Blessed Juan Diego
Feast Day: December 09
Born: 1474 :: Died: 1548
Juan Diego was born in Mexico and lived a simple life as a weaver, farmer and laborer. Juan was a member of the Chichimeca people (an Indian tribe). They called him the talking eagle. His Christian name was Juan Diego.
On December 9, 1531, Juan rose before dawn to walk fifteen miles to Mexico City to attend daily Mass. As he passed Tepeyac Hill, he heard music and saw a glowing cloud encircled by a rainbow. A woman's voice called him to the top of the hill.
There he saw a beautiful young woman dressed like an Aztec princess. She said she was the Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God. She asked Juan to tell the bishop to build a church on that site, so she could be present to help and defend those were suffering and in pain.
After Juan's mission was completed, he became a hermit. He spent the rest of his life in prayer and penance.
His little hut was near the first chapel that was built on Tepeyac Hill. He was greatly respected and parents wished their children would grow up to be holy like Juan Diego.
Juan took care of the little church and met the pilgrims who began to come there to honor their Mother of Guadalupe. He would show them the miraculous tilma or cloak that preserves Mary's beautiful image.
The pope personally visited the magnificent church of Our Lady of Guadalupe and prayed there for all of the people of Mexico.
He prayed especially for those who were killed during the terrible persecution of the Church in the early part of this century. An he prayed for all the pilgrims who come to this beautiful church with such faith in the Mother of God.
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