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FIRST APPARITION: December 9, 1531
LAST APPARITION: December 12, 1531

FEAST DAY: December 12th

...”I wish that a temple be erected here quickly

so I may therein exhibit and give all my love, compassion, help, and protection,

because I am your merciful mother, to you, and to all the inhabitants on this land

and all the rest who love me, invoke and confide in me;

listen there to their lamentations, and remedy all their miseries, afflictions and sorrows."




  Thirty-nine years after the landing of Columbus in the New World, Our Lady appeared at Tepeyac Hill near Mexico City, the very center of the Western Hemisphere, to Juan Diego, a native Aztec Indian to Mexico. His original name was Cuauhtlatoatzin (“the Talking Eagle”). Our Lady spoke to Juan Diego in his native tongue and she was dark-skinned. This added to her allure for the local Aztecs and many were baptized Catholic as a result of her appearance to one of their own.


  Juan was a gifted member of the Chichimeca people, one of the more culturally advanced groups living in the Anahuac Valley. Juan Diego was one of the first indigenous people in the New World to embrace Catholicism, as did also his wife, Maria Lucia, and his uncle, Juan Bernardino.


  On December 9, 1531, Our Lady appeared to Juan while he was on the way to Mass. She asked him to approach the bishop and request that a shrine be built to her there, where she would bless those who called upon her. However, when Juan Diego requested this of the bishop, the bishop demanded proof of the vision.


  Juan Diego returned to the hill, where roses were blooming, though it was almost winter. He picked some of the flowers and brought them in his cloak to the bishop. When he opened his cloak, the flowers fell out and an image of the Blessed Mother was imprinted on it. The Bishop then gave his blessing, and a chapel was built on the hill.


  A series of remarkable miracles confirmed the apparition and were then followed by thousands of conversions among the natives and about nine million American Christians were received into the Church in the years to come. Following the cruelty and brutality of the Aztecs, Mexico needed a new direction which was provided by Our Lady of Guadalupe.


  Juan Diego’s cloak was placed in the chapel, and he lived in a small dwelling near the chapel for the rest of his life, serving as its caretaker, greeting pilgrims, and spending time in prayer and devotion. In 1548, he passed away and was buried in the chapel.


  On May 6, 1990, Juan Diego was canonized by Pope John Paul II at the Basilica of Santa Maria de Guadalupe in Mexico City. The cloak imprinted with the miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary received by Juan Diego is still preserved there today.




  Both Mexico and Spain were in various stages of crises in these times. Christendom was emerging from centuries of war and oppression, the Aztec civilization was crumbling, and it was time for Mexico to be born with an entirely different direction.


  Spain was conquered by the Muslims in the year 720 and 80% of the population was forcibly converted to the Muslim religion.  The Muslims were in control for over 700 years until the end of the War in Granada in 1492 when the Christians regained control. 


  In the Americas, prior to the Aztec control which began in the 14th century, there were many complex civilizations that had flourished including the Maya and Inca civilizations. The Aztec Empire was the last great civilization prior to the arrival of the Spanish. They came into power in 1325 and would continue the sacrifice of human life as had previously been performed by the Mayans, intended as a ritual offering of nourishment to the gods. 


  A number of methods were employed with the most common being beheading and heart extraction. Additional forms of sacrifice included ritually shooting the victim with arrows, hurling sacrifices into a deep sinkhole, and entombing alive to accompany a noble burial.  


  In 1474, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, an Indian, was born. Juan Diego and his wife and uncle were among the first to be baptized after the arrival of the main group of twelve Franciscan missionaries in Mexico. His wife died two years before the apparitions.


  In 1487, only 44 years before the first apparition of Our Lady at Guadalupe, the Aztecs built the great pyramidal temple of Huitzilopochtli and offered a ceremony with the greatest sacrifice of human lives ever made in their history when 80,000 individuals were sacrificed over 4 days. 


  In 1492, America was discovered by Christopher Columbus, sent by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, who were devout followers of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Extremadura whom Columbus gave credit for saving his small fleet and its mission when it was facing a very fierce storm in the Azores. In the midst of that terrible tempest, Columbus and his crew entrusted their salvation to her. For that reason, Columbus gave the name Guadalupe to the first island they discovered. Discovery of the New World changed Spain forever.


     In 1519, Hernando Cortez arrived in Mexico. The Spanish of this time wanted to evangelize the whole world. Having resisted the Arian heresy in the early centuries, and battling the cruel Muslim invaders for 800 years, a strong sense of the Christian faith had grown in the Spanish men and women. They called themselves Spaniards, and were very proud of their achievement of having forged a Christian country, under one crown and one flag against all odds. Cortez was appalled at the blood-stained altars on the top of the pyramids and became determined to conquer the Empire, to put an immediate end to the sacrifices.


  In 1521, Cortez succeeded in conquering Mexico, which resulted in on-going violence between the Spaniards and the natives. By 1524, Cortez succeeded in the leveling of altars on the larger pyramid-temples, and the complete leveling of the smaller temples, including the one at Tepeyac Hill.


  In 1528, Bishop Don Juan Zumarraga, a man with both spiritual and temporal powers, was sent to Mexico with the authority to act in the name of God and the Crown of Spain, which was resting on the head of the most faithful Catholic monarch ever to hold the title of King: Charles V, the grandson of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. King Charles V was a contemporary of St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila, among other Spanish saints; and also the father of Don John of Austria, the victor of Lepanto.


  Bishop Zumarraga was given an almost overwhelming and impossible task of preserving his faithful from two opposing parties; the natives that refused to convert to the faith, and the avaricious party of Spaniards who wanted to keep the natives ignorant and pagan, with the intention of exploiting them at will. In effect, everyone was fighting everyone.


     In a secret report sent to Empress Isabella and King Charles, the Bishop had written his now famous words: “Unless there is supernatural intervention, the country is lost.”


  On December 8, 1531, Bishop Zumarraga did what a man of faith does when facing a desperate situation: he fell to his knees and poured out prayer after prayer to the Mother of God asking her to intervene, to avert the uprising and to quell the exploitation of the natives that was frustrating his responsibility to protect them. He secretly asked Our Lady to send him some fresh-cut Castilian Roses, of the colors he had grown in Spain, as a sign his prayer was favorably received.




     The first apparition was at dawn on December 9, 1531, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, only the next day after the Bishop’s declaration that supernatural intervention was needed. Our Lady responded by appearing to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill while he was on his way to Mass just as dawn was breaking the chilly morning dusk. Half-way up the small hill of 150 feet, he heard a sound of a chorus of song-birds singing in a most heavenly harmony, coming from the summit ahead of him. Looking up at the summit, he saw a brilliant white cloud, with an intensely bright light in the center of it. Then the thrilling music stopped as he came near the crest. He notice rays of colored light emanating from the cloud, splashing colors on the ground. He heard a sweet and gentle voice of a young woman calling, “Juan, my dearest son Juan Diego.”


  Juan Diego climbed happily closer to the white cloud, drawn by the affectionate summons.  Suddenly the cloud parted revealing a Lady of overpowering brilliance and beauty, with the brilliant cloud like a sun, behind her. Her garments shoe like the sun and the radiance of her person spangled the terrain with a cascade of color. She appeared to be young, perhaps fourteen. She beckoned him to come closer. He did so, and saw that he was within her glorious aura of colored light. He fell to his knees in awe, overwhelmed by the loveliness of the vision.


  "Juanito, my son, where are you going?” the lady asked gently in a tone of esteem for him.  “Noble Lady,” he murmured, “I am on the way to the hear Mass, and to continue to study of the divine mysteries taught uf by the images of Our Lord, with the priests.” The Lady smiled approvingly. Then she declared firmly: “Know , know for sure, my dearest, littlest, and youngest son, that I am the perfect and Ever-virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the God of Truth through Whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near us, the Lord of Heaven and Earth.”


  “I want very much to have a little house (shrine) built here for me, in which I will show Him, I will exalt Him, I will make Him manifest.”


  “I will give Him to the people, in all my personal love, in my compassion, in my help, in my protection, because I am truly your merciful Mother, yours and all the people who live united in this land, and of all the other people of different ancestries, my lovers--who love me, those who seek me, those who trust in me. I will hear their weeping, their complaints, and heal all their sorrows, hardships, and sufferings.”


  The Lady stopped speaking, and regarded him fixedly and compellingly from the eyes that had been till now down-cast and half-hooded, “Dearest and smallest of my sons, it is my intention that you go at once to the house of my Bishop of Mexico, and tell him that I have sent you to make this request. Tell him that I wish him to build me a shrine here, right away. Tell him exactly all you have seen, admired, and heard.”


  Perceiving the awestruck, even terrifying effect her words had on him, the Lady veiled her eyes again, and in a most affectionate and comforting tone of voice said: “Be sure, Juanito, that I will appreciate it very much, be grateful and reward you. And you? You will deserve very much the reward I will give you for your fatigue, the work and trouble that my mission will cause you. Now, my dearest son, you have heard my word; go now and put forth your best effort.”


  The sun had barely risen when Juan knocked on the door of the Bishop’s house. A servant heard his request to see the Bishop, but was reluctant at first to let him in, looking askance at his poor attire. Juan insisted he had important business with the Bishop, and the servant led him to an open courtyard to wait. Juan sat for over an hour in the chill air before the servant returned and led him to the Bishop, who summoned an interpreter to assist him. Juan Diego did as asked by Our Lady and spoke to the Bishop who listened to him with courtesy and kindness, but told him that he must come again, while he would reflect on what Juan had told him.


  Juan Diego returned to the crest of the crest of Tepeyac Hill and found Our Lady standing there in the golden aura of light, awaiting him. He fell to his knees, enclosed again in the marvelous light of colors. He reported every word exchanged with the Bishop. He concluded, “So, I beg you, noble Lady, entrust this message to someone of importance...for I am only a lowly peasant, and you, my Lady, have sent me to a place where I have no standing. Forgive me if I have disappointed you for having failed in my mission.” The Virgin smiled tenderly at him and said: “Listen to me, my dearest son, and understand that I have many servants and messengers who I could charge with delivery of my message. But it is altogether necessary that you should be the one to undertake this mission and that it would be through your mediation and assistance that my wish should be accomplished. I urge you to go again tomorrow. Tell him in my name and make him fully understand my intention, that he should work on the shrine I am requesting. Tell him again that I am the Ever-Virgin Holy Mary, the Mother of God, who is sending you.”


  Juan answered, “My Lady, my Queen, my little girl. I do not wish to grieve your heart; I shall gladly do as you command, I shall not give up, nor do I consider it trouble. I shall go to fulfill your wish; but I may not be heard or, if heard, still not believed. Tomorrow, at sunset, I shall return to give you full account of the Bishop’s answer.” Juan bowed low, arose and took his leave of her with gracious words.


  The next day, December 10, 1531, Juan arose in the predawn dark, and walked the 10 miles to morning Mass and doctrine instruction. He left the church at 10 a.m. and walked to town to the Bishop’s house. Again he was rebuffed by the servant, but insisted he must see the Bishop. Again he waited in the frigid courtyard, for more than two hours. Finally he was brought to the Bishop, who was surprised to see him back so soon. He greeted Juan with his usual courtesy and respect. He was not aware that Juan had been delayed in visiting him, by the servant. On his knees, Juan delivered the Lady’s message with fervor. Chilled to the bone, Juan was so overcome with intense desire to gain

Our Lady’s intention, that tears filled his eyes as he pleaded with clasped hands for compliance with her request.


  The Bishop was touched by this sincere outburst and placing his arm on Juan’s shoulder, spoke fondly to him, asking him to be patient and answer the questions he must ask. This Juan did with great exactitude. The Bishop was convinced the Lady was the Mother of God, but more evidence was necessary. He told Juan that the Lady give him a sign that her message was from Heaven. “What kind of sign do you require?” asked Juan. “That is up to the Lady,” the Bishop answered, and dismissed Juan.


  The Bishop had several aides follow Juan to see where he went and who he spoke to. They lost sight of Juan on a wooden bridge over a brook near Tepeyac Hill, and couldn’t find him anywhere. Juan had sat down in a hollow hear the bridge to rest, then resumed his way to Tepeyac Hill, The aides returned to the Bishop, claiming trickery by him, and vowed to punish him when they see him again.


  Juan returned to Our Lady at the top of the hill, and told her the request of the Bishop. Our Lady then said: “That is fine, my youngest and dearest son; you will return here tomorrow so that you may take the sign he asked for...then he will believe...go now, tomorrow I shall be waiting here for you.”


  Juan returned home full of joy at the Lady’s words. That evening he went to visit his beloved uncle Juan Bernardino, but found his uncle missing. After an anxious search, he found him lying face down in a field near a wooded area, fatally wounded by an arrow. The general insurrection against the Spanish current rulers was smoldering in the villages, and as a prominent Christian convert, the uncle had been shot. (Later a stone cross was placed at the spot by native Christians, which was recently discovered in the marshy field that had overgrown that spot.)


  Juan carried his uncle to the house, tended to the arrow wound, and fed and nursed him. His uncle asked Juan to fetch a priest for his last confession and sacraments before he dies. In order not to be delayed on his errand of mercy, and to avoid Our Lady on the hill top, Juan chose to take a lower way that skirted the hill at its base, across rough and brush-filled ground.


  Suddenly Juan saw Our Lady’s brilliant globe of light descending swiftly to intercept his path directly in front of him. He walked into the aura of light and dropped to his knees. Our Lady asked in a kindly and concerned voice: “What is happening, dearest and youngest of my sons? Where are you going?”


  Juan gave her a polite greeting and explained what happened to his uncle, and he must fetch a priest to come before he dies. There was a pause as Our Lady looked at him with love and sympathy. Our Lady said consolingly: “Listen, and let it penetrate into your heart, my dear little son, do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain.


  Am I not your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your Fountain of Life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?


  She paused, smiling at him, and then added: “Do not let the illness of your uncle worry you because he is not going to die... At this very moment he was cured.”


  Consoled by these words, Juan offered to set out at once to the Bishop with the sign he would believe. Our Lady told him: “Go up to the spot where you saw me previously. There you will find many different kinds of flowers. Cut them, gather them together then show me what you have.”

  Juan went quickly to the spot, and was amazed to find a brilliant profusion and varieties of flowers blooming in the cold soil. Not only were they in bloom in the winter season, the terrain was so stony and dry that it could only yield thistles, cactus, thorns and mesquite bushes. The flowers glistened with dewdrops, and their delicious fragrance rose like a breath of paradise.


  Using his tilma like an apron, he filled it with the variety of colorful blooms, and holding up the bottom of the Tilma to use it as a basket, he descended back to the Lady. She rearranged them carefully saying: “My little son, these different kinds of flowers are the proof and the sign that you will take to the Bishop. Tell him in my name that in them he is to see my desire, and therefore he is to carry out my wish, my will. I enjoin you not to unfold your tilma, not to reveal its contents, until you are in his presence. Then tell him have seen and marveled at...that he will then do what lies within his responsibility so that my House of God which I requested will be built.”


  She tied the bottom of the tilma around the back of his neck. Juan happily set out for the Bishop’s house, enjoying the scent of the flowers.


  At the residence of the Bishop, the doorkeeper and other servants would not open the door, pretending they did not hear him, either because it was too dark yet, or they resented the trouble he caused them on the previous visits. But when they noticed he was carrying a large bulk of something, they came to see what it was. Juan could not stop them from taking a peek at the flowers. When they saw the flowers, they were awed at their beauty, their exquisite smell. They dared to snatch some of them away from the tilma three times, but failed because when they snatched at the flower, it felt like it was embroidered upon the tilma, and couldn’t be pulled out! At this strange event, they rushed off to tell the Bishop Juan was back. Juan was brought to the Bishop, prostrated himself as always, then got up and told the Bishop everything he experienced since he had left home to fetch a priest for his uncle.


  Juan then untied the cord that had held the bottom of the tilma up to his chest (as a basket to hold the flowers) and let it fall, letting flowers and roses tumble to the floor. With a gasp of surprise, the Bishop and all present fell to their knees in adoration, because when the flowers fell from the tilma, a flash of light occurred and the Image of the Perfect Virgin, Holy Mother of God, suddenly appeared in the form and figure (of Apocalypse 12) in which it remains to this day. They wept and prayed in the ecstasy of the moment. The Bishop, weeping tears, rose and untied the tilma from Juan Diego’s neck and accompanied by all present took it to his private chapel to hang on the wall by the tabernacle.


