Here at The Little Rose Shop, IYKYK we just love Mama Mary! Especially Our Lady of Guadalupe. Check out our blog here to get the full story
In a nutshell, she is the first “version” of Our Lady that I was familiar with and felt like home. I grew up surrounded by beautiful imagery of her, especially because my mom is from New Mexico and also, I specifically remember reading this book every Christmas- and so really it was one of the first apparitions of Our Lady that I knew even as a child.
Accompanying her apparition is the lesser celebrated but oh so important peasant man, Juan Diego. Here is a run down of this sometimes lesser known saint.
Juan Diego lived in modern day Mexico and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002. He is the first saint indigenous to the Americas. When missionaries arrived in Mexico, Juan Diego and his wife converted to Catholicism. On December 9th 1531, he was in a hurry to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Juan Diego was then stopped by a beautiful woman, introducing herself in his native language as, “Mary, who has the honor to be the mother of the true God.”
Mary affirming her motherhood to all who lived in the land, asked Juan Diego to ask the bishop to build a chapel on Tepeyac Hill, the former site of a pagan temple. The bishop had doubts. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego and told him that he had failed her task. Saying that he was unimportant to be tasked with such a venture, Mary reassured him that he was in fact the man for the job.
Juan Diego returned to the bishop, who asked for proof of the reality of the apparition, and Mary said that she would provide proof the next day, December 11th. Conflicted by the sudden illness of his uncle and his duty to take care of him, Juan Diego missed the meeting with the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary found him saying, “Am I not here, I who am your mother?”
Promising Juan Diego that his uncle would be healed, she asked him to climb the hill and collect flowers there. Juan Diego found many flowers, filling his cloak (tilma). She arranged the flowers in his cloak and asked him to show the bishop. Opening his tilma, the bishop found himself in front of a miraculous and glorious image of the Virgin Mary.
Many miraculous deeds were attributed to the image on the tilma and the apparition caused 3,000 native Mexicans to convert to Christianity. The tilma, housed in the Basilica of Guadalupe on Tepeyac Hill has endured attempted efforts to destroy it but remains intact to this day.
Juan Diego’s feast day is on December 9th and we are celebrating!
Turn Juan Diego into a beloved playmate for kiddos with our cute Juan Diego Collectible Doll! He can join Our Lady of Guadalupe in fun and adventure.
Eat traditional Mexican food such as tamales or guacamole