Friday, 12 October 2012

Our Lady of Guadelupe, the True Story

The Original Icon left by Our Lady of Guadalupe

Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."
                                           Words of Our Lady to Juan Diego

 Mexico, December 9, 1531--In the early morning, a peasant by the name of Juan Diego saw a beautiful girl of about 15 or 16 years of age, she was surrounded by a bright light.  She spoke to him in his own language (*Nahuatl), she asked that a church be built in her honor, where she was standing (on the slopes of Tepeyac).   

"My dear little son, I love you. I desire you to know who I am. I am the ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who gives life and maintains its existence. He created all things. He is in all places. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth. I desire a church in this place where your people may experience my compassion. All those who sincerely ask my help in their work and in their sorrows will know my Mother's Heart in this place. Here I will see their tears; I will console them and they will be at peace. So run now to Tenochtitlan and tell the Bishop all that you have seen and heard." 

Juan Diego recognized her as the Virgin Mary.

He immediately told the Spanish Archbishop, Fray Juan de Zumarraga, who instructed him to return to the place of the vision and ask the Lady for a miraculous sign to prove her identity.    So, Juan went back and asked the Lady for a sign, she told him to pick the Castilian roses that were blooming (they are not native to Mexico and it was winter time).  He did as she requested gathering them up in his tilma (cloak).  

He took the roses wrapped in his cloak to the Archbishop.  When he opened the cloak, the roses fell to the floor, and in their place was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe miraculously imprinted on the fabric.

The 'tilma' was made of a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay after 481 years and still defies all scientific explanations of its origin.

 "Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything." 
 Words of Our Lady to Juan Diego

Why did Mary, the Mother of God visit Guadalupe?   

She came to bring about the conversion of Christianity to the Aztec-Mexican people.
Because of the abuse suffered by the Native Mexicans when the conquistadors, along with missionaries invaded their land making them slaves they were not open to the new religion of Christianity.   

After nearly a full generation only a few hundred Native Mexicans had been converted to the Christian faith.  Then in 1531 when the miracles began to happen with Jesus' own mother appearing to humble Juan Diego, a Native Mexican, along with the signs -- of the roses, of the uncle miraculously cured of a deadly illness, and especially of her beautiful image on Juan's mantle -- convinced the people there was something to be considered in Christianity.   Within a short time, six million Native Mexicans had themselves baptized as Christians.

The Basilica of Guadalupe, Mexico City
 "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; to listen there to their lamentations, and remedy all their miseries, afflictions and sorrows. And to accomplish what my clemency pretends, go to the palace of the bishop of Mexico, and you will say to him that I manifest my great desire, that here on this plain a temple be built to me."

The present church was constructed on the site of the earlier 16th-century church that was finished in 1709, the Old Basilica. When this basilica became dangerous due to the sinking of its foundations, a modern structure called the New Basilica was built next to it; the original image of the Virgin of Guadalupe is now housed in this New Basilica.

An incredible list of miracles, cures and interventions are attributed to Her (Our Lady of Guadalupe). Yearly, between 18  to 20 million pilgrims visit the Basilica, making it Christianity's most visited sanctuary.

Altogether 25 popes have officially honored Our Lady of Guadalupe. His Holiness John Paul II visited her Sanctuary four times: on his first apostolic trip outside Rome as Pope in 1979, and again in 1990, 1999 and 2002.

In 1999, Pope John Paul II, in his homily from the Solemn Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, during his third visit to the sanctuary, declared the date of December the 12th as a Liturgical Holy Day for the whole continent. 

He entrusted the cause of life to her loving protection, and placed under her motherly care the innocent lives of children, especially those who are in danger of not being born.    

This Pope proclaimed the Virgin Mary Patroness of the Americas, Empress of Latin America, and Protectress of Unborn Children.

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12th.

 More detailed information may be found at