A short summary of the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe (who appeared in the 16th century) from Franciscan Media:
A poor Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized and given the name Juan Diego. He was a 57-year-old widower, and lived in a small village near Mexico City. On Saturday morning December 9, 1531, he was on his way to a nearby barrio to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady.
Juan was walking by a hill called Tepeyac when he heard beautiful music like the warbling of birds. A radiant cloud appeared, and within it stood an Indian maiden dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to him in his own language and sent him to the bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan named Juan de Zumarraga. The bishop was to build a chapel in the place where the lady appeared.
Eventually the bishop told Juan to have the lady give him a sign. About this same time Juan’s uncle became seriously ill. This led poor Juan to try to avoid the lady. Nevertheless the lady found Juan, assured him that his uncle would recover, and provided roses for Juan to carry to the bishop in his cape or tilma.
On December 12, when Juan Diego opened his tilma in the bishop’s presence, the roses fell to the ground, and the bishop sank to his knees. On the tilma where the roses had been appeared an image of Mary exactly as she had appeared at the hill of Tepeyac.Franciscan Media
This miracle precipitated the greatest flood of conversions in the whole history of Christianity. In the seven years following this miracle, approximately eight million Aztecs converted to Christianity. . .Bryan Cross, Called to Communion
Numerous people failed to convert the Aztecs, who at that time were performing thousands of children sacrifices. Finally, Mary’s miracle ended this and helped to nearly convert the entire country which spread Christianity across Central and South America.
There are many interesting features in the actual miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, including:
- The moon under her feet, which for the Aztecs represented the devil. Mary is crushing the head of the serpent, which corresponds to Revelation 12.
- Mary is pregnant in the image and there is a four-petal flower resting on her womb, which in Nahualt culture is a symbol of pregnancy.
- The position of the stars around the image can mathematically be arranged into music notes that play a beautiful sounding song. Normally if this is done with a random pattern of dots, it will just sound like noise.
In the series “Explaining the Faith”, Father Alar has a full lesson and explanation about all the details of Our Lady of Guadalupe: