APPARITIONS OF OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
9th to 12th 1531.
1. More than 500 years ago, the prehispanic cultures in Mexico and Mesoamerica had a very different way of living and mentality from that of the European. Religion determined
for them every single activity of their lives. They had sense of attributes that the Christian faith recognizes in the Triune
God… they honored the human virtues as necessary to practice and punished evil deeds. They had several gods. The practice
of human sacrifices was transcendental
2. for their belief was that through their blood they could help to maintain the equilibrium in
the cosmic order… that the god of the son was fighting every night to be able to rise again the following day; thus
their blood was needed for his daily victory.
3. The arrival of the Spaniards marked a sudden change of direction of History… for ever.
The victory of the Spanish army over the Aztec of 'Mexica' empire which was in fact more powerful was due to the spiritual
battle. The mexicas were expecting the end of their civilization for it was one of their mysterious prophecies.. On the other
hand, the Spaniards where strongly convinced in their Christian faith that they would win. They siege to the great Tenochtitlan gave advantage to the Spaniards who eventually overcame
the natives, and destroyed their temples, sculptures of their gods, buildings,
4. In spite of the Conquest of Mexico; the natives didn’t convert soon to the Christian
faith: few indigenous abandoned their ancestor’s religion and embraced Christianity preached by virtuous and saintly
Franciscan friars. One of them was Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin “the one who speaks like an eagle, the one who speaks
the truth”. His wife Maria Lucia and his uncle Juan Bernardino were also baptized. Some years later his wife died.
5. Early before the dawn on December 9th 1531, Juan Diego was climbing the barren hill
of Tepeyac towards the Church in Tlatelolco (Mexico City),
suddenly he heard singing of precious birds, the cactus and stones as if made of gold and a sweet voice of a Lady calling
him: “Juanito, Juan Dieguito, where are you going?” –O, my Lady, I’m going to the Church, to the catechism
of the priests, delegates of Our Lord Jesus Christ. –Know, my son, the smallest one that I am the Ever Virgin Holy Mary,
Mother of the True God, in whom everything exists. I wish here a Church to show my love, compassion, help and protection,
to you and all the dwellers of this land, and from far away lands, those who trust me and invoke me, for this you will go
to the Bishop of Mexico and tell him of my wish.
6. Juan Diego went and referred everything he saw and heard, to the Bishop Juan de Zumarraga,
but the Bishop seemed not to believe and dismissed him.
7. Juan Diego was saddened for they didn’t believe him, and going back he saw the heavenly
8. and told her to look for someone else more important and appreciated, in whom they would believe,
for he was a poor man, not important, with no grace to please and convince. “My son –said the B.V.M.-, know that
many are my servants; but my wish is that through you, my wish be realized”
9. “…I command you and ask you, go again to tell the Bishop my wish”. Juan Diego
accepted willingly the mission the Heavenly entrusted to him.
10. The following morning he went to see the Bishop again, but though he listened with attention: he still showed doubt…
11. …and sent some servants to spy Juan Diego, what would he do, and what people he talked to. Suddenly before their
eyes Juan Diego seemed to disappear: they decided to tell he was a liar and would punish him if he would go back to the Bishop’s
house… but actually in that very moment he was talking with the Blessed Mother, who promised to give him a sign on the
following day for the Bishop to believe.
12. She asked Juan Diego to go back following day so that he could bring the Sign to the Bishop.
13. But Monday morning, December 11th, Uncle Juan Bernardino was very sick and Juan Diego spent the day taking
care of him. Sad for being unable to go to the appointment with the heavenly Lady. The following day, December 12th,
his Uncle asked for a Priest to confess, since he felt his death was near and recommended Juan Diego not to delay in his way.
14. Juan Diego thought to take a different pathway so that he would not be entertained by the heavenly Lady…
15. But she who sees everything went to meet him and appeared again the other side of the hill; Juan Diego was ashamed,
surprised… and ask her: “My Lady, my little girl, how are you this morning? Are you fine and in good health..?”
