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Life of a Saint

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Miraculous Apparitions of The Blessed Saint Mary (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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The Marian visions of Our Lady of Guadalupe were miraculous events involving a series of apparitions of the Blessed Saint Mary in 1531. Her revered image on Saint Juan Diego’s cloak can be seen on display at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Mexico. According to Catholic tradition, the Blessed Saint Mary appeared four times to Saint Juan Diego and once to his uncle, Juan Bernardino.

Saint Juan Diego, born Cuāuhtlahtoātzin, was a Mexican Aztec peasant and widower who converted to Christianity. The first apparition occurred in the early morning of December 9, 1531, when 57-year-old Saint Juan Diego was on his way to church. As he approached the bottom of Tepeyac Hill (at the Guadalupe area near present-day Mexico City), he heard beautiful angelic music coming from the east. The singing was replaced by a female voice calling his name as he looked toward that direction. She went on to say: “I would like you to build a church here so that I may give my love, compassion, help, and defense to everyone who seeks it in this place – for I am your mother, and I want you to have confidence in me and invoke me. In this place, I would like to listen to people’s cries and prayers, and send remedies for their misery, pain, and suffering.”

Saint Juan Diego was embarrassed that he had not kept his appointment with the Holy Mother, so he decided to take a different route other than Tepeyac Hill to find a priest when the Blessed Saint Mary suddenly appeared for the fourth time. She informed Juan Diego that She would provide the sign requested by Bishop Zumárraga. She also promised to cure his uncle.

When Juan Diego untied his cloak, dozens of Castilian roses fell to the floor, unveiling a miraculous revelation, a detailed image of the Blessed Saint Mary imprinted on the inside of Juan Diego’s tilma. The extraordinary image consisted of unique symbols carrying a spiritual message for the indigenous people of Mexico, as their culture enabled them to decipher the codes. The bishop finally agreed for a church to be built at Tepeyac Hill.
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