mercredi 9 décembre 2015

Saint JUAN DIEGO CUAUHTLATOATZIN, voyant et ermite


Saint Juan Diego


mexicain ( 1548)

Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548).

Appelé "Cuauhtlatoatzin" (l'aigle qui parle), né à Cuautlitlán, quartier de l'actuelle Mexico, il était un membre de la tribu des Chichimeca.

Peu est connu de sa vie avant sa conversion et son baptême à l'âge de 50 ans par un des premiers prêtres franciscains arrivés au Mexique.

Un très ancien document indigène écrit en Nahuatl en caractères latins en 1556 donne des indications sur sa vie et sur les apparitions. (El Nican Mopohua, de Antonio Valeriano)

Le 9 décembre 1531, alors qu'il se rendait à la messe, la Vierge Marie lui apparut sur la colline Tepeyac, à l'extérieur de ce qui est maintenant la ville de Mexico. Elle lui demanda d'aller voir l'évêque et de demander la construction d'un sanctuaire en ce lieu, promettant de donner des grâces à ceux qui l'y invoqueraient. L'évêque ne crut pas Juan Diego et demanda une preuve. Le 12 décembre, Juan Diego retourna à Tepeyac et, là, la Vierge lui dit de monter la colline et de récolter toutes les fleurs qu'il pouvait trouver. Bien que ce soit l'hiver, il trouva des roses que la Vierge plaça dans son manteau et elle lui dit d'aller les porter à l'évêque. Quand il ouvrit son manteau, les fleurs se répandirent sur le sol et à la place resta une image de Notre-Dame, l'apparition de Tepeyac.

Avec l'autorisation de l'évêque Juan Diego vecut en ermite dans une hutte près de la chapelle où l'image miraculeuse a été placée pour la vénération.

Plus profondément que la grâce 'extérieure' reçue lors de l'apparition, Juan Diego reçut la grâce 'intérieure' de la révélation et à partir de ce moment dédia sa vie à la prière et à la pratique de l'amour et de la charité pour Dieu et pour les hommes.

Béatifié le 6 mai 1990 par Jean-Paul II en la basilique Sainte Marie de Guadalupe, Mexico.

Canonisé le 31 juillet 2002 par Jean-Paul II, homelie de la célébration.

Mémoire de saint Jean Diégo Cuautitlatuazin. De race indienne, d’une foi très pure, avec humilité et ferveur, il fit construire un sanctuaire sur la colline de Tepeyac près de Mexico, où la Vierge Marie lui était apparue et où il fut inhumé vers 1548.

Martyrologe romain

"Je te bénis, Père, Seigneur du ciel et de la terre, d'avoir caché cela aux sages et aux intelligents et de l'avoir révélé aux tout-petits. Oui, Père car tel a été ton bon plaisir" 

(Mt 11, 25-26).



Miguel Cabrera (1695–1768). Juan Diego, 1752


VOYAGE APOSTOLIQUE À TORONTO,
À CIUDAD DE GUATEMALA ET À CIUDAD DE MÉXICO  

CANONISATION DU BIENHEUREUX
JUAN DIEGO CUAUHTLATOATZIN

CÉLÉBRATION EUCHARISTIQUE

HOMÉLIE DU PAPE JEAN-PAUL II

Basilique Notre-Dame de Guadalupe, mercredi 31 juillet 2002

 
1. "Je te bénis, Père, Seigneur du ciel et de la terre, d'avoir caché cela aux sages et aux intelligents et de l'avoir révélé aux tout-petits. Oui, Père car tel a été ton bon plaisir" (Mt 11, 25-26).

Très chers frères et soeurs:  ces paroles de Jésus dans l'Evangile d'aujourd'hui constituent pour nous une invitation particulière à louer et à rendre grâce à Dieu pour le don du premier saint autochtone du continent américain.

C'est avec une grande joie que je viens  en  pèlerinage dans cette basilique de Guadalupe, coeur marial du Mexique et de l'Amérique, pour proclamer la sainteté de Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, simple et humble indio qui contempla le visage doux et serein de la Vierge de Tepeyac, si cher aux populations du Mexique.

2. Je remercie Monsieur le Cardinal Norberto Carrera Rivera, Archevêque de Mexico, pour les paroles affectueuses qu'il m'a adressées, ainsi que les hommes et les femmes de cet archidiocèse primatial, pour leur accueil chaleureux:  j'adresse à tous mon plus cordial salut. Je salue avec affection également le Cardinal Ernesto Corripio Ahumada, Archevêque émérite de Mexico, ainsi que les autres Cardinaux, les Evêques mexicains, de l'Amérique, des Philippines et d'autres parties du monde. Dans le même temps, je remercie de façon particulière Monsieur le Président et les Autorités civiles pour leur participation à cette célébration.

J'adresse aujourd'hui un salut particulièrement affectueux aux nombreux autochtones venus des diverses régions du pays, représentant les diverses ethnies et cultures qui constituent la réalité mexicaine riche et multiforme. Le Pape leur exprime sa proximité, son profond respect et son admiration, et les accueille fraternellement au nom du Seigneur.

3. Comment était Juan Diego? Pourquoi Dieu fixa-t-il son regard sur lui? Le Livre de l'Ecclésiastique, comme nous venons de l'entendre, nous enseigne que "grande est la puissance du Seigneur, mais il est honoré par les humbles" (3, 20). De même, les paroles de saint Paul proclamées au cours de cette célébration éclairent cette façon divine de réaliser le salut: "ce qui dans le monde est sans naissance et ce que l'on méprise, voilà ce que Dieu a choisi; ce qui n'est pas, pour réduire à rien ce qui est, afin qu'aucune chair n'aille se glorifier devant Dieu" (1 Co 1, 28.29).

Il est émouvant de lire les récits de Guadalupe écrits avec délicatesse et empreints de tendresse. En eux, la Vierge Marie, la servante "qui exalte le Seigneur" (Lc 1, 46), se manifeste à Juan Diego  comme  la Mère du vrai Dieu. Elle lui donne, comme signe, des roses précieuses et, lorsqu'il les montre à l'Evêque, il découvre représentée sur son manteau l'image bénie de Notre-Dame.

"L'événement de Guadalupe - comme l'a souligné l'épiscopat mexicain - signifia le début de l'évangélisation avec une vitalité qui dépassa toutes les attentes. Le message du Christ, à travers sa Mère, reprit les éléments centraux de la culture autochtone, les purifia et leur donna leur signification définitive de salut" (14 mai 2002, n. 8). C'est pourquoi Guadalupe et Juan Diego revêtent une signification ecclésiale et missionnaire profonde et sont un modèle d'évangélisation parfaitement inculturée.

