Buenos dias, Madre mia, Virgen de Guadalupe, a ti, con todo amor, te consagro mi corazon! Amen!
No estoy yo aquí que soy tu Madre?
“Am I not here who am your Mother?” These are the words which Our Lady spoke to St. Juan Diego when she appeared to him on the hill of Tepeyac, near Mexico City.
As I understand the story, on December the 9th, 1531, St. Juan Diego was walking to Mexico City to go to Mass. He was not a Saint yet, so I’ll drop the title for the rest of the story. As he approached the hill of Tepeyac, a beautiful young lady appeared to him and called him, “Juanito, Juan Dieguito”. Since she was calling him away from his intended path, he responded, “My Lady or child,” Apparently, he could not tell the age of the person to whom he spoke, “ I am on my way to seek the divine truths taught by our Priests.” She in turn said to him, “Sabe y entiende que eres el mas pequeño de mis hijos”. Which means, “Know and understand that you are the tiniest of my children.”
That is so beautiful to me. Because, the “ito” ending is an endearment. She is calling him, intimately, as one whom she knows and loves dearly. This is why she also calls him the tiniest of my children, it is as though she is cradling him like a baby.
Now, Juan Diego was not a child, he was between 53 and 57 years of age.
Then she told him that she is the Mother of the True God and that she desires a temple be built for her upon that site in order that all the inhabitants of this land can have a place from which they can pray and obtain her intercession. "Go! and tell the Bishop and give this your full attention!"
So, Juan Diego obeys and goes to tell the Bishop, Fray Juan de Zumárraga. The Bishop asks for time to consider the matter. But Juan Diego feels rejected.
So, as Juan Diego returns to his village, he again encounters the Virgin. Juan Diego expresses his disappointment that he has been rejected and suggests that she send someone more important, for he considers himself a poor, Indian, of no account to anyone.
But she replies that she has the whole world at her disposal and he is the especially chosen vessel for the job. Juan Diego, feeling uplifted, replies that he will certainly obey and return the next day to ask the Bishop again.
The next day, after Mass and catechism, Juan Diego fulfills his promise and makes a second request to the Bishop. This time the Bishop asks him to request a sign of the Lady. And after Juan Diego leaves, the Bishop has some men follow him to see what he’s up to. But, Juan Diego seemingly disappears from their sight and, unfortunately, that makes them suspect his intentions.
So, Juan Diego goes back to the Virgin and tells her that the Bishop demands a sign in order that he will believe she is really the Mother of God. And the Virgin tells Juan Diego that the next day, she will give him a sign to give the good Bishop.
But Juan Diego did not come back to the hill of Tepeyac, where he was encountering the Virgin because his uncle fell ill with typhoid. And he, being certain of his imminent death, sent Juan Diego in search of a confessor. Juan Diego, remembering Our Lady’s command, intended to avoid her by avoiding the hill, because he didn’t think he had time to do both and he didn’t want to risk his uncle dying without the Last Rites.
But lo and behold, Juan Diego saw Our Lady rise from Mount Tepeyac and come to meet him in his new path. So, he explained to her the situation and how ill was his uncle. And this is when she said to him, “Am I noy here who am your Mother? Do not fear any illness nor let your heart be troubled by any anguish. Am I not your health? Am I not your well being? Are you not happily sitting upon my lap? You can be sure of this, your uncle will not die of this infirmity.” So, Juan Diego was convinced and did all the Virgin told him to do.
The 5th Apparition was taking place simultaneously as our Lady was promising Juan Diego that his uncle would not die. At that very instant, she appeared to his uncle, healed him and revealed that she was by name, Our Lady of Tlecuatlecupe.
What? You mean, Guadalupe, right?
No, Our Lady spoke to Don Juan Bernadino in his native tongue, Nahuatl. She pronounced the name perfectly. And this name figures perfectly with the image of Scripture:
Genesis 3:15 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
Tlecuatlecupe means, “she who crushes the head of the Serpent”.
Quetzalquatl, the most powerful god which the pagan Indians of that area revered, the one to which the Aztecs sacrificed their human victims, was depicted as a serpent with wings.
So how do we get Guadalupe?
Let’s go on with our story.
Return to the Bishop
Unaware of this, Juan Diego obediently picked all the roses that had miraculously sprung up in a place where no flowers ever grew. He picked so many that he had to use his “tilma”, a sort of mantle or vest, to hold all of them. Then, he took them Our Lady, who arranged them in the tilma and ordered him take them to the Bishop.
When Juan Diego finally arrived to see the Bishop, he released all the roses from his mantle and let them drop to the ground. Little did he suspect that the flowers were not the sign. But, in the mantle, appeared the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tepeyac, Mexico. Everyone in the room dropped to their knees.
Back to Don Juan Bernardino
Neither the Bishop nor Juan Diego were aware that Our Lady had now also appeared to Don Juan Bernadino. Nor was he aware of the miracle of the Tilma. The Bishop kept Juan Diego overnight in order to return with him the following day to ascertain precisely where Our Lady wanted her shrine. It is at this point that the Bishop found out about the miraculous healing of Juan Diego’s uncle and Our Lady’s name. However, the Bishop, not being a native speaker, heard Guadalupe instead of Tlecuatlecupe. It is easy to see how the mistake could be made.
Cuatle sounds much like Guadal and lecupe sounds much like lupe.
And this ties us back to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Caseres.
Remember that yesterday we spoke about how it was only 40 years prior that Columbus had dedicated his mission to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Perhaps the Bishop was aware of this fact and that would have made it more likely for him to hear this name being pronounced.
And this is only the beginning of the story, folks.
The Image on the Tilma has been tested and retested and found to contain an almost endless list of impossible details. The paint can’t be reproduced, if it is even paint at all. The young lady in the image has a Crown of Twelve Stars tying her back to Revelations 12:1. The native Indian details in the image reveal that she is a virgin with child, tying her back to Isaiah 7:14. If the miraculous colors which are not the result of any known pigment isn’t enough, there are microscopic images in Our Lady’s eyes which reflect the visages of all the people who were in the room at the moment of the miracle. The eyes themselves seem to pulsate as do the eyes of humans. And according to a NASA examination, the Tilma has a heartbeat corresponding to the heart beat of a child in the womb.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the unborn, pray for us!