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November 22, 2019

The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe

This account of Our Lady of Guadalupe uses information gathered from — inspired by the “Nican Mopohua,” written in Nahuatl, the Aztec language.

First apparition

In the early days of December of 1531 — ten years after the Spanish conquered the city of Mexico — a poor Native Mexican named Juan Diego was on his way to Mass in Tlatelolco. At the break of day, as he reached the base of the hill known as Tepeyac, he heard singing, resembling the song of beautiful birds.

Juan Diego stopped. He asked himself if he was dreaming; if he was in heaven or some terrestrial paradise. Then, a voice from above the mount called to him. Overjoyed, he went toward the voice, climbing the hill. When he reached the summit, he saw a lady with garments shining like the sun. The cliff on her feet appeared pierced with glitter, resembling an anklet of precious stones. The earth sparkled like the rainbow. The mezquites, nopales and weeds appeared like emeralds, their foliage like turquoise, their branches and thorns like gold. He bowed before her and heard her message.

She said, “My humble son, I am Mary, the Virgin Mother of God. I ask you to build a temple here in my honor, so that the people of this land can receive my love, protection and guidance. Go and see the bishop, and tell him what I have told to you.” He bowed before her and accepted to be her humble servant.

Juan Diego went to the bishop and shared the message from the Holy Mother. However, after respectfully listening to Juan Diego, the bishop did not believe him.

Second apparition

So, he returned to the hill the following day and shared the bad news with the Lady. Upon hearing it, she replied, “Go and see the bishop once more. I implore you, please, share everything that I have said.”

Third apparition

The next day, a Sunday, Juan Diego left for the palace of the bishop after attending Mass. He kneeled before the bishop’s feet and tried again to convince him, sharing the Lady’s message. But the bishop required more details about the apparitions, requesting a sign that could convince him.

When Juan Diego went to the Blessed Virgin, she told him, “Return here tomorrow, as I will provide a sign for you to offer the bishop.”

Fourth apparition

The following day, Juan Diego’s uncle, Juan Bernardino, became gravely ill and asked him to summon a priest from Tlatelolco. On Tuesday, Juan Diego left for the town, attempting to avoid the Lady on the Tepeyac hilltop in order to more quickly find a priest.

But she approached him and asked where he was headed. He told her of his uncle’s illness and of his trip to reach a priest in Tlatelolco. After hearing of Juan Diego’s mission, the Holy Virgin replied, “You have nothing to fear my child. I am your Holy Mother. Trust that your uncle will be healed of his afflictions.”

She then asked him to climb to the top of the hill and gather flowers for her. Juan Diego did as requested and found the most beautiful roses. He brought them to the Lady, who told him to take them to the bishop as proof of her apparitions.

The Miracle

Juan Diego waited for admittance to see the bishop. When the servants of the palace saw the roses in his cloak, or tilma, they reached out to touch them. But each time they did, the roses appeared to simply be painted or sewn on. When the bishop heard this, he immediately received Juan Diego, who explained all that had happened and all that the Lady from heaven, Holy Mary, precious Mother of God, had said. And when he unfolded his tilma, instead of finding roses, the two men found the image of the Holy Mother. Upon seeing this, the bishop fell to his knees. He cried and prayed for forgiveness for his lack of faith. He then asked Juan Diego to show them where the temple was to be built.

Apparition to Juan Bernardino

After Juan Diego showed the bishop where he and the Lady had met, he rushed to see his uncle, finding him healthy and happy. When Juan Diego explained to his family where he had been, his uncle told them that he had also seen the same Lady as previously described. She had told him that his nephew had been sent to meet the bishop.

The uncle later spoke of this to the bishop, and he and Juan Diego stayed at the bishop’s house, until the temple dedicated to the Lady of Tepeyac had been built. The bishop placed Juan Diego’s tilma in the temple, so that people could see and admire the sacred image of the Virgin Mary.


¿No Estoy Yo Aquí? [MP3]

Anna Betancourt, Griselda Tan


"¿No Estoy Yo Aquí?" by Anna Betancourt and Griselda Tan is the first single of the bilingual collection Novena a la Virgen de Guadalupe/Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe (to be released entirely in May 2020). The song is inspired by the dialogue between Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego.