the poorest and most numerous class of the Aztecs, besides that of the slaves. He worked the land and wove mats for a living, and was married although he and his wife had no children.

He converted to Christianity in 1524 and was baptized along with his wife and took the name Juan Diego. He had already been of a mystical character before his baptism, spending long periods of time alone in contemplation.

In 1531, two years after the death of his wife, Maria Lucia, Juan Diego began receiving the famous apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of the Americas, who spoke to him in his native tongue, Nahuatl, and imprinted an image of Herself on his tilma – a poor indian’s cape, and instructed him to have the bishop build a church on the site of the apparition – now the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the most visited church in the world, after Saint Peter’s in Rome.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, with Juan Diego’s cooperation, is said to be directly responsible for the 9 million or so conversions to Catholicism by the native Mexican only 20 years after Christianity was introduced to the land by the Spanish.

He died on May 30, 1548 and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in Mexico City on July 31, 2002CNA

History of Apparitions: Spotlight on Our Lady of Guadalupe

Rome Reports

January 10, 2011. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic landmark in the Americas.

Every year more than 20 million people gather in this basilica located on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico, where the Virgin Mary appeared four times to native-indian saint, Juan Diego in 1531.

During the apparition, the Virgin asked him if he could make a shrine here. The bishop of the area summoned Juan Diego to see if he was indeed telling the truth and asked him to bring roses from the hill where Mary appeared.

Fr. Salvatore Perrella
Vice President, Pontifical Marianum Theological Faculty (Rome)
The Tepeyac hill is very rocky and it’s very hard to find roses, especially in December. Nevertheless, the farmer Juan Diego found what the bishop had asked of him. He put the roses in his cloak and went to the bishop. He said ‘here is the proof that you need’ and opened his cloak, he discovered that in place of the roses was this beautiful image of the Virgin Mary, who appeared dressed like a native Indian, with native Indian features.”

The last vision of the Virgin of Guadalupe was on December 12th, the day the feast is celebrated. It’s a special day for the Americas, especially Mexico, whose patroness is the Lady of Guadalupe.

Fr. Salvatore Perrella
Vice President, Pontifical Marianum Theological Faculty (Rome)
“The Mexican identity owes a lot to Mary, because she made them discover this identity, this unity of the Mexican people.”

Perrella, who is an expert of apparitions, says that when the Virgin appears, she normally asks for the construction of a shrine.

Fr. Salvatore Perrella
Vice President, Pontifical Marianum Theological Faculty (Rome)

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a place of worship in honor of the Virgin. Mary asked the Indian Juan Diego to construct a church to worship the true God. Because of this, the shrine of Guadalupe is not just a Marian shrine, but it is also a sanctuary in which Christ is the center of focus.”

In 1990, during the second journey of John Paul II to Mexico, he declared the indian Juan Diego blessed. In 2002, he became a saint.

In all of the Catholic Church’s history, the Vatican has only recognized 15 apparitions of the Virgin Mary. And the Virgin of Guadalupe is one of these.

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