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From America, Europe and Asia

 

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The United States:

 

Texas (1841)

From a letter written by Bishop Odin, Vicar Apostolic of Texas:

April 11, 1841
Once I had the occasion to see, in the town of Nacogdoches, how much Mary Immaculate deigns to hear those who place all their confidence in her. A lady from Maryland was given a Miraculous Medal by her confessor as she departed from her home state to go to live in Texas. As he gave it to her, he recommended she always pray: “O Mary conceived without sin, etc.” and told her that this good Mother would not permit her to die without receiving the sacraments.

She was faithful to his advice. Having been bedridden for four years, many times her friends thought her last moment had come. However, her confidence in Mary Immaculate always made her hope she would have the joy of receiving the sacraments before departing this life. As soon as she heard of our arrival, she immediately sent us a message. She received the Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction and died some days later full of gratitude to her Heavenly benefactress.

 

Louisiana (1865)

In the hospital of the Daughters of Charity in New Orleans, a nun tried to instruct a Protestant in the truths of the Faith and to dispose him to receive Baptism. However, he did not want to speak about the subject.

One day she showed him a Miraculous Medal and explained its origin to him. He seemed to pay attention, but when she offered it to him, he became annoyed and snapped angrily: “Take that away, this Virgin is just an ordinary woman.” “I will leave it on the table,” the nun replied, “I am certain that you will think about what I said.” He did not answer her, but, in order not to see the medal, he placed his bible on top of it.

Every day the nun, with the pretext of cleaning the table, made sure the medal was still there. Days passed and the sickness became increasingly worse.

One night when he was suffering acutely, he saw a marvelous light around his bed, while the rest of the room was in total darkness. Surprised, he struggled to get up in spite of his frailty and turned up the flame in the gas lamp to see if he could discover what this strange light was. He could find nothing and returned to his bed.

Moments later he noticed that the light came from the medal. He then took it into his hands and kept it there the rest of the night. As soon as the nun’s rising bell rang at 4 o’clock in the morning, he called the nurse and asked him to tell the nun that he wanted to be baptized.

They advised the chaplain immediately who exclaimed “That is impossible!” He had spoken with the sick man many times and knew how he felt about the matter.

Nonetheless, he went to him and found him perfectly disposed and receptive to him. He baptized him and gave him the sacraments, and a little while later the sick man died, praising God and the Holy Virgin for the graces he had received.

 

New York (1866)

A girl, some twenty years old, came to the hospital covered with the most repugnant scabs which the doctors had said were incurable. The nun, who cared for her wounds, one day told her that the Most Holy Virgin had the power to cure her and that, if she wanted to wear the medal and ask for a cure, she would obtain it. Knowing the doctors had given up, she answered roughly: “I do not believe in your Holy Virgin, nor do I want a medal.” “Very well then,” the nun answered, “in that case, keep your wounds.”

Some days later, she asked for the medal and placed it around her neck, and prepared to be baptized. Shortly thereafter she left the hospital in perfect health to the great astonishment of the doctors who had been unanimous in considering her sickness incurable.

 

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Europe:


France (1834)

Father Bégin, an eyewitness to this cure that took place in Saint-Maur where he was chaplain, wrote a report in which he attested to the following facts:

a) that the sick person was gravely ill;
b) that she was cured on March 14, 1834; and
c) that she declared that she only used the medal and prayer.

One hundred witnesses from the nursing home signed this document.

The bishop of Châlons also added his signature to the document:

“We certify that the testimony of Father Bégin should be taken as wholly trustworthy, as well as that of the nuns and so many others who were eye witnesses and spoke according to their consciences without any other interest except that of stating the truth. Châlons, May 30, 1834 + M.S.F.V., Bishop of Châlons.”

Mrs. C.H., a 70-year-old widow, had been admitted in impoverished circumstances to the nursing home of Saint-Maur because of a bad fall that occurred on August 7, 1833. She walked with great difficulty and even with the help of a crutch needed someone’s arm for support. She also found it hard to sit and only with great difficulty was she able to rise again. It was almost impossible for her to climb stairs, as she had to hold on to whatever she could to do so. She could not bend down or kneel, and had to drag her left leg, as that was where the problem lay.

