Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Dec 10, 2021 / 16:45 pm
When Our Lady appeared to St. Juan Diego nearly 500 years ago, she came first and foremost as a mother — the mother of God, and our mother.
“Listen, and let it penetrate your heart, my dear little son; do not be troubled or weighted down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain,” Our Lady of Guadalupe is quoted as comforting the saint. “Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?”
She spoke as his mother and as the mother of an unborn baby Jesus when she appeared on the Hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City, in 1531. Her miraculous image, imprinted on the saint’s tilma, or cloak, shows her wearing a black sash, an indication of pregnancy in the native culture.
Our Lady of Guadalupe not only looked like a native woman, but also spoke in the same language as one. She came at a time of conflict between the Spanish and the indigenous peoples to ask St. Juan Diego to persuade the bishop to build a church. As a sign to the bishop, she instructed the saint to gather Castilian roses in full bloom despite the winter. When he presented the flowers to the bishop, he discovered her image left on his tilma.