History > Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe’s history traces back to 1531, when she appeared before Juan Diego, a humble peasant from Mexico.

Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was on his way to a mass in Tlatelolco in Mexico City when a voice of a woman resonated among the rocky hills, asking him to go up the summit. He went up and found a breathtaking image of a lady emanating from a bright light. Dressed in an elaborate garment and veiled in a shining blue-green mantle, she asked Juan Diego to do something for her.

Speaking in the native Nahuatl language, she asked for a church to be built in her honor. It was to be situated on the knoll she was standing on. After hearing this, the still-astonished Juan Diego went down the hill to return to Mexico City and told Spanish Bishop Fray Juan de Zumarraga about what he saw and what the young woman asked of him. The bishop said that he needed to see a miraculous sign to prove the claim.

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The Lady made a second apparition the next day, and Juan Diego told her about the bishop’s request. The events happened in a time when no flowers bloomed—it was winter, and there was practically nothing to be gathered from the ground except from plain weeds and dry plants. The Lady, however, miraculously provided red Castilian roses for Juan Diego to gather. The peasant used his tilma (a garment used by peasants as a cloak or carryall) to gather as much flowers as he could. When he was done, the Lady arranged the flowers for him.

Juan Diego immediately went to the bishop to show him the miracle. The people present were brought to their knees after seeing the image of the Virgin miraculously emblazoned on the tilma.

This was the story of how The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe (the third largest Catholic church in the world) was built. Since that day, people started visiting to pay their respects to our Lady. Millions of pilgrims and believers from all over the world visit each year.

The image of the Lady on the original tilma (which could now be found at the Basilica of out Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico) has not faded in nearly 480 years. Past studies also show that when enlarged, the image of Juan Diego and all the witnesses who appeared on that blessed 1531 event were reflected in the Virgin’s eyes..

Countless miracles in succession happened after the event, making the Basilica in Mexico one of the most visited shrines in the world. It has also been said that the Lady has saved people and cities from different kinds of peril, as well as helped millions of believers who asked for her divine intercession.