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Our Lady of Guadalupe - November and December 2022
We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th.
In 1531, a poor Aztec man was on his way to Mass near Mexico City. Juan Diego had recently converted to the faith, and was surprised to see a beautiful woman, dressed as an Aztec princess on the hill. She was with child. It was the Blessed Mother, who spoke to him in his own language and asked him to tell his Bishop that a church must be built on that very spot.
Juan Diego did as she asked, but the Bishop did not believe his story. He wanted a sign that the Virgin Mother had indeed appeared. On December 12th, Mary granted this request. She showed Juan Diego a beautiful rose bush full of Castilian roses. She instructed him to gather the roses in his Tilma and take them to the bishop - no roses should be growing in December in Mexico!
When Juan Diego presented the roses to the Bishop, letting them fall from his tilma, the bishop was amazed. Not only were the roses beautiful, but an image of Our Lady as Juan Diego had seen her, had formed on the cloth. The bishop fell to his knees and the church was built.
Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearance brought about the conversion of 6,000,000 indigenous people. It ended the Aztec practice of human sacrifice and the worship of stone gods. Juan Diego’s tilma is still intact, almost 500 years later! The colors have not even faded. It is on display in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. She is the patroness of the Americas and of the unborn.