Friday, December 08, 2006

Saint Juan Diego

Tomorrow is the liturgical memorial of Saint Juan Diego, the Indian convert who was was favored to see Our Lady at the hill of Tepeyac. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2002 and has been inserted in the liturgical calendar as an Optional Memorial.

Juan Diego was a devout widower when Our Lady came to meet him on his usual morning route, on the way from the village through the hills to attend Mass and receive religious instruction at the town church. He became the bearer of Our Lady's message of compassion for all peoples, and her desire for a temple where all may come to experience her motherly tenderness. He persevered in his task despite the mistrust of many of the authorities, who looked down on his humble stature. Finally, he received from Our Lady herself the sign which he brought to the devout bishop Zumarraga-rare Castillian roses blooming in the winter cold, which he wraooed and carried in his tilma on which appeared the image of Our Lady herself, which we now revere and venerate as Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Juan Diego later became a hermit and devoted his life to the care of Our Lady's sanctuary, remaining humble and lowly, calling himself a mere "leaf, a tail end, a worm."

The Opening Prayer is a proper text and the remaining texts may be taken from the Common of Holy Men and Women.

Lord God,
through Saint Juan Diego,
you made known the love of Our Lady of Guadalupe
toward your people.

Grant by his intercession
that we who follow the counsel of Mary, our Mother,
may strive continually to do your will.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.



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