Our Lady of Guadalupe
The faithful copy of the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was blessed by the Bishop of Mexico City, touched by the miraculous Tilma of Our Lady at Guadalupe and sent to Australia. On the 13'th December 1997, this unique image of the Holy Mother of God was solemnly enshrined at Marian Valley.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Patron Saint of the Spanish speaking community in the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
Our Lady of Guadalupe also called the Virgin of Guadalupe and is affectionately called Lupita, and is the pre-eminent cultural icon for the people of Latin America. The best way to understand the meaning of Our Lady of Guadalupe is to go back to the year 1531 and to those glorious days of December when Mary revealed herself and showed God’s love to a simple native called Juan Diego.
9 December 1531 (Saturday)
Early in the morning Juan Diego, a Christian convert, was on his way to attend Mass, 4 kilometres’ distance at Tlatelolco, once an Aztec Centre and the place where the final battle of the Spanish Conquest had taken place just 10 years earlier. Suddenly Juan Diego heard beautiful music and a woman’s voice calling him to the top of the Tepeyac Hill. At the top of the hill he saw a radiantly beautiful woman who revealed to him that she was the Virgin Mary and instructed him to go to the Bishop and tell him that a shrine should be built in her honour at the bottom of the hill.
Juan Diego immediately went to Tlatelolco, to the place of Bishop Juan De Sumarraga, a Franciscan friar. The Bishop received him kindly but initially was reluctant to believe Juan Diego’s story. A discouraged Juan went back to Tepeyac Hill and told the Virgin Mary of his failure to convince the bishop of her request. The lady directed him to go back to the Bishop and repeat the request.
10 December 1531 (Sunday)
Juan Diego returned to the Bishop’s residence to try again. The Bishop asked many questions and told Juan Diego that he needed some sort of sign to believe that it was really the Heavenly Lady who had sent him. Juan Diego returned to the Virgin Mary and told her of the Bishop’s request. She promised to fulfil the Bishop’s request the next day when he returned to the Tepeyac Hill.
11 December 1531 (Monday)
The following day Juan Diego failed to keep his appointment with the Lady because his uncle had become gravely ill. Juan Diego had spend the day looking for someone with medical skills but when he failed to find anyone and told his dying uncle that he would go to Tlatelolco the next morning and bring a priest to hear his confession and prepare him for death.
12 December 1531 (Tuesday)
Very early in the morning Juan Diego was hurrying towards Tlatelolco to find a priest for his dying uncle. Thinking it better not to let the Lady interrupt his mission of mercy, he tried to avoid her by going around to the other side of Tepeyac Hill. The Lady however came down the hill to meet him. She listened to Juan Diego’s excuse for not keeping his appointment and told him “your uncle will not die of his sickness, be assured he is healthy.” Juan Diego was greatly relieved and followed the Lady’s instruction to go to the top of the hill and gather the flowers that he would find there. That very morning the Lady also appeared to his uncle and cured him.
At the top of the hill he discovered a miraculous garden of roses. He gathered the roses and took them to the Lady who arranged them in his mantle or tilma (a special cloth of the native people of Mexico) and instructed him to take them to the Bishop as the sign he had requested. Once the bishop’s presence Juan Diego he opened his mantle to show the bishop the roses. As the roses fell to the floor a beautiful portrait of the Lady appeared on the coarse fabric of the mantle. The bishop and his whole household were filled with amazement and before long a temple was built in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II bestowed on her the title of Patron Saint of both North and South America.
On 14 May 2006, Archbishop John Bathersby named Our Lady of Guadalupe as the
Patron Saint of the Spanish speaking Community in the Archdiocese of Brisbane.