Friends of the Rosary:
Today we remember Juan Diego, the Mexican saint who received a visit from Our Lady of Guadalupe in Cuautlitlán, today part of Mexico City.
When he was 50 years old he was baptized by a Franciscan priest, Fr. Peter da Gand, one of the first Franciscan missionaries.
On December 9, 1531, when Juan Diego was on his way to morning Mass, the Blessed Mother appeared to him.
Our Lady asked him to go to the Bishop and to request in her name that a shrine be built at Tepeyac, where she promised to pour out her grace upon those who invoked her. The Bishop, who did not believe Juan Diego, asked for a sign to prove that the apparition was true. On December 12, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac.
Here, the Blessed Mother told him to climb the hill and pick the flowers that he would find in bloom. He obeyed, and although it was wintertime, he found roses blooming. He gathered the flowers and took them to Our Lady who carefully placed them on his mantle and told him to take them to the Bishop as “proof”.
When he opened his mantle, the flowers fell on the ground and there remained impressed, in place of the flowers, an image of the Blessed Mother, the apparition at Tepeyac.
Juan Diego lived the rest of his life as a hermit in a small hut near the chapel where the miraculous image was placed for veneration. Here he cared for the church and the first pilgrims who came to pray to the Mother of Jesus.
Much deeper than the exterior grace of having been chosen as Our Lady’s messenger, Juan Diego received the grace of interior enlightenment and from that moment, he began a life dedicated to prayer and the practice of virtue and boundless love of God and neighbor.
He died in 1548 and was buried in the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. He was beatified on May 6, 1990, by Pope John Paul II in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Guadalupe, Mexico City.
The miraculous image, which is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, shows a woman with native features and dress.
Jesus, I Trust In You!
St. Juan Diego, Pray for Us!
+ Mikel A. | RosaryNetwork.com, New York