Then, he opened up: “My Lady… I don’t lie to you, my Uncle your servant, is very sick and I am going to
call a priest to confess him, after that I’ll come back and fulfill your command; I’m sorry that I didn’t
come yesterday, I’m sorry” –“ My son, know that is nothing what causes your pain, do not fear that
illness or any misfortune! Am I not here who Am your Mother? Am I not your health? Are you not in the cross of my arms? What
else do you need..?
16. Your uncle is well now” At that moment, Uncle Bernardino saw her and she healed him.
17. The hill of Tepeyac was in a deserted region, on winter it used to be very cold, besides, the only plants that grew
there where cactus, thorn bushes and the like. Our Lady told Juan Diego to go on top of the hill and cut the flowers in the
first place where she appeared to him. Juan Diego knew that it wasn’t a place for flowers to grow, but obeying, he went
and in fact: there he found many fresh roses of Castile
that miraculously grew there.
18. He cut as many as he could and brought them to Our Lady, who touched them and fixed them in his tilma and told him:
“This is the sign for the Bishop, with this, he will believe”.
19. “Only before the Bishop you will show the content in your tilma –cloak-.” Juan Diego took them and
cared for them like for a treasure and gladly went to the Bishop’s house.
20. Once there, the servants wanted him to show what he was carrying, Juan Diego, afraid, showed a little bit: but when
they intended to get some flowers, they seemed embroidered, or painted… mesmerized, at that point they hurried up to
call the Bishop.
21. Juan Diego, then, told again the Bishop what he saw and heard, afterwards he opened his tilma and while the fresh, aromatic
roses fell onto the floor, suddenly, before their eyes appeared miraculously the image of Our Lady
22. …as if printed or painted on the tilma. The Bishop fell on his knees and believed,
23. begging pardon for having not believed to Juan Diego in the beginning. Then he untied the tilma from the Juan Diego’s
shoulders and placed it in his oratory.
24. The following day took place a great procession to honor Our Lady. Hundred of peoples came; especially indigenous not
yet converted to the Christian Catholic Faith
…just to have a look at the miraculous
image, they understood in its colors, drawings and shapes a message… they read in it a code that announced to them that
Mary is the Mother of the only True God, that Jesus became a man, a real one (in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary to save
mankind, and through the infinite love of God reflected in the maternal tenderness and protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe)
picture. After the apparitions, thousands of indigenous people were baptized and abandoned their former beliefs.
26. Since then, thousands even millions, simple and important people; rich and poor, Mexican or foreign, believers or non-believers
visit the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, where the original miraculous image of Our Blessed Mother is still preserved
27. Juan Diego was beatified on May 1990 by the late Pope John Paul II. The miracle for his canonization was obtained, studied
and approved. On July 31st, 2002. Juan Diego was declared saint by the same Pope John Paul II in the Basilica of
Guadalupe, Mexico City. Some strokes where added by a painter
who intended to restore the image many years ago, that paint is falling: and the image remains fresh and beautiful as if it
had just appear.
28. Scientists of the N.A.S.A. (USA) have made some studies on the clothe and found exceptional and extraordinary discoveries
like the unexplainable way on how the image was imprinted; how does it look, and that the colors are not of animal, vegetal
or animal origin. Other studies have been made on the image that have shown amazing discoveries, for example:
a. After enlarging pictures of the eyes, especially the left; the scene of the apparition of her
image on the tilma was recorded in the eyes; meaning she was seeing from the miraculous image; and St. Juan Diego looks very
similar to the earliest portrait from the 16th century.
29. Since the apparition many miracles have happened and along the centuries countless testimonies have been left in the
Basilica’s Museum as thanksgiving for miracles received through the intercession of the Ever Virgin Mary of Guadalupe.
All of us are invited:
1. To recognize in Mary a real and compassionate Mother.
2. To go to her with faith, humility and confidence in our
poverty and sinfulness.
3. To go to her Son Jesus Christ, to set us free of our sins,
our fears and slaveries, to help us live as true children of God; to give God the place that belongs only to Him in our lives,
in our families, in our communities, in our countries.
CONSECRATION TO OUR BLESSED MOTHER