During a Mass to celebrate the ninth anniversary of the canonization of St. Juan Diego, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City urged Catholics to follow his example of humility, patience and love of God.
The cardinal exhorted the faithful to be the “St. Juan Diegos of the 21st century.” He called Catholics to surrender themselves with generosity and fidelity to the loving hands of the Lord, “who allows us to partake in the blessing bestowed on the community.”
St. Juan Diego, he said, “was a simple man in whom God’s grace was made manifest. He revealed to him the deepest and truest things that gave meaning to his entire life.”
“Today more than ever, we need to adhere to this ‘Eucharistic’ and generous attitude, as thousands and thousands journey directionless through life, seeking the truth about their existence on the wrong paths,” Cardinal Rivera said.
Today there are so many who are thirsting for love and yet are “lost in the abyss, thinking that they can be happy with money, sex and fame.” They believe that “by destroying, killing, kidnapping, raping, denigrating and tearing others to pieces they will find peace and happiness,” the cardinal continued.
Amidst the tragedy of poverty, Cardinal Rivera pointed to the example of St. Juan Diego, who teaches that “beyond material goods, the eternal goods are what give full meaning to our lives. He experienced them and left everything to care for the chapel of Holy Mary of Guadalupe,” the cardinal said.
“Now it is our turn to work for justice and honesty so that Jesus Christ can reach every sick heart that has strayed from the true path of life and has distanced itself from Him and from others. Now it is our turn to work so that violence and murder, injustice and destruction never happen again,” Cardinal Rivera stated.
He concluded by thanking Juan Diego for the testimony of his life and for bringing Our Lady of Guadalupe to Mexicans and to the entire world.
St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe
Juan Diego was a humble Mexican Indian born in 1474 and baptized at age 50 by the first Franciscans who came from Spain.
On December 9, 1531, he witnessed the first apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who asked him to go to the bishop and request that a chapel be built in her honor on Tepeyac Hill. Bishop Juan de Zumarraga at first brushed him off, but at the insistence of Juan Diego, he asked for proof of the apparition.
On Dec. 12, she appeared to Juan Diego again and invited him to climb to the top of the hill, gather roses blooming out of season into his tilma and bring them to the bishop.
Upon opening his tilma before Bishop Zumarraga, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe miraculously appeared.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of Mexico and America.