In 1531 a "Lady from Heaven" appeared to a humble Native
American at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of what is now Mexico City.
She identified herself as the ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator
of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth.
She made a request
for a church to be built on the site, and submitted her wish to the local Bishop. When the Bishop hesitated, and requested
her for a sign, the Mother of God obeyed without delay or question, sending Her native messenger to the top of the hill in
mid-December to gather an assortment of roses for the Bishop.
complying to the Bishop's request for a sign, She also left for us an image of herself imprinted miraculously on the native's
tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have
deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay 475 years later and still defies all scientific explanations of its origin.
It apparently even reflects in her eyes what was in front
of her in 1531.
Her message of love and compassion, and her
universal promise of help and protection to all mankind, as well as the story of the apparitions, are described in the "Nican
Mopohua", a 16th century document written in the native Nahuatl language.
There is reason to believe that at Tepeyac Mary came in her glorified body, and her actual physical hands rearranged
the roses in Juan Diego’s tilma, which makes this apparition very special.
An incredible list of miracles, cures and interventions are attributed to her. Yearly, an estimated 14 million
visit her Basilica, making her Mexico City home the most popular Marian shrine and the most visited Catholic sanctuary in
the whole world.
Altogether 25 popes have officially honored
Our Lady of Guadalupe. His Holiness John Paul II visited her Sanctuary four times: on his first apostolic trip outside Rome
as Pope in 1979, and again in 1990, 1999 and 2002.
The Feast of Our
Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12th. In 1999, Pope John Paul II, in his homily from the Solemn Mass at the Basilica
of Our Lady of Guadalupe, during his third visit to the sanctuary, declared the date of December the 12th as a Liturgical
Holy Day for the whole continent.
During the same visit
Pope John Paul II entrusted the cause of life to her loving protection, and placed under her motherly care the innocent lives
of children, especially those who are in danger of not being born.
For more information click here.