4. "Du haut des cieux Yahvé regarde, il voit tous les fils d'Adam" (Ps 32, 13), avons-nous proclamé avec le Psalmiste, confessant une fois de plus notre foi en Dieu, qui ne fait pas de distinc-tion de race ou de culture. Juan Diego, en accueillant le message chrétien sans renoncer à son identité autochtone, découvrit la profonde vérité de la nouvelle humanité, dans laquelle tous sont appelés à être fils de Dieu. De cette façon, il facilita la rencontre fructueuse de deux mondes et se transforma en protagoniste  de  la nouvelle identité mexicaine, intimement unie à la Vierge de Guadalupe, dont le visage métis exprime sa maternité spirituelle qui embrasse tous les Mexicains. A travers lui, le témoignage de sa vie doit continuer à donner vigueur à la construction de la nation mexicaine, à promouvoir la fraternité entre tous ses fils et à favoriser toujours plus la réconcilition du Mexi-que avec ses origines, ses valeurs et ses traditions.

Ce noble devoir d'édifier un Mexique meilleur, plus juste et plus solidaire, exige la collaboration de chacun. En particulier, il est nécessaire de soutenir aujourd'hui tous les autochtones dans leurs aspirations légitimes, en respectant et en défendant les valeurs authentiques de chaque groupe ethnique. Le Mexique  a  besoin de ses autochtones et   les  autochtones  ont  besoin  du Mexique!
Bien-aimés frères et soeurs de toutes les ethnies du Mexique et d'Amérique, en exaltant aujourd'hui la figure de l'indio Juan Diego, je désire vous exprimer à tous la proximité de l'Eglise et du Pape, en vous embrassant avec affection et en vous exhortant à surmonter avec espérance les situations difficiles que vous traversez.

5. En ce moment décisif de l'histoire du Mexique, alors que le seuil du nouveau millénaire a déjà été franchi, je confie à la puissante intercession de saint Juan Diego les joies et les espérances, les craintes et les problèmes du bien-aimé peuple mexicain, que je porte dans mon coeur.

Béni soit Juan Diego, indio bon et chrétien, que le peuple simple a toujours considéré comme un vrai saint! Nous te demandons d'accompagner l'Eglise en pèlerinage au Mexique, afin qu'elle soit chaque jour et toujours plus, évangélisatrice et missionnaire. Encourage les Evêques, soutiens les prêtres, suscite de nouvelles et saintes vocations, aide tous ceux qui offrent leur vie pour la cause du Christ et pour la diffusion de son Royaume.

Heureux Juan Diego, homme fidèle et authentique! Nous te confions nos frères et soeurs laïcs, afin que, se sentant appelés à la sainteté, ils diffusent l'esprit évangélique dans tous les domaines de la vie sociale. Bénis les familles, soutiens les époux dans leur mariage, encourage les efforts des parents en vue d'éduquer leurs enfants de façon chrétienne.

Regarde avec bienveillance la douleur de tous ceux qui souffrent dans leur corps et dans l'esprit, de tous ceux qui souffrent de la pauvreté, de la solitude, de la marginalisation ou de l'ignorance. Que tous, gouvernants et gouvernés, agissent toujours selon les exigences de la justice et le respect de la dignité de tout homme, afin que se consolide la véritable paix.

Bien-aimé Juan Diego, "l'aigle qui parle"! Enseigne-nous le chemin qui conduit à la Virgen Morena de Tepeyac, afin qu'Elle nous accueille dans l'intimité de son coeur, car Elle est la Mère amoureuse et pleine de compassion qui conduit jusqu'au vrai Dieu. Amen.

Au terme de la Messe, le Pape reprenait la parole: 

A l'issue de la canonisation de Juan Diego, je souhaite renouveler mon salut à vous tous qui avez pu y participer, certains dans la basilique, d'autres dans des lieux proches et beaucoup d'autres encore à travers la radio et la télévision. Je remercie de tout coeur tous ceux que j'ai rencontrés le long des rues que j'ai parcourues, pour l'affection qu'ils m'ont témoignée. Avec le nouveau saint, vous avez un merveilleux exemple d'homme bon, à la conduite vertueuse, fils loyal de l'Eglise, docile à l'égard des Pasteurs, amoureux de la Vierge, bon disciple de Jésus. Qu'il soit un modèle pour vous qui l'aimez  tant  et  qu'il intercède pour le Mexique afin qu'il demeure toujours fidèle. Portez à tous le message de cette célébration, ainsi que le salut et l'affection du Pape à tous les Mexicains.

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana




Saint Jean Diego CUAUHTOLATOATZIN

Nom: CUAUHTOLATOATZIN

Prénom: Jean Diego (Juan Diego)

Pays: Mexique
Naissance: 1474  à Cuauhtitlan (Royaume de Texcoco)

Mort: 1548
Etat: Laïc

Note: Béatification: = Reconnaissance du culte.  -  Converti et baptisé à 48 ans (vers 1524). La Vierge Marie se manifeste à lui en décembre 1531. C'est l'origine du sanctuaire de N.D. de Guadalupe.

Béatification: 06.05.1990  à Mexico - N.D. de Guadalupe  par Jean Paul II

Canonisation: 31.07.2002  à Mexico - N.D. de Guadalupe  par Jean Paul II

Fête: 12 décembre

Réf. dans l’Osservatore Romano: 1990 n.20  -  2002 n.9 p.9-10 - n.32 p.
Réf. dans la Documentation Catholique: 1990 p.588-590

Notice brève

Cuauhtolatoatzin (‘l’aigle qui parle’), qui deviendra le voyant de Notre-Dame de Guadalupe, naît vers 1474 au Mexique. Lorsque les premiers missionnaires franciscains arrivent au pays, il est baptisé à l’âge de 48 ans et reçoit le nom de Juan Diego. Il se rend régulièrement à la ville de Mexico pour y suivre l’instruction chrétienne. Or, sur son chemin, le samedi 9 décembre 1531, en longeant la colline de Tepeyac aux approches de Mexico, il entend la Vierge qui l’appelle avec douceur. Elle lui demande qu’une église soit édifié à cet endroit. Il transmet sa requête à l’évêque qui lui demande un signe. La Sainte Vierge lui dit alors d’aller cueillir les fleurs qu’il trouvera au sommet de la colline, chose apparemment impossible vu l’aridité du lieu et le froid de la saison. Mais Juan Diego en trouve de splendides, en remplit sa ‘tilma’ (manteau) et quand il les laisse tomber aux pieds de l’évêque, celui-ci voit en même temps l’image miraculeuse de la Vierge imprimée sur la tilma, telle que nous la voyons encore aujourd’hui. Il en est bouleversé. Le récit de ces apparitions se répand rapidement dans les pays alentour, favorisant la conversion de beaucoup d’Indios (Indiens) qui se sentent immédiatement aimés et compris de cette Dame au visage métissé. Juan Diego se fait le propagateur du Message jusqu’à sa mort en 1548. Actuellement N.-D. de Guadalupe reçoit 20 millions de pèlerins par an.

Notice développée

Le voyant de Notre-Dame de Guadalupe est le premier Indien ('Indio'), le premier autochtone canonisé en Amérique. Il naît vers l'an 1474 à Cuauhtitlan (Royaume de Texcoco). Il s'appelle Cuauhtolatoatzin, ce qui veut dire "l'aigle qui parle". Vers l'an 1524, à l'âge de 48 ans, il se convertit et il est baptisé par les premiers Franciscains arrivés dans le pays. Il reçoit le nom de Juan (Jean) Diego. Dès cette époque, il vit saintement, toujours occupé à des fonctions au service du Seigneur, participant régulièrement à la 'doctrine' et aux offices divins. Tous les Indiens de cette époque le considèrent comme un homme saint et l'appelle 'le pèlerin', car ils le voyaient toujours se rendre seul, les samedis et dimanche, à la 'Doctrine ' de Tlatelolco, quartier de Mexico où réside le premier groupe de Franciscains. Là on y apprend les choses de Dieu enseignées par ceux que Jean Diego appelle 'mes bien-aimés prêtres'. Le chemin est long, il doit partir très tôt du village de Tulpetlac où il habite alors et il marche vers le sud jusqu'à longer la colline de Tepeyac proche de Mexico.
Au moment des apparitions, Jean Diego est un homme mûr d'environ 57 ans, veuf depuis à peine deux ans, sa femme Maria Lucia étant décédée en 1529. Or le samedi 9 décembre 1531, en longeant la colline de Tepeyac, il y entend un chant merveilleux et une voix douce l'appelant du haut de la colline: "Juanito, Juan Dieguito." Arrivé en haut de cette colline, il rencontre une belle Dame qui se tient debout, enveloppée d'un manteau resplendissant comme le soleil. Elle se présente comme la mère de l'unique Dieu de tous les temps et de tous les peuples, dont la volonté est que soit édifié une église en ce lieu. De là, cette mère pourra offrir tout son amour à chaque être humain. Elle lui demande ensuite de communiquer sa volonté à l'évêque Jean de Zumarraga (originaire de Castille). Les rencontres avec cet Évêque sont éprouvantes pour Jean Diego, car il doit longuement faire antichambre et l'évêque ne croit pas du premier coup. Lorsqu'il revoit la Dame, il lui demande de se faire remplacer par un messager plus noble car il est un homme des champs, une personne sans importance et, en termes affectueux, il ajoute: "Ma Vierge, ma fille la plus petite, ma Dame, mon enfant, s'il te plaît, dispense-moi; j'affligerai de peine ton visage; je tomberai dans ton mépris, ma Reine et Patronne." La Reine du Ciel lui répond avec la même familiarité et la même tendresse en l'appelant 'le plus petit de mes fils', mais elle insiste 'avec fermeté' pour qu'il aille une deuxième fois trouver l'Évêque. Jean  Diego y va le lendemain et l'Évêque encore réticent lui demande un signe comme preuve. Le voyant est découragé d'autant plus qu'en rentrant chez lui, il trouve son oncle malade, lequel, sentant sa fin imminente, lui demande d'aller à Mexico chercher un prêtre pour lui administrer l'extrême onction.
Le 12 décembre, de bon matin, Jean Diego se met en route vers le couvent des franciscains de Tlatelolco, mais pour aller plus vite, il cherche à éviter la Dame et contourne la colline par un autre côté. Celle-ci vient à sa rencontre. Confus, il lui avoue son trouble. Elle lui répond en lui adressant les paroles les plus belles qui pénètrent au plus profond de son être: "Écoute, que ton cœur sois certain, mon fils le plus petit, que ce qui t'afflige, ce qui te fait peur n'est rien; que ton visage, ton cœur, ne se troublent point; n'aie pas peur de cette maladie, ni d'une autre maladie, ni d'aucune autre douleur. Ne suis-je pas ici, moi qui suis ta mère? N'es-tu pas sous mon ombre et ma protection? Ne suis-je pas la source de ta joie? N'es-tu pas sous les plis de mon manteau, entouré de mes bras? As-tu besoin d'autre chose?" Et la Mère de Dieu le rassure: "Qu'aucune autre chose ne t'afflige, ne te trouble; que la maladie de ton oncle ne t'opprime pas de douleur, car il ne mourra pas. Sois certain qu'il va déjà mieux." En effet à cet instant précis, la 'Très Sainte Marie' apparaît aussi à l'oncle et lui redonne la santé comme Jean Diego l'apprendra plus tard. Et pour qu'il puisse présenter à l'Évêque une preuve de son message, elle lui ordonne de monter au sommet de la colline où ils s'étaient rencontrés la première fois et elle lui dit: "Là, tu verras qu'il y a des fleurs; cueille-les, fais-en un bouquet puis descends et tu les porteras ici, devant moi." Lui obéissant avec confiance, Jean Diego gravit la colline bien qu'il sache qu'il n'y a aucune fleur en cet endroit caillouteux et aride. De plus on est en plein hiver, il fait très froid et la terre est gelée. Arrivé au sommet, il est saisi d'émerveillement, car devant lui il y a un beau jardin plein de multiples fleurs fraîches, couvertes de rosée, qui diffusent un parfum très doux, notamment des roses castillanes, délicate attention de la Vierge à l'égard de l'Évêque. Jean Diego commence alors à couper toutes les fleurs que peut contenir sa 'tilma' (manteau) et la Sainte Vierge l'envoie ainsi trouver l'Évêque. Au terme d'une longue attente il se retrouve pour la troisième fois devant lui. Il ouvre son manteau d'où tombent les fleurs. Et sur le manteau est peinte l'image de la Sainte Vierge Marie telle qu'on la voit encore aujourd'hui. Stupeur de l'Évêque et de son entourage. Il pleure et demande pardon de ne pas avoir réalisé la volonté du ciel. Jean Diego lui révèle le nom exact de la Dame: "la parfaite Sainte Vierge Marie de Guadalupe", Guadalupe étant déjà le nom d'un pèlerinage marial en Espagne. Toute la ville est en émoi. On admire la façon miraculeuse dont l'image est peinte. Aucun homme n'aurait pu faire cela.
Après les apparitions, Jean Diego reçoit l'autorisation d'habiter à côté de l'ermitage qui abrite l'image. Il veut être près du sanctuaire pour s'en occuper tous les jours, surtout le nettoyer, ce qui pour les autochtones est un véritable honneur, ceux-ci manifestant un grand respect pour les choses saintes. En effet les anciens, même les plus importants, se réjouissent de balayer les églises; ils conservent ainsi l'usage de leurs ancêtres au temps du paganisme lorsqu'ils montraient leur dévotion, même les riches, en nettoyant les temples. La grâce extérieure de la vision et du miracle s'accompagne d'une grâce intérieure pour Jean Diego: il prie, jeûne et recherche le silence. Disponible à tous ceux qui viennent vénérer l'image, il refait inlassablement son récit, si bien que l'histoire des apparitions se répand rapidement et s'étend non seulement au Mexique, mais dans toutes les Amériques. (Ainsi l'île de Guadeloupe porte son nom). A la suite des apparitions l'évangélisation des autochtones se fait rapidement et de façon inespérée, car au début elle piétinait. Les Indiens ont compris que cela les concerne aussi et que Notre-Dame les aime. Jean Diego meurt en 1548.
Depuis le début, la facture inexplicable de cette image a été pour les Mexicains une preuve de véracité du message. Et les analyses scientifiques récentes les plus poussées n'ont fait que confirmer ce caractère extraordinaire. Notamment parce que le tissu de la tilma, fabriqué à partir de feuilles d'agave, n'a normalement qu'une durée maximum de 20 ans. Or il est resté intact depuis l'apparition malgré l'humidité du lieu. Au contraire, certaines retouches faites au cours des âges commencent déjà à se dégrader ou à disparaître. En 1921, une bombe a été placée près de l'image pour la détruire. Tout a été démoli autour, même des marches de marbre du maître-autel et des vitres des maisons voisines, mais l'image est restée intacte et même le globe de verre qui la recouvrait.
L'Amérique a reconnu en Sainte Marie de Guadalupe "un grand exemple d'évangélisation parfaitement inculturée", soit par rapport au voyant qui a gardé son identité indienne, soit par rapport à l'image elle-même qui représente une personne métissée, marquant ainsi la vocation de l'Amérique d'être un point de rencontre pacifique entre des cultures et des peuples d'origines différentes. Notre-Dame de Guadalupe est "l'étoile de l'évangélisation des Amériques". Actuellement le sanctuaire reçoit 20 millions de pèlerins par an. C'est la plus forte affluence mondiale pour un sanctuaire. A la fin de la messe de canonisation de Jean Diego, le Pape a improvisé cette adresse aux Mexicains: "Avec le nouveau saint, vous avez un merveilleux exemple d'homme bon, à la conduite vertueuse, fils loyal de l'Église, docile à l'égard des Pasteurs, amoureux de la Vierge, bon disciple de Jésus."






Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin 

(1474-1548)

St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548). Little is known about the life of Juan Diego before his conversion, but tradition and archaelogical and iconographical sources, along with the most important and oldest indigenous document on the event of Guadalupe, "El Nican Mopohua" (written in Náhuatl with Latin characters, 1556, by the Indigenous writer Antonio Valeriano), give some information on the life of the saint and the apparitions.

Juan Diego was born in 1474 with the name "Cuauhtlatoatzin" ("the talking eagle") in Cuautlitlán, today part of Mexico City, Mexico. He was a gifted member of the Chichimeca people, one of the more culturally advanced groups living in the Anáhuac Valley.

When he was 50 years old he was baptized by a Franciscan priest, Fr Peter da Gand, one of the first Franciscan missionaries. On 9 December 1531, when Juan Diego was on his way to morning Mass, the Blessed Mother appeared to him on Tepeyac Hill, the outskirts of what is now Mexico City. She asked him to go to the Bishop and to request in her name that a shrine be built at Tepeyac, where she promised to pour out her grace upon those who invoked her. The Bishop, who did not believe Juan Diego, asked for a sign to prove that the apparition was true. On 12 December, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac. Here, the Blessed Mother told him to climb the hill and to pick the flowers that he would find in bloom. He obeyed, and although it was winter time, he found roses flowering. He gathered the flowers and took them to Our Lady who carefully placed them in his mantle and told him to take them to the Bishop as "proof". When he opened his mantle, the flowers fell on the ground and there remained impressed, in place of the flowers, an image of the Blessed Mother, the apparition at Tepeyac.

With the Bishop's permission, Juan Diego lived the rest of his life as a hermit in a small hut near the chapel where the miraculous image was placed for veneration. Here he cared for the church and the first pilgrims who came to pray to the Mother of Jesus.

Much deeper than the "exterior grace" of having been "chosen" as Our Lady's "messenger", Juan Diego received the grace of interior enlightenment and from that moment, he began a life dedicated to prayer and the practice of virtue and boundless love of God and neighbour. He died in 1548 and was buried in the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. He was beatified on 6 May 1990 by Pope John Paul II in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Guadalupe, Mexico City.

The miraculous image, which is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, shows a woman with native features and dress. She is supported by an angel whose wings are reminiscent of one of the major gods of the traditional religion of that area. The moon is beneath her feet and her blue mantle is covered with gold stars. The black girdle about her waist signifies that she is pregnant. Thus, the image graphically depicts the fact that Christ is to be "born" again among the peoples of the New World, and is a message as relevant to the "New World" today as it was during the lifetime of Juan Diego.




APOSTOLIC VISIT TO TORONTO,

TO CIUDAD DE GUATEMALA AND TO CIUDAD DE MÉXICO

CANONIZATION OF JUAN DIEGO CUAUHTLATOATZIN

HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II

Mexico City, Wednesday July 31, 2002


1. "I thank you, Father ... that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was your gracious will" (Mt 11:25-26).

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

These words of Jesus in today's Gospel are a special invitation to us to praise and thank God for the gift of the first indigenous Saint of the American Continent.

With deep joy I have come on pilgrimage to this Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Marian heart of Mexico and of America, to proclaim the holiness of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, the simple, humble Indian who contemplated the sweet and serene face of Our Lady of Tepeyac, so dear to the people of Mexico.

2. I am grateful for the kind words of Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Archbishop of Mexico City, and for the warm hospitality of the people of this Primatial Archdiocese: my cordial greeting goes to everyone. I also greet with affection Cardinal Ernesto Corripio Ahumada, Archbishop Emeritus of Mexico City, and the other Cardinals, as well as the Bishops of Mexico, of America, of the Philippines and of other places in the world. I am likewise particularly grateful to the President and the civil Authorities for their presence at this celebration.

Today I address a very affectionate greeting to the many indigenous people who have come from the different regions of the country, representing the various ethnic groups and cultures which make up the rich, multifaceted Mexican reality. The Pope expresses his closeness to them, his deep respect and admiration, and receives them fraternally in the Lord's name.

3. What was Juan Diego like? Why did God look upon him? The Book of Sirach, as we have heard, teaches us that God alone "is mighty; he is glorified by the humble" (cf. Sir 3:20). Saint Paul's words, also proclaimed at this celebration, shed light on the divine way of bringing about salvation: "God chose what is low and despised in the world ... so that no human being might boast in the presence of God" (1 Cor 1:28,29).

It is moving to read the accounts of Guadalupe, sensitively written and steeped in tenderness. In them the Virgin Mary, the handmaid "who glorified the Lord" (Lk 1:46), reveals herself to Juan Diego as the Mother of the true God. As a sign, she gives him precious roses, and as he shows them to the Bishop, he discovers the blessed image of Our Lady imprinted on his tilma.

"The Guadalupe Event", as the Mexican Episcopate has pointed out, "meant the beginning of evangelization with a vitality that surpassed all expectations. Christ's message, through his Mother, took up the central elements of the indigenous culture, purified them and gave them the definitive sense of salvation" (14 May 2002, No. 8). Consequently Guadalupe and Juan Diego have a deep ecclesial and missionary meaning and are a model of perfectly inculturated evangelization. 

4. "The Lord looks down from heaven, he sees all the sons of men" (Ps 33:13), we recited with the Psalmist, once again confessing our faith in God, who makes no distinctions of race or culture. In accepting the Christian message without forgoing his indigenous identity, Juan Diego discovered the profound truth of the new humanity, in which all are called to be children of God. Thus he facilitated the fruitful meeting of two worlds and became the catalyst for the new Mexican identity, closely united to Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose mestizo face expresses her spiritual motherhood which embraces all Mexicans. This is why the witness of his life must continue to be the inspiration for the building up of the Mexican nation, encouraging brotherhood among all its children and ever helping to reconcile Mexico with its origins, values and traditions.

The noble task of building a better Mexico, with greater justice and solidarity, demands the cooperation of all. In particular, it is necessary today to support the indigenous peoples in their legitimate aspirations, respecting and defending the authentic values of each ethnic group. Mexico needs its indigenous peoples and these peoples need Mexico!

Beloved bothers and sisters of every ethnic background of Mexico and America, today, in praising the Indian Juan Diego, I want to express to all of you the closeness of the Church and the Pope, embracing you with love and encouraging you to overcome with hope the difficult times you are going through.

5. At this decisive moment in Mexico's history, having already crossed the threshold of the new millennium, I entrust to the powerful intercession of Saint Juan Diego the joys and hopes, the fears and anxieties of the beloved Mexican people, whom I carry in my heart. 

Blessed Juan Diego, a good, Christian Indian, whom simple people have always considered a saint! We ask you to accompany the Church on her pilgrimage in Mexico, so that she may be more evangelizing and more missionary each day. Encourage the Bishops, support the priests, inspire new and holy vocations, help all those who give their lives to the cause of Christ and the spread of his Kingdom.

Happy Juan Diego, true and faithful man! We entrust to you our lay brothers and sisters so that, feeling the call to holiness, they may imbue every area of social life with the spirit of the Gospel. Bless families, strengthen spouses in their marriage, sustain the efforts of parents to give their children a Christian upbringing. Look with favour upon the pain of those who are suffering in body or in spirit, on those afflicted by poverty, loneliness, marginalization or ignorance. May all people, civic leaders and ordinary citizens, always act in accordance with the demands of justice and with respect for the dignity of each person, so that in this way peace may be reinforced.

Beloved Juan Diego, "the talking eagle"! Show us the way that leads to the "Dark Virgin" of Tepeyac, that she may receive us in the depths of her heart, for she is the loving, compassionate Mother who guides us to the true God. Amen.

After the celebration, before imparting the final blessing the Holy Father said: 

At the end of the canonization of Juan Diego, I want to renew my greeting to all of you who have been able to take part, some in this basilica, others in the nearby areas and many others by means of radio and television. I warmly thank all those I have met in the streets for their affection. In this new saint you have a marvellous example of a just and upright man, a loyal son of the Church, docile to his Pastors, who deeply loved the Virgin and was a faithful disciple of Jesus. May he be a model for you who are so attached to him, and may he intercede for Mexico so that it may always be faithful! Take to all Mexicans the message of this celebration and the Pope's greeting and love for them all!

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


SOURCE : http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/homilies/2002/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20020731_canonization-mexico.html


Statues de Juan Diego et de l’évêque Juan de Zumárraga 
devant la  St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church ,Los Angeles, Californie


Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin

Témoin des apparitions de Notre-Dame de Guadalupe

Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoazin (l'aigle qui parlenaît en 1474 à Cuautlitlán, devenu aujourd’hui un quartier de Mexico.

On sait peu de choses de Juan Diego avant sa conversion. La tradition, diverses sources archéologiques et iconographiques, ainsi que le « Nican Mopohua », le document le plus important et le plus ancien au sujet des événements de Guadalupe (écrit en Náhuatl en caractères latins par l’auteur indigène Antonio Valeriano en 1556), rapportent certaines informations sur sa vie et les apparitions.

Membre du peuple de Chichimeca, un des peuples les plus avancés sur le plan culturel de la vallée d’Anáhuac, il se distinguait par son talent.

À 50 ans, il fut baptisé par un des premiers missionnaires franciscains, le P. Pierre da Gand.

Alors qu’il se rendait à la messe, le matin du 9 décembre 1531, la Sainte Vierge lui apparut sur la colline de Tepeyac, qui se situe dans la banlieue actuelle de Mexico. Elle le pria de demander à son évêque de faire construire en son nom un sanctuaire à Tepeyac. Elle fit la promesse que ceux qui y invoqueraient son nom recevraient de nombreuses grâces. L’évêque, qui ne croyait pas Juan Diego, réclama un signe prouvant la véracité de l’apparition.

Le 12 décembre, Juan Diego retourna à Tepeyac. Là, la Sainte Mère lui demanda de monter sur la colline et de ramasser les fleurs épanouies qu’il verrait. Il obéit, et bien que ce fût l’hiver, il trouva des roses florissantes. Ayant ramassé les fleurs, il les apporta à Notre-Dame qui les plaça dans son manteau avec délicatesse et lui dit de les donner à l’évêque comme preuve.

Quand il ouvrit son manteau devant l’évêque, les fleurs tombèrent à terre et une image de la Sainte Vierge et de l’apparition de Tepeyac resta imprégnée sur l'étoffe.

Avec la permission de l’évêque, Juan Diego vécut le reste de sa vie en ermite dans une cabane proche de la chapelle où l’image miraculeuse avait été placée pour être vénérée. Il s’occupa de la chapelle et des premiers pèlerins qui vinrent y prier la Mère de Jésus.

Juan Diego reçut une grâce bien plus profonde que celle extérieure d’avoir été choisi comme le messager de Notre Dame. Il reçut la grâce de l’illumination intérieure, et à partir de ce moment, il commença une vie de prière, de vertu et d’amour sans limite pour Dieu et son prochain.

Il meurt en 1548 et fut enterré dans la première chapelle dédiée à la Vierge de Guadalupe.

Juan Diego a été béatifié le 6 mai 1990 en la basilique Sainte Marie de Guadalupe à Mexico et canonisé le 31 juillet 2002, par saint Jean Paul II (Karol Józef Wojtyła, 1978-2005), lors de sa 5ème visite pastorale au Mexique.

L’image miraculeuse, qui est gardée dans la basilique de Notre Dame de Guadalupe, décrit une femme revêtue de l’habit local et ayant les traits d'une indigène. Elle est portée par un ange dont les ailes rappellent l’un des plus grands dieux de la religion traditionnelle locale. La Lune est sous ses pieds et son manteau bleu est recouvert d’étoiles dorées. La ceinture noire à sa taille signifie qu´elle est enceinte.

