The Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, called on the faithful this week to imitate St. Juan Diego, “a model layman we should all follow,” who became a symbol of unity for two nations that seemed irreconcilable, “with distinct cultures and diverse religions.”
During a Mass commemorating the fifth anniversary of the canonization of the 16th century Aztec convert, Cardinal Rivera said, “Juan Diego is the symbol of that unity. There we discover the mysteries of the Kingdom, that mystery of God who is One amidst great diversity; and there couldn’t have been more diversity than at that moment: between an oppressed nation and a triumphant nation.”
Likewise, the cardinal pointed out that Juan Diego represents the Church, “which was coming into being on our continent, that Church which is built not only on the word, but also around the bishop, because where there is no bishop there can be no Church.”
“Juan Diego,” he went on, “was a humble and simple Indian who continually nourished himself with the sacraments of the Church and gloried in the baptism he had received from the friars.” Nevertheless, the cardinal pointed out, Juan Diego was not only nourished by prayer, “he also changed his life,” he left his land and his family to bring the gospel to his Mexican brothers and sisters.
“We praise and glorify God our Father because He desired to choose a humble and simple Indian,” Cardinal Rivera stated, highlighting the qualities of the saint, because God prefers the humble.
Lastly, Cardinal Rivera urged believers to have faith in order to overcome adverse situations, as “when it seems there is no hope, the new sun appears in the womb of Holy Maria of Guadalupe, and therefore those rays of light come forth from her body, because there is the true sun of justice: Christ Jesus.”