Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Our Lady of Guadalupe


Vision received by St. Juan Diego

The Aztec culture practiced for many years human sacrifices to appease their 'god' Huitzilpochtli (the Hummingbird Wizard). The estimate of their total human sacrifices was approx 20,000 people a year, the Aztec culture also practiced cannibalism.

But it was in the year 1531 that a beautiful lady appeared to a simple peasant, who was very devout, his name was Juan Diego, he was amazed at the beauty of this lady who then identified herself as the 'Mother of the one True God'.

This beautiful lady brought a message of love and compassion for that region and country and instructed Juan to tell his Bishop of her appearance, Juan as you can imagine was overcome by this august mission, for he was a very simplistic soul. Juan himself was born in 1474 but it was in the year 1524 and 1525 he was converted and baptized, as well as his wife, receiving the Christian name of Juan Diego and his wife the name of Maria Lucia.

Being of a devout nature Juan each day would walk miles to attend Mass, in very rough terrain often taking up to 3 hours to arrive, but it was on one of these journeys that Juan’s life took an unexpected turn, when the lovely lady appeared before him with these words, “Juanito, Juan Dieguito “, “the most humble of my sons”, “my son the least”, “my little dear”.

After revealing who she was to Juan our Lady gave these messages to Juan to deliver to the local Bishop, “Know and understand well, you the most humble of my son, that I am the ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth...I vividly desire that a church be built on this site, so that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help, and defense, for I am your most devoted mother . . . to hear your laments and to remedy all your miseries, pains, and sufferings."

Juan took this message to the Bishop, who obviously was sceptical of what Juan was relating to him and the Bishop then asked for proof, that this was indeed Our Lady. After several Visitations from Our Lady she instructed Juan to pick some flowers and place it in his 'tilma', Juan did as he was instructed. When he returned to the Bishop he emptied his 'tilma' and there to the astonishment of the Bishop was the miraculous image of Mary Most Holy. Eventually a Church was built where Our Lady had instructed and thousands converted to Christianity. Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared the patroness of the Americas.

Juan Diego died on May 30, 1548, at the age of 74.

In April of 1990 Juan Diego was declared Blessed by Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. The following month, in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, during his second visit to the shrine, John Paul II performed the beatification ceremony.On July 2002 he was canonized by the Church, during a ceremony celebrated by John Paul II, again in the Basilica of Guadalupe.

Since then there has been scientific research which purportedly shows the reflection of Juan Diego in the Image of Our Lady on his tilma. I would encourage all to read this most miraculous of Apparitions, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

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