Le sanctuaire de Notre-Dame de Guadalupe est, après la basilique Saint-Pierre du Vatican le lieu de culte catholique qui attire le plus de pèlerins. Les jours de plus grande affluence sont ceux qui précèdent et suivent la fête de la Vierge de Guadalupe le 12 décembre où près de 9 millions de fidèles et de touristes assistent aux festivités et viennent vénérer la relique de Juan Diego.

Pour approfondir, lire : >>> Cérémonie de canonisation


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©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

SOURCE : http://www.levangileauquotidien.org/main.php?language=FR&module=saintfeast&localdate=20151209&id=14002&fd=0



Saint Juan Diego
St. Juan Diego was born in 1474 in the calpulli or ward of Tlayacac in Cuauhtitlan, which was established in 1168 by Nahua tribesmen and conquered by the Aztec lord Axayacatl in 1467; and was located 20 kilometers (14 miles) north of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City).
On December 9, 1531, St. Juan Diego rose before dawn to walk fifteen miles to daily Mass in what is now Mexico City. Juan lived a simple life as a weaver, farmer, and laborer. That morning, as Juan passed Tepeyac Hill, he heard music and saw a glowing cloud encircled by a rainbow. A woman’s voice called him to the top of the hill. There he saw a beautiful young woman dressed like an Aztec princess. She said she was the Virgin Mary and asked Juan to tell the bishop to build a church on that site. She said, “I vividly desire that a church be built on this site, so that in it I can be present and give my love, compassion, help, and defense, for I am your most devoted mother . . . to hear your laments and to remedy all your miseries, pains, and sufferings.”
The bishop was kind but skeptical. He asked Juan to bring proof of the Lady’s identity. Before Juan could go back to the Lady, he found out his uncle was dying. Hurrying to get a priest, Juan missed his meeting with the Lady. The Lady, however, met him on his path and told him that his uncle had been cured.
She then told Juan to climb to the top of the hill where they first met. Juan was shocked to find flowers growing in the frozen soil. He gathered them in his cloak and took them at once to the bishop.
Juan told the bishop what had happened and opened his cloak. The flowers that fell to the ground were Castilian roses (which were not grown in Mexico). But the bishop’s eyes were on the glowing image of the Lady imprinted inside Juan’s cloak.
Soon after, a church was built on the site where our Lady appeared, and thousands converted to Christianity. Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared the patroness of the Americas. He died on May 30, 1548, at the age of 74.
Juan Diego deeply loved the Holy Eucharist, and by special permission of the Bishop he received Holy Communion three times a week, a highly unusual occurrence in those times.
Pope John Paul II praised Juan Diego for his simple faith nourished by catechesis and pictured him (who said to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “I am a nobody, I am a small rope, a tiny ladder, the tail end, a leaf”) as a model of humility for all of us.




Saint Juan Diego and Our Lady

·         FR. WILLIAM SAUNDERS

The story begins in the early morning hours of December 9, 1531, when a 57-year-old Indian peasant named Juan Diego was walking along the path of Tepayec Hill on the outskirts of Mexico City.
eep in mind that only 10 years earlier, Hernando Cortez had conquered Mexico City. In 1523, Franciscan missionaries came evangelizing the Indian people. They were so successful that the Diocese of Mexico City was established in 1528. (Remember too that Jamestown, the first permanent English colony, was not established until 1607.) Juan Diego and many of his family members were among these early converts to the faith. He was baptized "Juan Diego" in 1525 along with his wife, Maria Lucia, and his uncle Juan Bernardino.

One must also not forget that Juan Diego had grown up under Aztec oppression. The Aztec religious practices, which included human sacrifice, play an interesting and integral role in this story. Every major Aztec city had a temple pyramid, about 100 feet high, on top of which was erected an altar. Upon this altar, the Aztec priests offered human sacrifice to their god Huitzilopochtli, called the "Lover of Hearts and Drinker of Blood," by cutting out the beating hearts of their victims, usually adult men but often children. Considering that the Aztecs controlled 371 towns and the law required 1,000 human sacrifices for each town with a temple pyramid, over 50,000 human beings were sacrificed each year. Moreover, the early Mexican historian Ixtlilxochitl estimated that one out of every five children fell victim to this bloodthirsty religion.

In 1487, when Juan Diego was just 13 years old, he would have witnessed the most horrible event: Tlacaellel, the 89-year-old Aztec ruler, dedicated the new temple pyramid of the sun, dedicated to the two chief gods of the Aztec pantheon Huitzilopochtli and Tezcatlipoca, (the god of hell and darkness) in the center of Tenochtitlan (later Mexico City). The temple pyramid was 100 feet high with 114 steps to reach the top. More than 80,000 men were sacrificed over a period of four days and four nights. While this number of sacrifices seems incredible, evidence indicates it took only 15 seconds to cut the heart out of each victim. (For more information, see Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness by Dr. Warren Carroll.)

Nevertheless, in 1520, Hernando Cortes outlawed human sacrifice. He stripped the temple pyramid of its two idols, cleansed the stone of its blood and erected a new altar. Cortez, his soldiers and Father Olmedo then ascended the stairs with the Holy Cross and images of the Blessed Mother and St. Christopher. Upon this new altar, Father Olmedo offered the sacrifice of the Mass. Upon what had been the place of evil pagan sacrifice, now the unbloody, eternal and true sacrifice of our Lord was offered. Such an action, however, sparked the all-out war with the Aztecs, whom Cortez finally subdued in August 1521.

Now back to our story. That morning Juan Diego was headed to Mass. As he walked along Tepeyac Hill, he began to hear beautiful strains of music, and he saw a beautiful lady, who called his name: "Juanito, Juan Dieguito." He approached, and she said, "Know for certain, least of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, the true God, through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of Heaven and earth. It is my earnest wish that a temple be built here to my honor. Here I will demonstrate, I will manifest, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, and of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities, and misfortunes."

She told Juan Diego to go tell Bishop Zumarraga of her desire for a church to be built at the site. Tradition holds that Juan Diego asked our Blessed Mother her name. She responded in his native language of Nahuatl, "Tlecuatlecupe," which means "the one who crushes the head of the serpent" (a clear reference to Genesis 3:15 and perhaps to the prominent symbol of the Aztec religion). "Tlecuatlecupe" when correctly pronounced, sounds remarkably similar to "Guadalupe." Consequently, when Juan Diego told Bishop Zumarraga her name in his native tongue, he probably confused it with the familiar Spanish name "Guadalupe," a city with a prominent Marian shrine.

