Hi, Kids! Does anyone of you know who St. Juan Diego is? Saint Juan Diego is the first Roman Catholic indigenous saint from the Americas. He was recognized for his religious fervor, his respectful and gracious attitude toward the Virgin Mary and his Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, and his undying love for his ill uncle.
Keep on listening to hear his story!
It was just before dawn. Juan Diego, a native of Mexico, was on his way to mass. He had just reached the bottom of Tepeyac Hill when he heard a melodious voice say, “Juanito, Juan Dieguito.” He saw a beautiful Lady up on the hill, her clothes shining like the breaking dawn. “I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God,” she said. She asked Juan Diego to tell the bishop of Mexico City to build a church in her honor, on the very spot where she was standing.
Juan Diego rushed to the bishop with his news. But at the back of his mind, he was worried that the bishop would not believe a lowly man like him. True enough, the bishop was doubtful. “Give me a sign,” he said.
So Juan Diego returned to the Virgin Mother, who promised to give him a sign the next day. However, Juan Diego wasn’t able to return to Tepeyac Hill as his uncle fell ill, and he needed to care for him. Feeling ashamed and guilty for missing their meeting, Juan Diego avoided the Blessed Mother. He took the road on the other side of the hill. But the Virgin Mother appeared and gently said, “Do not be afflicted by the illness of your uncle… be assured that he is now cured.”
The Blessed Virgin told Juan Diego to gather roses and bring them to the bishop. This was an unusual request because it was wintertime! But find roses he did, blossoming beautifully on the cold ground. He gathered them inside his tilma, a cloak that he always brought with him. The Blessed Mother even helped him arrange the blooms.
Juan Diego hurried to the bishop and excitedly opened his cloak to show him the flowers from the Blessed Mother. Lo and behold, as the roses slowly fell to the ground, an image of the Blessed Mother appeared on the cloak. The bishop fell to his knees and immediately ordered that a church be built on top of the hill. Now, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe stands majestically on the hill— the church that the Mother of God requested from the humble and faithful Juan Diego.
Isn’t St. Juan Diego admirable? His love for his uncle and his gracious attitude towards the Virgin Mary and Bishop Juan de Zumarraga earned him everyone’s trust and respect! For more stories like this, visit our website, www.mypope.com.ph. ‘Til the next!
The story of St. Juan Diego appears in the May 2018 issue of My Pope Kids.
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