At the beginning of January, 1834, she was told of a medal that was reported to be miraculous. Described as having, on one side, Mary crushing the infernal serpent and on the reverse of the medal were depicted the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the letter “M” with a cross on top, she also heard of marvelous things that had happened to those who wore it with confidence.

From that moment she felt her heart enkindled with the consoling hope of finding some relief that the wearing of this medal promised to her, and she could not wait for the moment she would receive one. Finally, on March 6, she received the much longed-for medal as a gift from Heaven. She then went to confession in order to dispose herself to receive the favor she desired.

The following day, the first Friday of the month, after receiving Holy Communion, she started a novena to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. She venerated the medal, which she wore around her neck, twenty times a day. In a short while, she obtained a happy answer to her requests. After only seven days of the novena, she felt free from the painful infirmities she had suffered so cruelly for seven months.

We cannot describe the surprise and admiration of everyone on the morning of March 14th upon seeing this woman walk about unaided when the previous evening she had been crippled. She was able to bend down, kneel, go up and down stairs. Everyone cried out: “Miracle!” and was greatly edified by such a prodigious cure. They congratulated her on such a great grace from God and Mary Most Holy.

The Mother Superior, who had taken care of her innumerable times since she had been taken ill and daily witnessed her sufferings, wanted a Te Deum to be sung by the whole community in the house chapel to celebrate solemnly this extraordinary grace. The sick lady remained cured and no longer felt the effects of her former infirmity.

 

Italy (1836)

Testimony of a parish priest of Bologna on February 8, 1836.

There was a young man in my parish, 27 years of age, who lived a dissolute life. In order to have fewer impediments to his excesses, he had left the family home. Sometime later he became gravely ill with pneumonia. Dr. Giovanni Pulioli, a distinguished doctor, treated him; but the illness was stronger than the medicine of the day.

The youth was left in a lamentable state, unable to move. By then he was living scandalously with a woman and had declared, from the beginning of the illness, that he would not consent to a priest being called.

My chaplain went to visit him and exhorted him to put an end to the scandal through marriage; but he failed to convince the young man. I went there and spoke with him about legitimizing the union, rather than breaking it up; but I found him to be in a state of complete religious indifferentism.

Despite my every effort to persuade him, I also failed. I then thought it better to allow him to reflect a little while and to return another day to find out his decision. In the meantime, I asked him to have recourse to the Most Holy Virgin, refuge of sinners; and, without telling him, I placed a Miraculous Medal in his pillow and departed.

I did not need to return to the house of my own accord; the sick youth himself called me through his mother with whom he had already reconciled himself. He told me that he had reasons, which were justified, for not speaking personally with the woman with whom he had been living, and requested I ask her to leave. The unfortunate woman condescended and left.

Once I had accomplished this, I told the sick youth how happy I was. When I presented the medal to him, he began to kiss it with feelings of sincere gratitude, even though the state of his health was extremely grave. He then showed signs of sincere repentance and confessed his sins, received the Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction, because we expected him to die at any moment. This took place on January 19, 1836.

The young man felt the greatest tranquility, which he attributed to the Most Holy Virgin. From then on he started to feel better and had totally recuperated within a few days. He still perseveres in his good resolutions and is full of love for his Heavenly benefactress whose medal he keeps as something precious, frequently kissing it with great devotion.

I myself witnessed this fact and I write not only with the young man’s approval, but at his request, so that it may serve for the greater glory of God that, through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, this miracle took place. To this written testimony I have appended the medical report proving the sickness and the cure.

 

Belgium (1836)

On November 9, 1835, Rosalie Ducas from Jauchelette, near Jodoigne, suddenly lost her sight. She was only four and a half years old, in perfect health with no signs of illness. Any light or breeze disturbed her to the point of having to cover her face with a cloth folded in four. The pains the child suffered day and night caused everyone much grief.

At this point, a pious person brought a blessed Miraculous Medal. The mother took it and started a novena. She put another medal around the girl’s neck on June 11, 1836 at about 6 o’clock in the evening. By midnight the girl had stopped complaining. On the fourth and fifth day of the novena, her eyes opened. The parents redoubled their supplications to the Most Holy Virgin. On the ninth day in the afternoon, the girl regained her sight completely to the great surprise of the neighbors and all those who witnessed the event.

