On December 12, we honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In 1531 a “Lady from Heaven” appeared to a humble Native American, Juan Diego, at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of what is now known as Mexico City. The Lady identified herself as the ever virgin Holy Mother Mary. Mother Mary asked Diego to request the local Bishop to build a church on the site she appeared. However, the Bishop hesitated, and requested for a sign. Mother Mary adhered to the request – the Bishop had asked for roses, it was mid-December, winter, and roses were impossible to find – and without delay or question to the Church’s local Bishop, Mother Mary sent her messenger, Juan Diego, to the top of the hill to gather an assortment of roses for the Bishop.

Juan Diego had placed the roses in his tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth. Upon returning to the Bishop and presenting the roses, the image of our Mother Mary was left miraculously imprinted on Juan Diego’s tilma, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay, and until now still defies all scientific explanations of its origin. Also, the image on the tilma reflects in Mother Mary’s eyes what was in front of her in 1531.

Let us always remember her message of love and compassion, and her universal promise of help and protect all mankind.