Skip to comments.Pope to Visit Mexico in July to Canonize Juan Diego.
Posted on 01/17/2002 7:50:59 AM PST by marshmallow
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope John Paul (news - web sites) will visit Mexico in July to canonize Mexican Indian Juan Diego, whose visions of the Virgin Mary in the 16th century helped the Catholic Church in its drive to convert indigenous peoples.
An official in the Vatican (news - web sites) press office said on Thursday that the Pope would fly to Mexico after attending World Youth Day, which this year is being staged in the Canadian city of Toronto at the end of July.
Italian newspapers had speculated that the Pope would also stop over in New York after the Canada trip, to pray at Ground Zero -- the site of the September 11 attacks which reduced the World Trade Center to rubble.
However, a Vatican source said on Thursday that at present there were no plans for Pope John Paul to visit the scene of what he has called an ``abhorrent'' attack.
Roman Catholic communities across South America have long petitioned the Vatican to bestow sainthood on Juan Diego.
Juan Diego is credited by Catholics the world over with seeing a vision of the dark-skinned Virgin of Guadeloupe in 1531 shortly after Mexico's conquest by the Spaniards.
He has become a powerful symbol for Mexico's poor and indigenous, and the image of the Virgin of Guadeloupe is omnipresent in the largely Catholic country.
His vision is also credited with opening the way to conversion of Indians across South America.
According to legend, church elders dismissed Juan Diego's claim that the Virgin had miraculously appeared to him, until he presented them with proof: her bright image emblazoned on his humble cloak.
Typical Reuters. Mexico isn't in South America, nor are the most fervent devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
I'm hoping they're not implying that the cloak is a legend -- it's still doing just fine, and a complete enigma for modern science, as it's a gift from the Mother of God.
December 9, 2006
St. Juan Diego
Thousands of people gathered in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe July 31, 2002, for the canonization of Juan Diego, to whom the Blessed Mother appeared in the 16th century. Pope John Paul II celebrated the ceremony at which the poor Indian peasant became the Churchs first saint indigenous to the Americas.
The Holy Father called the new saint a simple, humble Indian who accepted Christianity without giving up his identity as an Indian. 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, John Paul said. Among the thousands present for the event were members of Mexicos 64 indigenous groups.
First called Cuauhtlatohuac (The eagle who speaks), Juan Diegos name is forever linked with Our Lady of Guadalupe because it was to him that she first appeared at Tepeyac hill on December 9, 1531. The most famous part of his story is told in connection with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12). After the roses gathered in his tilma were transformed into the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, however, little more is said about Juan Diego.
In time he lived near the shrine constructed at Tepeyac, revered as a holy, unselfish and compassionate catechist who taught by word and especially by example.
During his 1990 pastoral visit to Mexico, Pope John Paul II confirmed the long-standing liturgical cult in honor of Juan Diego, beatifying him. Twelve years later he was proclaimed a saint.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.