By Davíd Fernández de Taos ¡Que Viva San Juan Diego! ¡Que Viva La Vírgen de Guadalupe!This column today is especially dedicated to the countless migrants and refugees and dispossessed in the …
¡Que Viva San Juan Diego! ¡Que Viva La Vírgen de Guadalupe!
This column today is especially dedicated to the countless migrants and refugees and dispossessed in the world and in particular to the many thousands of children and their families who are now ensnared in chain-link pens along the southern border of the United States and who are living in fear as the pawns and victims of political oppression and manipulation by many nations.
Hapless and frantic people often turn to extraordinary resources for help and relief from these kinds of crushing circumstances. Many turn to the Lady of Guadalupe and her herald, San Juan Diego.
The Feast of San Juan Diego was observed on Dec. 9. In the year 1531 - 488 years ago - it is documented and substantiated that she who is called now Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to a native Mexican Indian citizen, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzín, on the Hill of Tepeyac by Mexico City, or Tenochtitlan. She asked the man to go tell the archbishop of her wish that a temple to her would be built there.
Juan Diego told her he was not worthy and that no one would believe him. She gave him a sign for Archbishop Zumarraga, which was her own image miraculously imprinted on Juan Diego's tilma cloak garment. When the Archbishop saw the image, he was convinced.
The temple was built, and the site has now become the magnificent Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, which more than 20 million pilgrims visit each year, and where this "image not made by human hand" remains undiminished in its vibrancy. Pope John Paul II canonized San Juan Diego on July 31, 20002 This "unworthy" Mexican native man is now esteemed and honored by all for his having been chosen to receive the lady's image and carry it to the archbishop and to all the world.
Today (Dec.12) is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe herself, celebrated with highest ecclesiastical and popular honors everywhere. She is the patroness of Mexico and of all the Americas, known around the world as the Lady of Peace, who is beloved and unceasingly invoked and besought for her consolation and intercession on all the peoples' behalf, with her son, the Christ.
Her feast days are also an opportunity to invoke her intercession on behalf of the world's poor and suffering, including all who are oppressed by nation-states and by other fellow human beings; for all those who live under the affliction of constant wars and injustice; and for an end to abuse of any and all kind. And her intercession is needed now more than ever in the world, on many levels.
People seek her powerful intercession, consolation and strength, especially the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized - and there are countless testaments throughout the world of her "miraculous" intercessions on behalf of those in great peril, whether it be physical or spiritual.
Juan Diego's canonization as saint is an honor of great importance for the world because, from then on, San Juan Diego and all the indigenous people of Mexico and the Americas are elevated in the esteem of the world. His sainthood is proof that even the poorest and most marginalized people are recognized in their essential value and dignity, and that any one person, no matter how humble or poor, has the ultimate favor of the Most High.
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