Welcome, Today is
Thursday January 18th 2018
THERE WILL BE NO RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES ON MONDAY, JANUARY 15, IN OBSERVATION OF MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY
Saint Juan Diego
Feast Day: December 9
Juan Diego Cuauthlatoatzin (“the eagle who speaks”), the first American Indian saint, was born in1474 in Mexico. He was a simple man, a weaver and a laborer, and was one of the first Indians to be baptized. He was a devout Catholic, and everyday walked many miles to the Franciscan Mission to attend Mass and perform religious duties. When the Virgin Mary appeared to him and asked him to tell the bishop that she wanted a church built on Tepeyac Hill (known today as Guadalupe), he thought he was too unimportant for such a task, saying “…I am only a man of the fields, a poor creature. A piece of string, the tail end, a peon…” And yet, it was to this humble man that the Blessed Mother entrusted the mission.
Juan transmitted Virgin Mary’s request to the bishop, who asked him to bring proof. Our Lady sent Juan to the top of a hill covered with snow, where he found beautiful roses not normally grown in Mexico. He filled his cloak (known as a tilma) with the flowers to show the bishop. When Juan opened his tilma, the flowers fell on the floor, and to everyone’s wonder, a beautiful image of the Virgin Mary appeared imprinted on the cloth. This “happening” in Guadalupe was responsible for the fast evangelization of the Mexican people.
Juan Diego dedicated the rest of his life to serving the Virgin Mary. He died in 1548, and was canonized in 2002. The Basilica of Guadalupe, which still houses the image of Our Lady, is today a major center of pilgrimage, with over 22 million visitors yearly.
Prayer: Lord, like Saint Juan Diego, let us be your instrument of evangelization.
Thanks to Pauline Ho, who prepares these saints profiles for us!
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