The Archbishop of Mexico City recalled in a recent homily that St. Juan Diego witnessed the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe because of his “humble heart.”
Cardinal Norberto Rivera addressed Catholics on Dec. 9, the feast of St. Juan Diego, underscoring the simplicity and humility of the Mexican saint, canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002.
Juan Diego, he said, “embraced one of the most important values: He had a humble heart … and for this reason he was chosen, for his candor, his tenderness and humility.”
Juan Diego’s innocence was rewarded with the chance to see Our Lady in 1531 at the age of 57. He was able to “hear her sweet voice and be her messenger before Bishop Juan de Zumarraga,” the cardinal explained.
Faced with the incredulity of the bishop, Juan Diego was told by the Virgin Mary to gather the roses blooming out of season and bring them to him as sign of the authenticity of her message. Upon unfolding his tilma before the bishop, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe miraculously appeared before their eyes.
The tilma is kept at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
Mary told St. Juan Diego she desired that a special place be set apart on Tepeyac Hill—the site of the apparitions—not only so it could become a basilica, but so the faithful would more firmly establish the Church in Mexico City, the cardinal said.
In Our Lady of Guadalupe, society can rediscover the values of hope and simplicity, Cardinal Rivera concluded.