Thousands of cheers—and a few jeers—greeted the news that Juan Diego, the humble visionary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, was proclaimed a saint by Pope John Paul II on July 31, 2002. As with many canonizations, there were challenges. In this case, the challenge involved both the person and the miraculous image connected with his story.
Pope Pius XII declared Our Lady of Guadalupe patroness of all the Americas in 1945. The celebration of her day, December 12, was raised to the rank of feast for all the Americas in 1999. Even so, many Catholics do not know the story of Mary’s apparitions near Mexico City. The event gave rise to no special devotions; it involved no attention-getting warnings or special instructions. Here there is only the pure and simple love of a mother. The Virgin of Guadalupe appeals to those who have a simple faith in God and a strong love for his mother.
The Lady and Her Message. In 1531, the geographic center of the New World became the site of the first great evangelization in the Americas. Early on the morning of December 9, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, a humble Aztec Indian in…
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