Lady of Guadalupe Appears Before Juan Diego
On December 9, 1531, Juan Diego, an Aztec indigenous peasant, had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The Lady asked him to build a church exactly on the spot where they were standing. He then told the local Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, who asked for proof in exchange.
Juan Diego went back later and saw the Lady again. He told her that the bishop wanted proof, and she instructed Juan Diego to go to the mountain top, where he found Castillian roses, which were native to the Bishop’s hometown and could not possibly bloom during wintertime. Juan Diego cut the roses, placed them in his apron-like tilma and returned to the bishop; an imprint of the Blessed Virgin Mary then appeared on the tilma before the Bishop from the residue of the soil and roses.
The image itself is said to be imprinted miraculously on the native’s tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay 480 years later and still defies all explanations of its origin.
Today the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12th. When we reflect on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe we learn two important lessons, one of FAITH and one of UNDERSTANDING.