Saint Juan Diego (1474-1548)

for December 9

On December 9, 1531, a 57-year-old peasant named Juan Diego, who lived near Mexico City, was on his way to Mass. Suddenly he heard beautiful music and a woman’s voice calling to him from Tepeyac Hill. At the top of the hill, he saw a beautiful woman, who revealed that she was the Virgin Mary. She told Juan to go to the bishop and tell him that a church should be built in her honor at the bottom of the hill. Juan went to the bishop and told him about his vision, but the bishop wasn’t ready to believe Juan’s story. He said he needed a sign to prove Juan’s story true. Several days later, Juan’s uncle was sick. As Juan rushed to find a doctor, the Virgin appeared again. Juan told her about his uncle. She assured Juan that all would be well. That morning, she appeared to the uncle and cured him. Then she told Juan to go to the top of the hill and to gather in his cloak the roses he would find there, then take them to the bishop as the sign the bishop had requested. When Juan opened his cloak, the roses fell out, but the greatest sign of all was the beautiful portrait of the Virgin that suddenly appeared on Juan’s cloak. Soon after, a church was built in Mary’s honor. (Adapted from Wintz, “The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe”). (Taken from "The Catholic Connections Handbook for Middleschoolers.")

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It is hard for some of us to approach those in positions of power. It must have taken a lot of courage and faith for Juan Diego, a peasant, to approach the bishop and tell him about his vision, and request that a church be built in honor of Mary. It is also hard for some of us to trust in our faith. It must have taken a tremendous amount of faith for Juan Diego to listen to the Blessed Virgin's request to gather simple roses, and give them to the bishop as the sign that he had requested. Ask Mary to intercede on your behalf to the Lord, asking to have greater courage and trust in your faith, like Juan Diego did. Also, ask for blessings on the people of Mexico and Central America.


God, on this day set aside to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe, we pray especially for the people of Mexico and Central America. May Mary and Jesus continue to inspire them and give them hope. (Taken from “Good News Day by Day: Bible Reflections for Teens.”)