Five centuries ago, St. Juan Diego was the first believer to meet the Virgin Mary under the title and appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


Today, millions continue to encounter and embrace her motherly presence, especially on her feast day of Dec. 12.

The story of the Virgin Mary’s appearance in Mexico is well-known to many devotees. On Dec. 9, 1531, Juan Diego –a recently-baptized indigenous Mexican convert to Catholicism– was hurrying to Mass, to Celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. But the woman he was heading to church to celebrate, came to him instead.

Regally attired, and speaking the native Aztec dialect, the radiant woman announced herself as the “ever-perfect holy Mary, who has the honor to be the mother of the true God.”

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