The Simple Obedience of St. Juan Diego

His “yes” launched a great wave of conversion to Christ.

The Simple Obedience of St. Juan Diego

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Sometimes simple obedience is all that stands between us and the awesome power of God. This truth is dramatically evident in the life of St. Juan Diego, the Aztec Indian whose faithfulness changed the course of history.

In December of 1531, the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill near present-day Mexico City and asked him to give a message to the local bishop, Juan de Zumarraga. She wanted the bishop to build a chapel on Tepeyac, where she would hear the cries of the people and “help their many sorrows, necessities, and misfortunes.”

A recent convert to Catholicism, Juan Diego promptly obeyed and went to Zumarraga. But the bishop didn’t take him seriously. When Mary asked him to go back, Juan told her to send someone more eloquent. Mary insisted, saying, “There are many I could send. But you are the one I have chosen.”

Juan obediently returned to the bishop, who told him to ask for a sign. Juan brought him not one sign but two: Castilian roses,…

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