  The Bishop then dispatched Juan Diego with a great many of the processionals who had come to

Tepeyac, including nobles of natives and Spaniards, caballeros, a guard of soldiers, and poor natives, to visit Juan Bernardino and obtain his story of his healing. Juan Bernardino was waiting at the village, with his own gathering of local notables and villagers who were celebrating his own visitation by Our Lady. His uncle was impressed by the large procession following Juan, and then described his own apparition of Our Lady as follows:


  During the night Juan Diego left him (December 11) to fetch a priest, he lost consciousness for some time. When he recovered he called for Juan, but a very gentle voice said: “Juan Diego is not here. I have sent him to take a message to the Bishop.”


  The room was suddenly flooded with a soft light, and a young Lady of indescribable beauty stood by his bed. He reverently rose and knelt before Her, knowing she was the Mother of God. She spoke in his native language of the mission she gave to Juan Diego, and the Image he carried with the roses and flowers to the Bishop. He knew the whole story, from her.


  She said her Image was to be called and named: “Holy Mary, she who crushes the head of the snake, (which phrase sounded to Spanish ears “Guadalupe), Always Virgin.” The uncle suddenly realized, he was fully healed when he had regained consciousness. She told him: “He was to tell the Bishop her name, and tell him all that he saw and heard in her visitation to him.”


  The uncle declared he must go now to the Bishop, to fulfill her command. A litter was made to carry him there in honor, and he set off with Juan Diego walking at his side, in the midst of the entire procession of Juan Diego, with Juan Bernardino’s group of local notables and natives joining them. Upon arrival, Juan Bernardino described in detail to the Bishop his apparition by Our Lady, and gave the name of the Image to the Bishop, as Our Lady had requested.


  That night the Bishop pondered the name. The native expression given by Our Lady:  She (a Princess) who crushes the head of the snake, sounded like “Coatalocpia” when spoken, which to Spanish ears sounded like “Guadalupe”. Being familiar with the Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Seville, and its connection to Saint Luke (who carved the statue of Mother Mary, for his own use till he died), and also its connection to the recent re-conquest of southern Spain, he pondered whether the Spanish translation was to be used in the name of the Image, or the Spanish hearing of the native phrase “Guadalupe” should be used. He decided to use “Guadalupe” while letting it be known that the native phrase used by Our Lady was “She (Princess of David) who crushes the head of the serpent.”




  A series of remarkable miracles confirmed the apparition and were then followed by thousands of conversions among the natives and about nine million American Christians were received into the Church in the years to come. Following the cruelty and brutality of the Aztecs, Mexico needed a new direction which was provided by Our Lady of Guadalupe.


  We can see how throughout history Our Lady of Guadalupe destroyed the pagan gods and brought liberation to the oppressed. Our Lady arrived in Mexico in the same manner she had arrived in Spain. Spain struggled to unite and become a nation; later Mexico was struggling not to collapse into utter chaos. In both cases, it appeared that the forces of evil had the upper hand. It seems that the miracle of the tilma was only the prelude of a greater miracle; the birth of a united Mexico as a new race, and a new nation. Nearly ten centuries were needed to forge the Spanish Nation, but Our Lady was about to give birth to modern Mexico in only a few days. The words of Isaiah 66:8 come to mind: “Who has ever heard of such a thing? And who has seen the like of it? Shall the earth be brought forth in one day? Or shall a nation be brought forth at once, because Zion has been in labor, and has brought forth her children?”


  Christendom had been born from the ashes of Rome; Spain had emerged from centuries of war and oppression; and now it was time for Mexico to be born leaving behind a culture of death to bask in the glorious light of Christ the Lord of Life.




  In order to satisfy Our Lady's request, a chapel was hastily built near the apparition site.  At first the Bishop kept Juan Diego’s tilma in the chapel. Then it was moved to the church on public display where it attracted great attention. In 1660 a chapel-shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe was built on Tepeyac hill, and it can still be visited today. Known as the Capilla del Cerrito, it marked the miracle until the first basilica was built in the Virgin’s honor in 1695 and then it became the home of Juan Diego’s famous tilma. In the 1970’s a new basilica was built to one side of the same plaza. Today the

Basilica is one of the top attractions in Mexico and is the most popular pilgrimage site in the world drawing millions of tourists and pilgrims every year. The tilma bearing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is now on display here, its colors seemingly not faded after hundreds of years.


