Saturday, December 11, 2010

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

cc photo by Wonderlane on flickr
On the dawn of December 9, 1531, while on his way to church to attend a holy mass, Juan Diego - a poor Indian - saw a beautiful Lady on top of Tepeyac hill. The Lady told him of her desire that a church be built in her honor.

Juan Diego immediately reported to Bishop Zummaraga the Lady's message, but the bishop didn't believe him.  On his way home, he saw again Our Lady at Tepeyac Hill, and he begged her to entrust the task instead to an important and noble person so that the bishop will believe her message, but the Lady told Juan Diego to tell the bishop that it was she, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God who sent him.  

Juan Diego went again to the bishop.  This time, the bishop asked him for a tangible sign.  Juan Diego told the Lady of the bishop's request for a tangible sign.  The Lady told him to come back the following day at the hill to get the sign the bishop was requesting for.  

On December 12, 1531, the Lady instructed Juan Diego to go to the top of the hill, pick the flowers that he could find, and give them to the bishop. When he arrived at the hill, he was stunned to see Castillan roses, for it was winter and the place was very dry.  He gathered the roses and wrapped them in his cloak now popularly known as tilma.  He immediately went to the bishop and as he unfolded his tilma to show the bishop the flowers, an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary was imprinted on it.  The next day, the bishop went with Juan Diego at the hill to see the apparition site. The Virgin Mary's image on the cloak is now known as the Our Lady of Guadalupe.

cc photo by Joaquin Martinez Rosado on flickr
Presenty, Juan Diego's tilma to which the image of the Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted, is enshrined at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City near Tepeyac Hill.  Juan Diego was canonized by Pope John Paul II - who described him as a model of humility - on July 31, 2002.


The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is so miraculous that both the image and the tilma became subjects of different scientific examinations and investigations.


The feast of the Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated every 12th of December.



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