Who is Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin?
Saint Juan Diego is known for receiving the vision of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On December 9, 1531, Mary appeared to Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill while he was on his way to Mass. She asked him to approach the bishop and request that a shrine be built to her there, where she would bless those who called upon her.
The life of Juan Diego demonstrates that prayer is essential to a life of humility and sanctity. Luis Becerra Tanco, a 17th-century priest who compiled documentation on the Guadalupan event, described Saint Juan Diego’s prayerfulness in this way: “He had time for prayer in that way in which God knows how to make those who love him understand, according to each person’s capacity, when to exercise deeds of virtue and sacrifice.”
Likewise, in the important Guadalupan document known as Nican Motecpana, we read how Saint Juan Diego strived to deepen his spiritual life: “He would prostrate himself before the Lady from heaven and invoke her fervently; frequently he would go to confession, receive Communion, fast, do penance…and hide in the shadows in order to give himself up in prayer alone.”
In the important mission entrusted to Juan Diego, Our Lady of Guadalupe confirms his dignity and casts away his fear. She is his mother, just as she is the mother of all who place themselves under her protection. In choosing Juan Diego, God again chose the humble and the unpretentious to manifest His omnipotence, His eternal wisdom, His constant love.
Jesus praises the Father with these words: I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Through her message to Saint Juan Diego, Our Lady of Guadalupe makes us aware of our own mission, our own participation in God’s great love. As with Juan Diego, she has placed us, her many children, in the cradle of her arms. She is our protector and reveals our dignity, for she comes to place deep within our hearts her own son, Jesus Christ, who is the very reason of our existence. In this way, we can see that we are all brothers and sisters, called to conversion and participating in the construction of that divine church, the civilization of love.
O God, who by means of Saint Juan Diego showed
the love of the most holy Virgin Mary for your people,
grant, through his intercession,
that, by following the counsels our Mother gave at Guadalupe,
we may be ever constant in fulfilling Your will.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen. ... See MoreSee Less
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Why the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
You are all-beautiful, my beloved, and there is no blemish in you. (Song of Songs 4:7)
The Virgin Mary, chosen Mother of the Redeemer, is robed in the splendor of her stainless innocence, clothed with the beauty of Christ, and prepared to receive Him in her womb.
God chose Mary, the Immaculate Conception, to be our “model of holiness” (Preface) by preserving her entirely from original sin, making her all-pure and all-holy. In doing this God also shows us what is possible for us, too, wounded by sin—the healing and restoration of our whole humanity.
The intercession and maternal love of the Immaculate One, given to us as our Mother, is the special way God has chosen to bestow upon us the grace of such a healing. As the Mother of our Savior, Mary shares uniquely in his redemptive sacrifice. We turn to her with confidence, for she is “our life, our sweetness, and our hope.” Immaculate Mary, pray for us!
Here is a Meditation of the Day from St. Maximilian Kolbe
(whose devotion to her is the foundation for the movement he launched in 1917, called the Militia Immaculata)
Human words cannot describe who the one is, who became the true Mother of God. Of course, taken by herself, she is merely a creature. Yet, she was raised up so high by God that one would need to understand who God is to comprehend who the Mother of God is.
Also, she is the true Mother of God. It is a dogma of faith. Although the dignity of divine motherhood accounts for most of her privileges, the first grace she received from God was her Immaculate Conception, her exemption from any blemish, even from original sin, since the first moment of her existence.
Such privilege, moreover, must be very dear to her, for in Lourdes she named herself: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” On that occasion, she did not say, “I was conceived without sin,” but “I am the Immaculate Conception;” it follows of necessity that she is immaculateness itself. In fact, she is a conception, since she came into existence in time. However, she is the Immaculate Conception.
God said to Moses: “I am Who I am” [Exodus 3:14]: I am existence itself, so I am without beginning. Instead, the Immaculata says of herself, “I am Conception,” but, unlike all other human beings, the “Immaculate Conception.” (From Kolbe Writings KW 1292)
Let us pray.
You are all beautiful, Mary,
and the original stain is not in you.
You are the glory of Jerusalem,
you are the joy of Israel,
you give honor to our people.
You are the advocate of sinners.
O Mary, Virgin most prudent,
Mother most merciful, pray for us,
intercede for us, with the Lord Jesus Christ.
O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling for Your Son, grant, we pray, that, as You preserved her from every stain by virtue of the death of Your Son, which You foresaw, so, through her intercession, we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to Your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you. (Luke 1:28)
If you have any experience of motherhood, you know that it takes a lot of faith. In many ways, it’s something beyond your control. Suddenly, you have a new life inside of you. You do your best to nurture that life, but you don’t know how everything is going to turn out. You do everything you can to assure that your child will be loved and supported. Still, you have to trust God for the big picture.
As we honor Mary today, let’s remember the deep faith she had, not just to be a mother, but to be the Mother of God! She didn’t comprehend how she could give birth to the Son of God, but she still said yes to the angel’s invitation. She was told she would suffer greatly because of her child, but she still obeyed. Mary was clearly no shrinking violet! She took care of Jesus for thirty years, endured his crucifixion and death, and stayed true to Him until the end.
Mary has many things to teach us. Like her, we are called to bring Jesus into this world, and like her, we too will suffer. When we face the challenges and temptations of life in this world, we can forget about the Lord and follow the path of least resistance. Or we can do as Mary did and hold fast to our faith in God’s greatness. We can trust that He will look after us if we remain humble and open to His word.
Mary is more than just an idealistic example of perfect faith. She is a mother, and she loves us as her very own children. St. John Vianney tells us, “Mary’s heart is so loving toward us that the hearts of all other mothers taken together are but a piece of ice in comparison.”
So go to Mary—and not just for your needs. Ask her to help you grow closer to Jesus. And go with great confidence. Remember the angel’s words, “The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). She is a privileged insider in the heavenly court, and she is already praying for you!
“Jesus, thank you for your Blessed Mother! By your Spirit, help me to imitate her virtues and call upon her in times of need.” ... See MoreSee Less
Ruega por nosotros🙏🙏
Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass 12/12
The Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be at 6:30pm on Monday 12/12 in Spanish. We hope to see you at the Mass which commemorates this wonderful feast day of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the Americas who appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico City in 1531. ... See MoreSee Less