Saint Juan Diego Cuahtlatoatzin
St. Juan Diego (1474-1548) was born with the name “Cuauhtlatoatzin” (“the talking eagle”) in Cuautlitlán, today part of Mexico City, Mexico. He was a gifted member of the Chichimeca people. He was baptized at the age of 50. Our Lady appeared to him in several occasions, requesting for the construction of a shrine. As a proof she left her image printed in the tilma of Juan Diego. Juan Diego lived the rest of his life as a hermit in a small hut near the chapel where the miraculous image was placed for veneration, caring for the church and the pilgrims. He died in 1548 and was buried in the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe
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Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for holiness, responding to God’s call and with the help of his grace.
Below you have the video of the history of Our Lady’s Apparition to St. Juan Diego and the reading of today’s Liturgy of the hours.
A decree of Pope John Paul II
The Virgin Mary brought comfort to Juan Diego
He has lifted up the humble. God the Father looked down onto Juan Diego, a simple Mexican Indian and enriched him not just with the gift of rebirth in Christ but also with the sight of the face of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a role in the task of evangelizing the entire continent of America. From this we can see the truth of the words of St Paul: those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen – those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything.
This fortunate man, whose name, Cuauhtlatoatzin, means “the eagle that speaks,” was born around 1474 in Cuauhtitlan, part of the kingdom of Texcoco. When he was an adult and already married, he embraced the Gospel and was purified by the waters of baptism along with his wife, setting out to live in the light of faith and in accordance with the promises he had made before God and the Church.
In December 1531, as he was travelling to the place called Tlaltelolco, he saw a vision of the Mother of God herself, who commanded him to ask the Bishop of Mexico to build a church on the site of the vision. The bishop asked him for some proof of this amazing event. On 12 December the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego once more and told him to climb to the top of the hill called Tepeyac and pick flowers there and take them away with him. It was impossible that any flowers should grow there, because of the winter frosts and because the place was dry and rocky. Nevertheless Juan Diego found flowers of great beauty, which he picked, collected together in his cape, and carried to the Virgin. She told him to bring the flowers to the bishop as a proof of the truth of his vision. In the bishop’s presence Juan Diego unfolded his cape and poured out the flowers; and there appeared, miraculously imprinted on the fabric, the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which from that moment onwards became the spiritual centre of the nation.
The church was built in honour of the Queen of Heaven. Juan Diego, moved by piety, left everything and dedicated his life to looking after this tiny hermitage and to welcoming pilgrims. He trod the way to sanctity through love and prayer, drawing strength from the eucharistic banquet of our Redeemer, from devotion to his most holy Mother, from communion with the holy Church and obedience to her pastors. Everyone who met him was overwhelmed by his virtues, especially his faith, love, humility, and other-worldliness.
Juan Diego followed the Gospel faithfully in the simplicity of his daily life, always aware that God makes no distinction of race or culture but invites all to become his children. Thus it was that he enabled all the indigenous peoples of Mexico and the New World to become part of Christ and the Church.
Juan Diego walked with God until his last day, in 1548, when God called him to himself. Through the centuries his memory has been associated with the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe and has reached the furthest regions of the Earth.
℟. God has chosen the weak of the world, to confound the strong. He has chosen what is nothing,* so that no human creature may boast in the presence of God.
℣. He has put forth his power and lifted up the lowly,* so that no human creature may boast in the presence of God.
Let us pray.
Lord God, through Saint Juan Diego you made known the love of Our Lady of Guadalupe towards your people. Grant by his intercession that we who follow the counsel of Mary, our Mother, may strive continually to do your will. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCE: http://forosdelavirgen.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/aparcion-de-maria-a-juan-diego.jpg