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The Saint Juan Diego History Essay

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Juan Diego was born in 1474 A.D. in Cuauhtitlan. Not much is known about Juan Diego's early life up until he was baptized. When Juan Diego was fifty he was baptized by a Franciscan missionary named Fr. Peter da Gand (The Holy See). He was baptized along with his wife Maria Lucia, and his uncle Juan Bernardino. Juan Diego grew up under the subjection of the Aztecs who practiced human sacrifice. These people were sacrificed by cutting out the hearts of the victims. The victims were usually adult men, but also children. The Aztecs had control over 371 towns and the law requested 1,000 human sacrifices for each town, so over 50,000 human beings were sacrificed each year. When Juan Diego was just 13 years old, he witnessed one of the most appalling events in Aztec history. The 89-year-old ruler of the Aztecs dedicated a new temple to the gods of hell and darkness, Huitzilopochtli and Tezcatlipoca. Over 80,000 people were sacrificed in just four days and four nights. After this event human sacrifices were declared illegal in 1520 by Hernando Cortes. That is when the sacrament of the Eucharist was introduced (Saunders).

Juan Diego passed Tepeyac Hill one morning and he heard music and saw a luminous cloud circled by a rainbow. A lady's voice called him up to the top of the hill. This is where he saw a beautiful young woman dressed like a princess of the Aztecs. She said she was the Virgin Mary and asked Juan Diego to ask the bishop to build a church on the site. She said, "I vividly desire that a church be built on this 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" (Catholic Online). The bishop was kind but unsure. He asked Juan Diego to offer proof of the woman's identity. Before Juan could return to the lady, he found out his uncle was dying. Hurrying to get a priest to cure his uncle, Juan Diego missed his meeting with the lady. The lady met him on his journey and told him his uncle was cured. She told Juan to climb to the top of the hill where they were first acquainted. Juan was surprised to find flowers growing in the frozen ground. He gathered them in his cloak and took them immediately to the bishop. Juan told the bishop what had happened and opened his cloak. The flowers that fell to the ground out of Juan Diego's robe were called Castilian roses (which did not grow in Mexico). But the bishop's eyes were set on the image of the Lady imprinted inside Juan Diego's robe. Soon thereafter, a church was built on the site where our Lady appeared, and thousands converted to Christianity. Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared the patroness of the Americas (Catholic Online). Juan Diego had converted over to Christianity only six years before the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady appeared to him four times and to his uncle once (Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary). After only eight years, over 9,000,000 Mexicans converted over to Christianity (Brother Ernest). Juan Diego lived out the rest of his life as a hermit near the shrine where his tilma had been put on display for admiration. There he cared for the church and those who came to pray there (The Holy See). Juan Diego died at the age of 74 on May 30, 1548 (Catholic Online). Juan Diego's feast day is December 9th, and Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast day is December 12th (Saunders). Juan Diego was beatified on May 6th in 1990 by Pope John Paul II (The Holy See). Juan Diego was canonized on July 31st, 2002 by Pope John Paul II (Catholic Online). Pope Pius X made Our Lady patroness of Latin America in 1910. Copies of Juan Diego's tilma with the image in it have been made and sent all over the world (Brother Ernest) Saint Juan Diego can be attributed with the miracle of Our Lady Of Guadalupe. He was visited by the lady and asked to build a church there. When the priest asked for proof Juan Diego gathered flowers from the frozen ground that were not native there and brought them in his cloak. When Juan Diego arrived and let the flowers fall out of his robe, there was an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic Online). I admire Saint Juan Diego's faithfulness. Juan Diego did not have to ask proof from the Lady, but instead he went straight to the priest and asked him to build a church there. I also admire how Juan Diego missed his meeting with the Lady so that he could help his dying uncle (Catholic Online). I chose Juan Diego because he was canonized by Pope John Paul II and he is my favorite pope. He is my favorite pope because he went through many struggles in his lifetime. When his homeland was under the control of Nazis, he did his studies in secret even though he knew he would get caught (Egan 12.). Pope John Paul II's father died in February of 1941. His faith and God helped him to never stop (Pope John Paul II). There was an attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II, and after he was released from the hospital he went to forgive the man who tried to kill him (The Fateful Day). I also chose Saint Juan Diego because I am fascinated by the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the image of Our Lady appearing in Juan Diego's tilma in such accuracy and in such great detail (Catholic Online).


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