La Virgen De Guadalupe
The history of the miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe has its beginnings one cold, early dawn on the 9th of December 1531.
It was Saturday and Juan Diego, a native recently converted to Catholicism, had begun the long walk to attend his religious instruction class. As he neared the hill of Tepeyac, in the valley of México City, he heard the exquisite singing of many birds. “Where am I?” he wondered. “Am I in the land of heaven?” Suddenly, her heard a gentle, sweet voice calling is name. Puzzled, he looked around and there stood a lady, beautiful beyond imagination, her robes shining like the sun, the rock upon which she stood projected bright rays of light, the earth around her radiated the colors of the rainbow, the weeds and the cactus were like emeralds and turquoise, the thorns like gold.
In awe, he fell to his knees. “My son,” She said, “I want you to go to the Bishop and tell him to build me a sacred house here, so that I can console and help all those who seek me, and give them all my love.”
Realizing that this was a request from a Heavenly Lady, he hurried off to see the Bishop. When he told him what had happened, the Bishop rebuked him, “Juan Diego, this is only your imagination”, and he sent him away.
Troubled and sad, Juan Diego returned to tell the Heavenly Lady that the Bishop would not listen to a poor, humble Indian like himself, that instead She should send a nobleman, so that then the Bishop would believe the message. “I have chosen you, Juan Diego, to be my messenger. Go, do as I ask of you.”
The next day Juan Diego left before dawn to attend Mass, and then to see the Bishop. This time, the Bishop told Juan Diego that he must bring a sign from the Heavenly Lady, or not to come back again.
Juan Diego did not return to see Her the next day, as his uncle, with whom he lived, was gravely ill. That same evening, the uncle, knowing his end was near, asked for a priest.
Early on Tuesday, December 12th, Juan Diego set out to summon the priest. Fearing that the Lady would detain him, he took a different route, but as he came to the foot of Tepeyac hill, She stopped him. “Where are you going?” She asked the distressed Juan Diego. He told Her about his uncle’s illness. “Do not concern yourself, your uncle is now well.” Our Lady of Guadalupe’s first of many miracles!
After much waiting, the Bishop received him. When Juan Diego unfolded his *tilma, a cascade of fragrant flowers fell to the floor before the astonished Bishop, and on the tilma appeared imprinted the Image of the Heavenly Lady, just as Juan Diego had seen Her on the hill.
The sacred Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the only physical manifestation the Holy Virgin has ever given to the world. To this day, Her Image remains in Her sacred house at the foot of Tepeyac, where each day She is visited and revered by thousands of Her children.
The Modern Basílica de Guadalupe in Mexico City
Juan Diego was given the custody of Her Basilica, where he remained until his death. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 6, 1990, and canonized July 31, 2002. His fest is to be celebrated on December 9th.
Over the centuries, Her Image has been studied by painters, doctors and scientists from many countries, all unanimously agreeing that it was “Painted by brushes not of this world.” With the canonization of Juan Diego, the Church has confirmed this miracle.
Pope John Paul II has prophesied that the Basilica of Our Lad of Guadalupe will be the center “from which the light of the Gospel of Christ will shine our over the whole world by means of the miraculous Image of His Mother.” Also, the Holy Father has now declared that “The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother and Evangelizer of America, be celebrated throughout the continent on December 12th.
*A cape of woven cactus fiber worn by the lower class native.
“I shall be there to listen to your cries, your sadness.
I shall be there to cure your grievances,
Your misery, your sufferings.”
Come visit Olvera Street December 12
to enjoy the celebration!
Click to view the Olvera Street Celebration