  On May 12, 1992, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in the lower level of St. Peter’s Basilica where he dedicated a chapel in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In his homily he proclaimed: “This chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe, together with all the chapels surrounding the tomb of Peter in the Vatican, takes us in spirit to the Upper Room (Cenacle) in Jerusalem where, as we heard in the first reading, the Apostles devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the Mother of Jesus” (Acts 1:14). He spoke of visiting this little “cenacle” so that in prayer and recollection all will “learn to listen to the Word of God and put it into action as the Virgin did, as

the Gospel of Luke reminds us” (8:21). He continued: “In Mary we will surely find the strength necessary for undertaking the new evangelization to which we are all called.”


The Tilma


  The Image of Immaculate Mary that appeared on Juan’s tilma was a gift from God to the Church Universal, with many mysteries to be fulfilled and recognized over time.


  In this mysterious divine painting upon the poor cloth of Juan’s tilma were the symbols of the old, pagan faith the Aztecs had treasured; but now they were seen in the illumination of revealed truth. They recognized her as the Virgin Mother bearing God within, for when the tilma is held properly, it is quite obvious that the Theotokos, the God-bearer, is full with her Divine Son. The Aztecs gazed upon the tilma with such awe that word spread throughout the people like lightning across the sky. As far as it is known, the image of the Blessed Mother on Juan Diego’s tilma is the only divine image of the Blessed Virgin Mary that exists on earth.


  There are many miraculous signs presented to us by Our Lady of Guadalupe within the tilma, and also persons, dates, events, and many other meaningful things connected with the signs contained therein, as now described:


There is no under-sketch or under-drawing on the image. 

   Infrared photography has demonstrated that there is no sketching on the image whatsoever. Dr. Philip Callahan, a research biophysicist from the University of Florida explains: "It is inconceivable that an artist in the 16th Century would paint a portrait without first doing a drawing on it." Making an under-sketch prior to painting a portrait goes back to antiquity. Such an exquisite depiction on textile made from cactus fiber is inexplicable given the lack of sketching.


The image has lasted and shows no signs of deterioration.

   Juan Diego's tilma is made of a rough cactus fiber which normally disintegrates in 15 to 30 years. Yet, the image of Guadalupe has remained intact for almost 500 years without fading or cracking. Moreover, it was subjected to candle smoke for many years, which should have accelerated the process of deterioration.

In 1778, a worker accidentally spilled strong nitric acid onto a large portion of the image. To everyone's astonishment, only slight stains appeared which can still be seen in the upper right side.  Additionally, in 1921 a bomb concealed in some flowers was placed on the altar directly under the image. When the bomb detonated, the marble altar rail and windows 150 feet away were shattered, a brass crucifix was twisted out of shape, but the image was left unharmed.


Mary's eyes are astonishingly life like.

    Of all the characteristics of the image, this is perhaps the most astounding. The microscopic likeness of a bearded man was discovered in the pupils of the Virgin; first in 1929, and again in 1951. The bearded man corresponds to contemporaneous pictures of Juan Diego. No human painter could have foreseen putting infinitesimally small images of Juan Diego in the eyes of the Virgin so that later advances in human technology could detect them. Furthermore, it is impossible for any human to have painted the images because they are simply too miniscule to produce.


  Jose Aste Tonsmann, a Peruvian ophthalmologist, examined Mary's eyes at 2,500 times magnification. He was able to identify thirteen individuals in both eyes at different proportions, just as a human eye would reflect an image. It appeared to be the very moment Juan Diego unfurled the tilma before Bishop Zumárraga.


Mary assumes a different ethnicity depending on one's vantage point.

   It is remarkable that at one distance Our Lady appears to be a Native American, but at another distance she appears of European descent. This miraculous feature is meant to show the unity of the two peoples and the two cultures in light of the true faith of Christ. Mary implored the peoples of the New World to live as one.

   At a distance of six or seven feet the skin tone becomes what might best be termed Indian olive, grey green in tone, it appears somehow the grey and caked looking white pigment of the face and the hands combines with the rough surface of the unsized hue, such a technique would be an impossible accomplishment in human hands, it often occurs in nature however, in the coloring of the bird feathers and butterfly scales and on the elytra of brightly colored beetles. 