Bishop Zumarraga was a saintly man, very just and compassionate. He built the first hospital, library and university in the Americas. He also was the Protector of the Indians, entrusted by Emperor Charles V to enforce his decree issued in August 1530, stating, "No person shall dare to make a single Indian a slave whether in war or in peace. Whether by barter, by purchase, by trade, or on any other pretext or cause whatever." (Note that in 1537 Pope Paul III condemned and forbade the enslavement of the Native American Indian.) However, Bishop Zumarraga listened patiently to Juan Diego, and said he would reflect on the matter, understandably doubting such a story.

Juan Diego went back to Tepayac and reported the bishop's response. Mary instructed him to try again. So the next day, he did. Although this time it was more difficult to see the bishop, Juan Diego prevailed, and the bishop once more listened patiently. However, the bishop asked him to bring back a sign from Mary to prove the story. Again, Juan Diego reported the matter to our Blessed Mother, who told him to return the next day to receive "the sign" for the bishop.

On December 11, Juan Diego spent the day caring for his very sick uncle, Juan Bernardino. He asked Juan Diego to go and bring a priest who would hear his confession and administer the last rites. On December 12, Juan Diego set out again, but avoided Tepeyac Hill because he was ashamed that he had not returned the previous day as our Blessed Mother had requested. While making his detour, the Blessed Mother stopped him and said, "Hear and let it penetrate into your heart, my dear little son: let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you. Let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Also, do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?" Mary reassured Juan Diego that his uncle would not die; in fact, his health had been restored.

 As for the sign for the bishop, Mary told Juan Diego to go to the top of the mountain and pick some flowers. He went up to the hill which was dry and barren a place for cactus and found roses like those grown in Castille, but foreign to Mexico. He gathered them in his tilma, a garment like a poncho. He brought them to Mary who arranged them and said to take them to the bishop.


Juan Diego proceeded again to Bishop Zumarraga's house. After waiting a while for an audience, he repeated the message to the bishop and opened his tilma to present the roses. The bishop saw not only the beautiful flowers but also the beautiful image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Bishop Zumarraga wept at the sight of the Blessed Mother and asked forgiveness for doubting. He took the tilma and laid it at the altar in his chapel. By Christmas of that year, an adobe structure was built atop Tepeyac Hill in honor of our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and it was dedicated on December 26, 1531, the feast of St. Stephen the Martyr.

December 9 marks the feast day of Saint Juan Diego and December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Acknowledgement

Saunders, Rev. William. "Saint Juan Diego and Our Lady." Arlington Catholic Herald.
This article is reprinted with permission from Arlington Catholic Herald.

The Author

Father William P. Saunders is pastor of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Potomac Falls and former dean of the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. Father has been writing his weekly "Straight Answers" column for the Arlington Catholic Herald since 1993. The above article is one of those "Straight Answers" columns. Father Saunders is the author of Straight Answers, Answers to 100 Questions about the Catholic Faith, a book based on 100 of his columns and published by Cathedral Press in Baltimore.

Copyright © 2004 Arlington Catholic Herald


SOURCE : http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/saint-juan-diego-and-our-lady.html


ST. JUAN DIEGO


On Dec. 9, Roman Catholics celebrate St. Juan Diego, the indigenous Mexican Catholic convert whose encounter with the Virgin Mary began the Church's devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In 1474, 50 years before receiving the name Juan Diego at his baptism, a boy named Cuauhtlatoatzin -- “singing eagle” -- was born in the Anahuac Valley of present-day Mexico. Though raised according to the Aztec pagan religion and culture, he showed an unusual and mystical sense of life even before hearing the Gospel from Franciscan missionaries.
In 1524, Cuauhtlatoatzin and his wife converted and entered the Catholic Church. The farmer now known as Juan Diego was committed to his faith, often walking long distances to receive religious instruction. In 1531, he would be the recipient of a world-changing miracle.
On Dec. 9, Juan Diego was hurrying to Mass to celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. But the woman he was heading to church to celebrate, came to him instead.
In the native Aztec dialect, the radiant woman announced herself as the “ever-perfect holy Mary, who has the honor to be the mother of the true God.”
“I am your compassionate Mother, yours and that of all the people that live together in this land,” she continued, “and also of all the other various lineages of men.”
She asked Juan Diego to make a request of the local bishop. “I want very much that they build my sacred little house here” -- a house dedicated to her son Jesus Christ, on the site of a former pagan temple, that would “show him” to all Mexicans and “exalt him” throughout the world.
She was asking a great deal of a native farmer. Not surprisingly, his bold request met with skepticism from Bishop Juan de Zumárraga. But Juan Diego said he would produce proof of the apparition, after he finished tending to his uncle whose death seemed imminent.
Making his way to church on Dec. 12, to summon a priest for his uncle, Juan Diego again encountered the Blessed Virgin. She promised to cure his uncle and give him a sign to display for the bishop. On the hill where they had first met he would find roses and other flowers, though it was winter.
Doing as she asked, he found the flowers and brought them back to her. The Virgin Mary then placed the flowers inside his tilma, the traditional garment he had been wearing. She told him not to unwrap the tilma containing the flowers, until he had reached the bishop.
When he did, Bishop Zumárraga had his own encounter with Our Lady of Guadalupe – through the image of her that he found miraculously imprinted on the flower-filled tilma. The Mexico City basilica that now houses the tilma has become, by some estimates, the world's most-visited Catholic shrine.
The miracle that brought the Gospel to millions of Mexicans also served to deepen Juan Diego's own spiritual life. For many years after the experience, he lived a solitary life of prayer and work in a hermitage near the church where the image was first displayed. Pilgrims had already begun flocking to the site by the time he died on Dec. 9, 1548, the anniversary of the first apparition.
Blessed John Paul II beatified St. Juan Diego in 1990, and canonized him in 2002.
SOURCE : http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/saint.php?n=409


Saint Juan Diego

Also known as
  • Cuauhtlatoatzin
  • Juan Diego Cuautlatoatzin
Profile
Born an impoverished free man in a strongly class-conscious society. Farm worker, field labourer, and mat maker. Married layman with no children. A mystical and religious man even as a pagan, he became an adult convert to Christianity around age 50, taking the name Juan Diego. Widower in 1529. Visionary to whom the Virgin Mary appeared at Guadalupe on 9 December 1531, leaving him the image known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Born


December 9: Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin

Posted by Jacob

Today, December 9, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548), visionary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the first Catholic saint indigenous to the Americas. Saint Juan is a model of Christian steadfastness, walking 15 miles to attend Mass each day, and an example of profound humility, stating to Our Blessed Mother: “I am a nobody, I am a small rope, a tiny ladder, the tail end, a leaf.”

Little is factually known about the life of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin before his conversion at age 50 by Franciscan missionaries. However, tradition, archeological, and iconographical sources, along with the indigenous document detailing the events of the apparitions at Guadalupe (“El nican Mopohua,” written in Náhuatl with Latin characters in 1556) shed some light on this simple and holy man.

