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Juan Diego (December 9)

Juan Diego was born in 1474 in Cuauhtitlan, which was established in 1168 by Nahua tribesmen and conquered by the Aztec lord Axayacatl in 1467, and was located about 14 miles north of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City). He lived a simple live as a weaver, farmer, and laborer, rising before dawn to walk 15 miles to daily Mass in what is now Mexico City. One morning, as Juan passed Tepeyac Hill, he heard music and saw a glowing cloud encircled by a rainbow. A woman's voice called him to the top of the hill. There he saw a beautiful young woman dressed like an Aztec princess. She said that she was the Virgin Mary and asked Juan to tell the bishop to build a church on that site. She said, "I vividly desire that a church be built on that site. So that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help, and defense, for I am your most devoted mother... to hear your laments and to remedy all your miseries, pains, and sufferings." The bishop was kind but skeptical. He asked Juan to bring proof of the Lady's identity.
Before Juan could go back to the Lady, he learned that his uncle was dying. Hurrying to get a priest, Juan missed his meeting with the Lady. The Lady, however, met him on his path and told him that his uncle had been cured. The rest of the story continues with December 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe.

 
(Juan Diego was canonized a Saint by Pope John Paul II on July 31, 2002).

 

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