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Vatican

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Remembering Saint Juan Diego ahead of the Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe

2015-12-11

On separate occasions in 1531, the Virgin Mary appeared before Juan Diego on a hill near Mexico City. The indigenous convert to Catholicism said she called for a Church to be built where she appeared.

Our Lady also left an image of herself on the lining of Juan Diego's cloak. It is one of the most iconic images in all of Catholicism.

The postulator for the cause of Saint Juan Diego explained the story.

MSGR. EDUARDO CHAVEZ
Canon of the Basilica of Guadalupe
"The cloak signifies the laity. That's where the truth of God was put, with these flowers, under Our Lady. She put flowers inside the cloak then he took it to the bishop. He arrived at the bishop on the morning of Tuesday, December 12, 1531. After an hour and a half, the bishop agreed to see him. Then Juan Diego told him everything and he gave him the sign that is the flowers. And in that moment, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was imprinted on Juan Diego's cloak.”

Since then, Our Lady of Guadalupe has become the Patron Saint of Mexico and the Patronness of all of the Americas.

Juan Diego has long been a major figure in Latin American Catholicism. But since his canonization in 2002, his reach has become even more international.

MSGR. EDUARDO CHAVEZ
Canon of the Basilica of Guadalupe
"It is clearly understood by the canonization of St. Juan Diego that we verify and confirm the meeting that God had with humans through Our Lady of Guadalupe is absolutely true.”

Pope Francis himself is devoted to Our Lady. For the second year in a row, he will celebrate a Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Peter's Basilica.

He will also visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Catholic world's most visited pilgrmage site, during his trip to Mexico in February.


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