In 1531 Our Lady appeared to a poor Aztec Indian named Juan Diego in Mexico. Her message was simple; “I desire a church at this place where I will show my compassion to your people and to all people who sincerely ask my help in their work and in their sorrows. Here, I will see their tears; I will console them and they will be at ease.” She worked a miracle to convince the Bishop of the aunthenticity of the apparition; leaving an image of herself on the front of the tilma worn by Juan Diego. For more details about this story click here.
Our Lady Herself gave a name to this image; "Call me and call my image Santa Maria de Guadalupe.” The translation was distinguishable for both Aztec and Spaniard. For the Indians, the translation meant Stone Serpent Troddenon which announced to the Aztec that Our Lady had supplanted Quetzalcoatl, the terrible god to whom countless men had been sacrificed. For the Spaniards, already there was an image of the Madonna and Child referred to as Guadalupe in Spain. As a result of this apparition, over 8 million Aztec Indians converted to Catholicism in the following 7 years. Today the tilma is still intact, above the high altar in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the northern part of Mexico City. Modern scientists agree that in the Mexican climate this cloth would naturally have disintegrated beyond recognition within twenty years.
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