Jesus Christ Savior | “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” Revelation 11:19-12:1
The five appearances of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Aztec Indian Juan Diego and his uncle on December 9-12 of 1531 generated the conversion of Mexico and Latin America to Catholicism.
On December 12, 1531, Juan Diego was obedient to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s instruction to gather beautiful roses in his tilma and take them to the Franciscan Bishop Don Fray Juan de Zumarraga on his third visit to appeal for the building of a Church as requested by Our Lady. Then he put up both hands and untied the corners of crude cloth behind his neck. The looped-up fold of the tilma fell; the flowers he thought were the precious sign tumbled out on the floor.
The Bishop fell on his knees in adoration before the tilma. For on the tilma was the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, just as described by Juan Diego, and is still preserved today in original condition in Tepeyac on the outskirts of Mexico City.
Spanish conquistadors may have conquered the Aztecs in 1521, but their ruthless behavior antagonized the people and conversions were few.
Our Lady of Guadalupe conveyed the beautiful message of Christianity: the true God sacrificed himself for mankind, instead of the horrendous life indians had endured sacrificing thousands of humans to appease the frightful gods! It is no wonder that over the next seven years, from 1531 to 1538, eight million natives of Mexico converted to Catholicism. One can identify Our Lady of Guadalupe with the Woman of Revelation 12.
Indeed, the Blessed Virgin Mary entered the very soul of Central America and became a central figure to the history of Mexico itself. To this date a major religious celebration in Mexico and Central America is December 12, the feast-day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A harbinger of things to come, Christianity would thrive in the Americas. Her appearance in the center of the American continents has contributed to the Virgin of Guadalupe being given the title “Mother of America.”
Our anonymous author is a physician and a Masters graduate in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio. He teaches Sunday Bible Class at St. James Catholic Church and serves both Pastoral Care and the Medical Staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital.