Advent: December 9th
Optional Memorial of St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (USA)
Today the Church in the United States celebrates the optional memorial of St. Juan Diego, an Indian convert, to whom the Virgin Mary appeared as he was going to Mass in Tlatlelolco, Mexico. Our Lady asked him to tell the Bishop that she desired a shrine to be built on the spot to manifest her love for all mankind. She left a marvelous portrait of herself on the mantle of Juan Diego as a sign for the Bishop. This miraculous image has proved to be ageless, and is kept in the shrine built in her honor, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.Jesse Tree ~ King David
St. Juan Diego
Little is known about the life of Juan Diego before his conversion, but tradition and archaelogical and iconographical sources, along with the most important and oldest indigenous document on the event of Guadalupe, "El Nican Mopohua" (written in Náhuatl with Latin characters, 1556, by the Indigenous writer Antonio Valeriano), give some information on the life of the saint and the apparitions.
- Read Pope John Paul II's homily at the canonization of St. Juan Diego.
- Pray to St. Juan Diego for migrant Mexican workers who come to the USA trying to support their families.
- If you know of a Mexican family who may need your help, surprise them with a food basket or offer them a ride if they don't have a car. If you speak Spanish, see if they need an interpreter for an important appointment.
- Meditate on Our Lady's beautiful words to St. Juan Diego: "Hear and let it penetrate into your heart, my dear little son; let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you. Let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Also, do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?"
- Cook some Mexican dishes for dinner and bake a Rose Petal Pound Cake or other rose theme for dessert in honor of St. Juan Diego.
- From the Catholic Culture Library:
- Recommended Reading: For children: The Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie dePaola. For adults: The Wonder of Guadalupe by Francis Johnston.
- For music for Juan Diego's and Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast, see www.savae.org. The San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble have two cds of authentic music by Mexican medieval composers. Very beautiful!
- Visit Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas for detailed accounts on the apparition to Juan Diego. You can also send online cards from this site. See also Patron Saints Index.
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