The parish priest of Jodoigne-la-Soveraine, who had given the medal to the family, went to see the girl who lived only a mile and a half away, and testified that she had recovered her sight completely. No pain whatsoever was left. These facts are known by everyone and attest to the honor we owe to the Virgin Mary.

 

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Asia:

 

China (1838)

Father Perboyre told the next story on August 10, 1839. It is interesting to mention that this missionary was taken prisoner one month later out of hatred for religion. He confessed the Faith generously for a whole year amidst horrible tortures and then had the joy of receiving the martyr’s palm on September 11, 1840.

While I was on mission in the Christian community of Honan in November 1837, the Christians there presented a woman to me who had been suffering from mental confusion for eight months. They added that she ardently desired to make her confession to me even though she was incapable of doing so and implored me not to deny her this consolation that she had so much at heart.

Her unfortunate state really made the exercise of my ministry appear futile. But I heard her confession out of compassion and as she departed I gave her a Miraculous Medal so she would be under the protection of the Virgin. She did not understand the value of this holy remedy, but she soon recognized its virtue as she started to get better.

Her progress was such that she was another person after four or five days. Her mental confusion, her worries that had caused her mortal anguish—in which I had noticed a diabolical influence—gave way to common sense, tranquility and happiness.

 

Macau (1841)

Letter from a missionary in Macau dated August 25, 1841.

A widow who had been brought up as a pagan had only one son. One day she saw him come under the power of the devil, in other words, possessed. Everyone fled from him as he wandered through the fields making fearful cries. If someone dared to grab him, the boy would immediately throw the person to the ground.

The poor mother was full of pain and sorrow, but Divine Providence had pity on this unfortunate family. One day the boy was more tormented than ever, not knowing where he went and brutally repelling all who drew near. In his wanderings he came upon a Christian, who, animated by a lively faith and seeing that the devil tyrannically mistreated the unfortunate boy, told those who were close by to leave. He said that only he was able to calm him down, hold him and return him to his mother. This manner of speaking surprised the pagans. They warned him of the danger, but let him get on with it.

This Christian carried a Miraculous Medal and took it into his hand. Drawing near to the possessed boy, he showed it to him, ordering the devil to leave him alone and depart, which happened immediately. The boy, seeing the Christian with the medal, threw himself to the ground before this image without knowing what it was. The pagans, who had watched him from afar, were astounded.

The Christian then said to him that he should rise and follow him. In this manner he brought him to his mother’s house. As soon as the boy saw her he said: “Do not cry, I am free. The devil left as soon as he saw this medal.”

Imagine the joy of the mother upon hearing these words. She did not know whether or not she was dreaming. The Christian certified the truth of what the boy was saying and told her what had happened. He added that her son would be free forever as long as he renounced the idols and became a Christian. The boy sincerely promised to do so and both of them began removing the false gods from a sort of altar where they were kept.

 


Conclusion:

I hope these marvelous stories may also help you, dear reader!

The Miraculous Medal continues to multiply its prodigies even today. We know of countless other impressive stories of conversions, graces of moral regeneration, cures of attachment to vices, and infallible protection against the action of the devil. There are innumerable accounts of cures and relief procured in every kind of illness, as well as assistance to expectant mothers and of astounding protection against assault, robbery, kidnapping, accidents and other dangers. And who can count those who have found employment and resolved financial difficulties by means of this devotion? Even in our days, so lacking in true Faith, the facts that take place never cease to surprise and edify us.

When she revealed the Miraculous Medal, Our Lady clearly promised that “everyone who wears it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around their neck.” She did not put restrictive conditions; she said “everyone.” And then completed the phrase with: “The graces will be abundant to those who use it with confidence.”

We all need great graces, especially in these difficult and critical times. Let us turn to the Virgin Mother of God in all our needs and concerns, and ask her with a childlike confidence to answer our prayers.

Dear reader, are you not also in need of a particular grace? Or maybe someone in your family is in need of one, or one of your friends? It was for people like you that the Virgin, the best of all mothers, in her unfathomable mercy, gave the Miraculous Medal.

 

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READ:  Conversion on Death Row

PRAY:  Novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

 

 

DAILY QUOTE for December 10, 2018

To surrender oneself is more than to devote oneself, more th...

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December 10

 

To surrender oneself is more than to devote oneself,
more than to give oneself,

it is even something more than to abandon oneself to God.
In a word, to surrender oneself is to die to everything and to self,
to be no longer concerned with self
except to keep it continually turned toward God.


St. Marie-Victoire Couderc


Protest & Offer Reparation for this "Christmas" BLASPHEMY

SAINT OF THE DAY

Our Lady of Loreto

Around 1090, the Saracens invaded the Holy Land, plundering...

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Our Lady of Loreto

The title "Our Lady of Loreto" is associated with the Holy House of Loreto in Italy, the house of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, miraculously transported by the angels from Palestine to Europe.

The house of the Holy Family in Nazareth has always been the object of Christian veneration. Shortly after 313, St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, built a basilica over this holy abode. The Saracens invaded the Holy Land in 1090, plundering and destroying Christian shrines, including Constantine’s basilica. Under the ruble, the Holy House was found intact. During the twelfth century, another basilica was built to protect the holy dwelling. In 1219 or 1220 St. Francis of Assisi visited the Holy House in Nazareth. So did King St. Louis IX of France, when he was leading a crusade to liberate the Holy Land. In 1263, when the Muslims overpowered the crusaders, the basilica was again destroyed but, once more, the Holy House was found intact.

When the crusaders where completely driven out of the Holy Land in 1291, the Holy House disappeared.

On May 10, 1291 a parish priest, Fr. Alexander Georgevich in the town of Tersatto, Dalmatia, (present-day Croatia) noticed the sudden appearance of a small building resting on a plot of land. Puzzled, he prayed about it, and in a dream saw the Blessed Virgin Mary, who explained that the structure was the house of the Holy Family, brought there by the power of God.

In 1294, with the Moslem invasion of Albania, the house disappeared again. According to the testimony of shepherds, it was seen on December 10 of that year born aloft by angels over the Adriatic Sea. This time the Holy House came to rest in a wooded area four miles from Recanati, Italy. As the news spread fast, thousands flocked there, and many miracles took place at the site.

Due to contrary circumstances, twice again the house was moved, finally coming to rest in the town of Loreto, Italy, its present location.

As miracles continued to occur in connection with pilgrimages to the house, deputations were sent to Nazareth to determine its origins in 1292, in 1296, and in 1524. All three declared that the measurements of the house corresponded to the visible foundations of the house of Nazareth.

In 1871 at the suggestion of Cardinal Bartolini, Professor Ratti of the University of Rome was given mortar and stones from the house at Loreto, and similar materials from houses in Nazareth. Ignorant of which was which, Prof. Ratti ascertained that the composition of the material from the house of Loreto while not original to Italy was identical to that of the material from Nazareth.

Other striking facts about the house in Loreto are that it has no foundations. The walls rest on a plot that was part field and part road, a sure indication that it was not built there but placed there. The style of the house of Loreto is not Italian but Eastern. And the original door was on the long side of the house, indicating that it was a dwelling and not a church.

Today a great basilica houses the dwelling of the holiest of families.  From 1330, practically all the Popes have considered Loreto the greatest shrine of Christendom. Bulls in favor of the shrine were issued by Pope Sixtus IV in 1491 and by Julius II in 1507. While the miracle of the translation of the house is not a matter of faith, Innocent XII, in the seventeenth century, appointed a special Mass for the Feast of the Translation of the Holy House. Numerous saints have visited the house-relic.

As pilgrims enter the small precinct, they read on the threshold, “Hic Verbum caro factum est” – “Here the Word became flesh”. Above the altar inside the holy house is an ancient statue of Our Lady holding the Infant Jesus, known as Our Lady of Loreto.

WEEKLY STORY

The Miracle

On July 31, 2002 the Holy Father canonized Juan Diego, a hum...

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The Miracle

On July 31, 2002 the Holy Father canonized Juan Diego, a humble Indian to whom the Mother of God appeared in Mexico in 1531 and on whose cloak she left her image as Our Lady of Guadalupe. With this canonization, the Church has placed one more seal on the authenticity of the apparitions that changed the course of the history of Mexico and gave all the Americas a great patroness. Alongside our invoking the intercession of the Virgin of Guadalupe, we may now also say, “Saint Juan Diego, pray for us.” We dedicate the following article to him.

 

"Eagle that speaks"

In the year 1474, a boy was born in Aztec Mexico in the village of Cuautitlan, about seven miles from the capital of the Empire, then known as Tenochtitlan, today Mexico City.

He was named, Quauhtlatoatzin, or “Eagle that speaks.” His origin was humble and poor, yet this boy had been chosen by God to convey one of the greatest messages ever delivered to any nation.

Despite having reached the first degree of civilization with its cities and writing system, Mexico’s religion was satanically barbarous. In the words of one historian: “Nowhere else in human history has Satan so formalized and institutionalized his worship with so many of his own actual titles and symbols.” This was the old Empire of Mexico worshiping the “Lord of the Dark” and the “Stone Serpent,” requiring a quota of, at least, 50,000 human sacrifices each year.

When “Eagle that speaks” was thirteen years old, a sacrifice of no less than 80,000 victims was offered to inaugurate the greatest of all pyramids. As he witnessed these horrors, maybe the young boy sent up a prayer for the accomplishment of an old Mexican prophecy that, one day, a God who hated human sacrifice would reach Mexico. Oddly enough, this prophecy even specified the year and the date on which this God would arrive.

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Sails on the horizon

The year by the Christian calendar was 1519; the day was a Good Friday. Montezuma II, then Emperor, a superstitious man, was on high alert because that was also the date in the Mexican prophecy.

If any Aztecs scanned the horizons of Mexico on that Good Friday morning, they saw eleven ships bearing great white sails marked by a black cross heading for their shore.

Commanded by the thirty-three-year-old Spaniard Hernan Cortes, the fleet anchored. Soon, at the captain’s orders, a cross was planted in the sand.

Hernan Cortes and his six hundred warriors were descendants of men who had battled Muslims for eight hundred years to free their beloved Spain from the dominion of Islam. It took all that bravery seething in their veins to tackle the monumental task that lay ahead of them: namely, to snatch fifteen million people from the darkness and oppression of a satanic regime and introduce them to the sweet yoke of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sinking his ships in a gesture of unparalleled bravery so as to spare his men the temptation to flee, Cortes set his face and his small army to conquer Mexico for the Faith. The next year saw a series of battles of biblical proportions, terrible defeats, renewed attacks, great feats of diplomacy resulting in solid alliances with certain native tribes, and daring coups. The odds were those of one against ten thousand but, like Emperor Constantine of old, Cortes launched his mission under the banner of the cross, telling his men: “Brothers and companions, let us follow the sign of the Cross with true faith and in it we shall conquer.”

At the end, Montezuma was dead, Mexico City had been conquered, a new government was established and churches began to rise in place of the old pagan temples.

Twelve Apostles

By this time, “Eagle that speaks” was a man entering middle age. He was married to a good woman and worked at farming, weaving mats, making furniture and anything else that would support them. He had an innate sweetness and compliant nature and a very humble disposition coupled with a quiet dignity.

One day, a few barefooted men in brown habits entered his village. They were Franciscans, a few from a group of twelve sent by Emperor Charles V of Spain for the evangelization of Mexico. These brave and zealous men had arrived in 1521, only two years after Cortes.

“Eagle that speaks” attentively listened to all they had to say and was soon bowing his head before one of them to receive the redeeming waters of Baptism. He was Christened Juan Diego. Baptized alongside him were his wife and uncle, who received the Christian names of Maria Lucia and Juan Bernardino. Juan Diego and his family were among the first natives to accept the Catholic Faith in Mexico. It was the year 1525.

After baptism, Juan Diego and Maria Lucia often continued to walk to Mass and instructions to the new church in Tlatelolco near Mexico City, about fifteen miles from their village.

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Tepeyac Hill

On December 9, 1531, which was then the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Juan Diego again made his way among cactus plants and mesquite bushes to the Church at Tlatelolco near Mexico City as was his custom. He now covered the distance alone since his good wife had died two years before. He must have missed her sorely for he had moved to Tepotzotlan to be with his uncle.

Nearing Mexico City, Juan Diego always passed a hill called Tepeyac. Its summit had been the site of a former temple to the pagan “Mother God.”

This morning as he neared Tepeyac, he suddenly stopped, hearing ineffable music that seemed to come from the top of the hill. Juan strained his bewildered eyes as he looked upward in hopes of discovering the source of so delightful a melody. It was then that he saw a dazzling cloud, emblazoned by a brilliant rainbow. Suddenly the melody ceased altogether and he heard the sweetest of all feminine voices calling his name in his native Nahuatl: “Juantzin…”

The voice used the diminutive of his name and it is impossible to convey what that meant as far as affectionate expression. Maybe, in our English it would be something like: “My dear little John.”

Without fear, Juan Diego clambered up the 130-foot-high summit and found himself facing a lady of dazzling beauty. Her garments shone like the sun and the light streaming from her person transformed all nature around her into a play of color as if seen through a stained glass window. Even the smallest leaves looked like sparkling emeralds and turquoises and the tiniest branches as if dipped in gold.

The lady motioned for Juan Diego to approach and as he did so, she spoke:

“Listen, my dearest little son, Juan, where are you going?”

“My lady, my queen, my little girl,” answered the happy Indian, “I am going to your little house in Mexico-Tlatelolco, to follow the things of God that are taught to us by those who are the images of Our Lord, our priests.”

“Know for certain, my little son,” said the lady, “that I am the perfect ever-virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the one true God…. I am your merciful mother, yours and of all the people who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me and of those who trust in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow and will remedy and nurse all their troubles, their miseries, their suffering.”

Then she went on to ask Juan Diego to go to the Bishop of Mexico, Don Juan de Zumarraga, to ask him to build her a house on the hill. She finished by thanking him for his trouble and promising to reward him abundantly.

After some difficulty, Juan Diego saw Bishop Zumarraga who listened to him attentively but did not take him very seriously. The bishop dismissed him kindly, promising to think about all he had said and to see him again.

Knowing he had not convinced the prelate, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac Hill and found the Mother of God waiting for him. At her feet, he told her all about the interview and begged her to send someone of more renown, of a higher station in life, one who would be more readily believed.

Our Lady replied affectionately: “Listen, my little son, I have many servants, many messengers… but it is most necessary that you go personally to plead, and that, through you, my will be realized… So, go and tell him once more, that it is I, the ever-virgin Holy Mary, I who am the Mother of God, who sends you.”

On the next day, a Sunday, Juan Diego returned to the bishop’s house. After much difficulty with the servants, he was received. Juan Diego again delivered his message. Bishop Zumarraga questioned him closely and finished by asking for a sign.

“Señor Governador,” answered Juan Diego, “think about what the sign you ask for will be, because then I will go to ask for it of the Queen of Heaven who sent me.”

Once Juan Diego left, Bishop Zumarraga had him followed. But near Tepeyac, his followers lost sight of him. Quite upset, they returned to the Bishop convinced that the Indian was only making up stories. So it was decided that when he returned he would be punished.

Meanwhile Juan Diego was with the Virgin explaining to her the bishop’s request for a sign.

“That’s fine, my little son, return here tomorrow so you may take to the bishop the sign which he asks. With this he will believe you and no longer doubt this and no longer suspect you. And know well, my little son, that I will reward you all the trouble and fatigue that you have undertaken for me. Go now. I will be waiting for you tomorrow.”

Juan evades the Virgin

But the next day, Juan Diego did not return. His uncle had sickened and was dying, so Juan spent all of Monday with him. On Tuesday, before dawn, the good Indian made his way to Mexico City to call a priest to give his uncle the last rites. Passing Tepeyac hill, he thought of skirting it so the Lady would not see him and stop him.

As he did so, however, he saw her coming down the hill to meet him.

“What’s wrong, my little son? Where are you going?”

Bending low, Juan Diego greeted her and wished her a good morning as he explained his uncle’s predicament.

“Listen, and place it deeply in your heart, my littlest son,” spoke the Queen of Heaven. “What frightens and worries you is nothing. Do not let it disturb you. Do not fear this sickness, or any other sickness, or any sharp and hurtful thing. Am I not here, your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and my protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need something more? Let nothing else worry you or disturb you; do not let your uncle’s illness upset you, because he will not die of it now. You may be certain that he is already well.”

Juan Diego, greatly comforted at these words, begged her, instead, to send him to the bishop with her sign. Then the Blessed Virgin told him to go to the top of the hill and gather the flowers he would find there.

Astonished at the beauty of the blooms miraculously growing in that spot, he gathered them all and returned to where the Lady awaited him. With feminine touch, she arranged them with her own hands inside his tilma, a cloak he wore to shield him from the cold, and bade him go to the bishop again.

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The miracle

The servants at the gates of the bishop’s residence would not listen to the poor Indian’s entreaties to see Don Zumarraga. Juan Diego, having no other recourse, waited patiently for a long time. Seeing him standing there holding something in his tilma, the doorkeeper and servants became curious and began to harass him so that he let them have a peek.

Great was their amazement at the sight of the exquisite flowers, their perfume, and the fact that this was not at all the season for these blooms. Three times they tried to grab a few out of Juan Diego’s tilma but, as they attempted to do so, the flowers became as if painted on the cloth, thus evading their grasp.

The servants then ran to tell the bishop what they had seen. Hearing this, Don Zumarraga realized that here was the sign he had requested and had Juan Diego brought in immediately.

As soon as he entered the bishop’s chamber, Juan Diego prostrated himself in his presence and related to him all that had happened and how he had found these beautiful flowers blooming out of season on top of the hill at the Lady’s command.

The humble Indian then held out his tilma and just as the flowers cascaded to the floor, before all present, O marvel, there appeared on the cloth an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary just as Juan Diego had seen her.

Weeping and falling to his knees, Don Zumarraga, asked the Mother of God’s forgiveness for not having immediately carried out her will.

Then, untying the tilma from around Juan Diego’s neck, Bishop Zumarraga had the miraculous icon placed in his private chapel. 

Guadalupenos

As Juan Diego returned home, he found his uncle cured and ecstatic with joy because the Lady of Tepeyac had also appeared to him. On delivering him of his illness, she had also revealed her name: “Coatlaxopeuh,” or “she who crushes the serpent.” It soon was to be understood as Guadalupe.

Meanwhile, as Bishop Zumarraga prayed fervently before the miraculous image of the resplendent Virgin of Guadalupe, his heart overflowed with gratitude as he remembered a prayer of some time before.

Two of the first Spanish governors appointed to Mexico were cruel to the Indians. Other Spaniards in authority also had more heart for gold than the welfare of the natives. He, Zumarraga, eventually had these men ousted but, meanwhile, the Indians threatened to revolt. The Indians also felt that they had lost their identity on accepting the religion of the Spaniards. Before, despite the horrors of paganism, they were Aztecs. But now, what were they?

In his affliction, Bishop Zumarraga had asked for a sign of the Mother of God that she would protect the new colony. He had asked for Castillian roses not native to Mexico. And Castillian roses were the very flowers that had cascaded onto the floor as Juan Diego opened his tilma! And then the Mystical Rose herself had left her wondrous portrait.

Our Lady, by appearing to an Indian in the turquoise robes of Aztec royalty with their own brown features, had sent the whole of Mexico the message: “I am your Queen, your Mother and you are my very own.” The natives now had a place and a name: the place was the very heart of God’s own Mother and the name, Guadalupenos.

A chapel was soon built on Tepeyac Hill, to be followed by a great basilica. Former Aztec Indians began to flock there by the thousands with the result that in seventeen years the number of baptisms had catapulted from two hundred thousand to nine million.

Juan Diego spent the rest of his life by his beloved Virgin. He died in 1548 venerated by his people for his untiring service and solid virtue. To this day the greatest blessing of Mexican parents on their children is: “May God make you like Juan Diego.”

By A. F. Phillips

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On July 31, 2002 the Holy Father canonized Juan Diego, a humble Indian to whom the Mother of God appeared in Mexico in 1531 

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