The Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe had an important message for us and she gave those special words to San Juan Diego to share with the people of Mexico and beyond!
Juan Diego was born in Mexico in 1474. In the early sixteenth century the Spanish conquered Mexico and brought Catholic missionary priests with them. He and his wife Maria Lucia were one of the first of the native Mexicans to accept Christianity. Together they lived a simple and pious life. One day while he was on his way to Mass a beautiful woman clothed in rich robes. She introduced herself as ‘the ever-perfect holy Mary, who has the honor to be the Mother of the true God.’
Juan Diego told his vision to the Bishop of Mexico City, Juan de Zumarraga, but the bishop did not believe him. When he told this to the Virgin Mary, she told him to gather flowers in his cloak and present them to the bishop. Juan Diego obeyed. When he dropped the cloak before the bishop, allowing the flowers to fall at his feet, Zumarraga was astonished. There, impressed on the image, was an image of the Virgin Mary. News of the miracle spread and many Mexicans asked for baptism as a result.
Juan Diego went on to live as a hermit and died in 1549. His cloak is on display in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. His feast day is December 9, the day after the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.