Born with the name "Cuauhtlatoatzin" (which means "the talking eagle") in Cuautlitlán, (modern-day Mexico City), Mexico, Juan was a member of the Chichimeca people, a culturally advanced group living in Anáhuac Valley. Thought to an average man, of neither the upper respected classes of priests, warriors and merchants, but also not a slave, Juan is likely to have owned a small house and farmed a small tract of land. He was happily married, although had no children. The remainder of his life is lost to history until his encounter with Franciscan priest, Father Peter da Gand. At age 50, Juan accepted Christ into his life, converting to Catholicism and being baptized. Every day thereafter, he walked more than 15 miles barefoot to attend daily Mass.

The events of December 9, 1531, occurred during his usual morning walk, when on the crest of Tepeyac Hill (outside Mexico City), the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him. Known as Our Lady of Guadalupe (whose feast we celebrate in just 3 days on December 12), Our Lady requested that Juan visit the local bishop and request that a shrine be built in her name. She further promised to pour out her unending grace on those who invoked her. Our Lady talked to Juan in his language, Nahuatl. She called him "Juanito, Juan Dieguito,” "the most humble of my sons,” "my son the least,” and "my little dear.”


Indeed a humble man, Juan obediently visited the bishop, who did not believe the wild tale—especially from a “nobody.” Why would the Blessed Virgin appear to such a simple man? He requested that Juan return with a sign to prove that the apparition was true. Three days later, on December 12 (the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe), Juan was again climbing Tepeyac Hill and encountered Our Lady again. She instructed him to climb to the top of the hill and to pick the flowers he would find there. Despite it being wintertime, he obeyed, climbing the hill, finding fragrant roses in blossom. He picked the flowers and carried them to Our Lady. She gently placed them in his mantle (robe) and instructed him to take them to his bishop as proof of his claims and her appearance.


Juan carefully carried the flowers back to the bishop, and miraculously found that when he opened his mantle and the flowers fell to the ground, in their place was an image of the Blessed Mother as she appeared at Tepeyac. The bishop was convinced and ordered a church built for Virgin of Guadalupe, which became a place of pilgrimage for the faithful.

For his part, Juan requested that he be allowed to live in hermitude in a small hut near the chapel that was built to house the miraculous image. Receiving permission from the bishop, he gave up all his worldly possessions and lived his remaining years caring for the church and the pilgrims who visited, venerating the image, and praying for the grace of Mary. Upon his death, he was buried in the chapel of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Pope John Paul II called Juan “a simple, humble Indian” who accepted Christianity without giving up his identity as an Indian. “In praising he Indian Juan Diego, I want to express to all of you the closeness of the church and the pope, embracing you with love and encouraging you to overcome with hope the difficult times you are going through,” the pope said. Among the thousands present for the event were members of Mexico’s 64 indigenous groups.

Saint Juan Diego reminds us of the universality of the Church, and that the Lord and His Blessed Mother value each of us equally. In the end, as we read the lives of the saints, it becomes clear that race, gender, class, wealth, disability, appearance, culture, sexual orientation—all the things that divide us—are unimportant in the eyes of Lord. Rather, the willingness to open one’s heart, to serve, to embrace the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity—to be obedient to the Word of God—these are the things that matter on earth.


From the beatification homily delivered by Pope John Paul II:

At the dawn of Mexican evangelization Saint Juan Diego holds a place all by himself; according to tradition, his indigenous name was Cuauhtlatohuac, “The eagle who speaks”. His lovable figure is inseparable from the Guadalupe event, the miraculous maternal manifestation of the Virgin, Mother of God, both in iconographic and literary memorials as well as in the centuries-old devotion which the Mexican Church has shown for this Indian so loved by Mary. Similar to ancient Biblical personages who were collective representations of all the people, we could say that Juan Diego represents all the indigenous peoples who accepted the Gospel of Jesus, thanks to the maternal aid of Mary, who is always inseparable from the manifestation of her Son and the spread of the Church, as was her presence among the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. The information about him that has reached us praises his Christian virtues: his simple faith, nourished by catechesis and open to the mysteries; his hope and trust in God and in the Virgin; his love, his moral coherence, his unselfishness and evangelical poverty. Living the life of a hermit here near Tepeyac, he was a model of humility. The Virgin chose him from among the most humble as the one to receive that loving and gracious manifestation of hers which is the Guadalupe apparition. Her maternal face and her Saint image which she left us as a priceless gift is a permanent remembrance of this. In this manner she wanted to remain among you as a sign of the communion and unity of all those who were to live together in this land. The recognition of the cult which for centuries has been paid to the layman Juan Diego takes on a special importance. It is a strong call to all the lay faithful of this nation to assume all their responsibilities, for passing on the Gospel message and witnessing to one faith active and working in the sphere of Mexican society. From this privileged spot of Guadalupe, ever-faithful heart of Mexico, I wish to call on all the Mexican laity, to commit themselves more actively to the re-evangelization of society. The lay faithful share in the prophetic, priestly and royal role of Christ (cf. Lumen Gentium, 31), but they carry out this vocation in the ordinary situations of daily life. Their natural and immediate field of action extends to all the areas of human coexistence and to everything that constitutes culture in the widest and fullest sense of the term. As I wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici: “In order to achieve their task directed to the Christian animation of the temporal order, in the sense of serving persons and society, the lay faithful are never to relinquish their participation in public life, that is, in the many different economic, social, legislative, administrative and cultural areas, which are intended to promote organically and institutionally the common good” (n. 42). Catholic men and women of Mexico, your Christian vocation is, by its very nature, a vocation to the apostolate (cf. Apostolicam Actuositatem, 3). Therefore, you cannot remain indifferent before the suffering of your brothers and sisters: before the poverty, corruption and outrages committed against the truth and human rights. You must be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (cf. Matthew 5:13-14). Thus the Lord says once more to us today: “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Mt 5:16). Juan Diego too shines before you, raised by the Church to the honors of the altar; we can invoke him as the protector and the advocate of the indigenous peoples.”



Prayer to Saint Juan Diego 

You who were chosen by Our Lady of Guadalupe as an instrument to show your people and the world that the way of Christianity is one of love, compassion, understanding, values, sacrifices, repentance of our sins, appreciation and respect for God's creation, and most of all one of HUMILITY and obedience. You who we know is now in the Kingdom of the Lord and close to our Mother, be our angel and protect us, stay with us as we struggle in this modern life not knowing most of the time where to set our priorities. Help us to pray to our God to obtain the gifts of the Holy Spirit and use them for the good of humanity and the good of our Church, through the Heart of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Heart of Jesus. Amen.

Blessed Juan, you faced the skepticism and rejection of a bishop and the crowds to bring Mary's message to Mexico. Pray for us that when we are faced with obstacles to our faith we may show that same courage and commitment. Amen.

Lord God,

hrough 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. Amen.




Voir aussi : http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/spip.php?article1712


https://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjuandiego.asp

http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/Jul2002/Feature1.asp