On December 9, 1531 a poor Mexican Indian, Juan Diego, was walking by a hill near his village when he heard beautiful music. Suddenly there appeared a radiant cloud and within it a young Indian maiden dressed as an Aztec princess. The young maiden spoke to the 57-year-old widower in his native language and directed him to visit the Archbishop of Mexico with a request that a chapel be built where she stood. The archbishop demanded a sign of authenticity, and the maiden instructed Juan Diego to gather flowers from the top of the hill where they met. Even though December was too late in the growing season for flowers to bloom, Juan Diego was surprised to find Castilian roses, not native to Mexico.
On December 12, Juan Diego opened his cloak before the archbishop, the roses fell to the floor, and in their place the image of the young virgin was miraculously imprinted on the fabric. News spread quickly, and shortly thereafter an estimated nine million Indians converted to Catholicism. Our Lady’s appearance to a poor, humble man is a compelling reminder that God’s loving embrace is all-inclusive; and that our Church’s preferential option for the poor is a Gospel imperative.
Please see our Events Calendar for information on the specifics of our parish celebration of this Feast Day.