  This change in color at different distances occurring in nature happens on the tilma in a miraculous way. The pigment combines with the rough surface of the cloth to impart alternating colorations. No human artist can duplicate this effect. Such evidence strongly suggests the image was fashioned by a divine hand.  The image is always 98.6°F; the temperature of the human body.

   The sixth miraculous feature concerning the image is its temperature. It is a demonstrable fact that no matter what the surrounding temperature, season, or weather, the image remains at an even 36.5°C or 98.6°F, the normal temperature of the human body.


How the native Indian population interpreted the image of Our Lady.


    The indigenous Indian population recognized in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe specific signs that Christianity was superior to other belief systems, including their own. As recorded by Fr. Harold Romm in Am I Not Here, page 56: “The intelligence that constructed the image of Guadalupe conveyed exactly the message that the Indians needed to hear and to see to abandon their false notions of God and their idolatrous practices. It is infinitely insightful, well beyond anything humans could imagine. Reading the image caused millions of Indians to convert to the Catholic faith.”


A 2007 miracle emphasizes Our Lady as the Patroness of the Unborn.

   Among Our Lady of Guadalupe’s many designations, she is venerated as the patroness of the unborn. The image shows Mary as pregnant with Christ. She is an unmistakable witness to the sanctity of life and the protection of the unborn.


Our Lady of Guadalupe and the miraculous roses.


    The Spanish rulers of the native population were brutal, and war between them seemed inevitable. In 1531, the Archbishop of Mexico City, Juan de Zumárraga prayed to Our Lady for peace. As a sign that his petition would be granted, he asked to receive roses native to his home region of Castile, Spain. When Juan Diego opened his cloak and the roses fell to the floor revealing the image of Mary, the Bishop's prayers had been answered.


Mary’s conversion of millions counteracted Luther’s Reformation.

   Our Lady’s urgent message was one of faith, hope and comfort to the indigenous population oppressed by their Spanish overseers. In a matter of months, she ended the Aztec culture’s cult of death. The Aztec religion involved human sacrifice on an unthinkable scale. In the decade following her appearance, nine million Indians converted to Catholicism, creating a vibrant community of faith that persists to the present day.


Juan Diego


  Juan Diego was born in 1474. He and his wife, Maria Lucia, and his uncle Juan Bernardino, were among the first of the Indians to be converted and baptized. Juan Diego and his wife were so moved by love for Our Lady that they always attended Saturday (her day) devotions as well as Sunday High Mass. The fame of their virtue spread among the converted natives. Maria died two years before the Apparitions.


  At the time of the Apparitions, Juan Diego was 57 years of age, and not destitute but neither was he rich or influential. After the apparitions, Juan Diego was permitted to live next to the hermitage erected at the foot of the hill of Tepeyac, and he dedicated the rest of his life to serving the Virgin Mary at the shrine erected in accordance with her wishes. 


  Saint Juan Diego is the first Roman Catholic indigenous saint from the Americas. He was canonized on July 31, 2002, at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City by Pope John Paul II. His Feast Day is December 9th.  Saint Juan Diego is the Patron Saint of indigenous people. 


Juan Diego’s Uncle


  Juan Diego's uncle, Juan Bernardino lived in Tulpetlac, some nine miles north of Tenochtitlan and raised his nephew after the death of his parents. After the death of Juan Diego’s wife, Maria Lucia, Juan Diego then moved to be near his aged uncle.

Juan Bernardino was the only other person that Our Lady appeared to, and she miraculously healed him. Later, Juan Bernardino was brought into the presence of the Bishop and testified to the Bishop that he had seen the Virgin and she had asked him to reveal to the Bishop what he had seen, in what miraculous manner she had healed him, and that the Bishop would properly name her and her blessed image, the ever Virgin Holy Mary of Guadalupe.


Prayer(s) To Our Lady Of Guadalupe

​​Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God. Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children... we beg you grant us a great love for all the Holy Sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your son left us on earth. Thus, Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns forever and ever.  Amen. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for me, pray for us! Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be....



KEY APPARITIONS OF MOTHER MARY During the Latter Days, by Alfred E. Tumminia


Guadulupe, Mexico: Juan Diego, 1531

Guadalupe A River of Life, The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe From the First Century to Our Days, by Carlow


Virgin, Mother, Queen Encountering Mary in Time and Tradition by Robert L Fastiggi and Michael O'Neill, Mary as Virgin: Our Lady of Guadalupe

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