Brief History of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Brief History of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe

1st Apparition: At dawn on December 9, 1531, Juan Diego, an Indian convert, was going to Tlatelolco to attend catechism class and hear the Mass. As he was passing Tepeyac Hill, he saw a brilliant light on the summit and heard the strains of celestial music. Filled with wonder, he stopped. Then he heard a feminine voice asking him to ascend. When he reached the top he saw the Blessed Virgin Mary standing in the midst of a glorious light, in heavenly splendor. The beauty of her youthful countenance and her look of loving kindness filled Juan Diego with unspeakable happiness as he listened to the words which she spoke to him in his native language. She told him she was the perfect and eternal Virgin Mary, Mother of the true God, and made known to him her desire that a shrine be built there where she could demonstrate her love, her compassion and her protection. “For I am your merciful Mother”, she said, “to you and to all mankind who love me and trust in me and invoke my help. Therefore, go to the dwelling of the Bishop in Mexico City and say that the Virgin Mary sent you to make known to him her great desire.”

2nd Apparition: The Bishop was reluctant to believe Juan Diego’s story. Juan returned to Tepeyac Hill where he found the Blessed Virgin waiting for him, and told her of his failure. She bade him return to the Bishop the next day and repeat her wishes.

3rd Apparition: The Bishop then requested that the Lady give him a sign. Juan reported that evening and she promised to grant his petition on the following morning. But Juan was prevented from coming because of a sudden and severe illness of his uncle, Juan Bernardino.

4th Apparition: Two days later, on December 12, as he was going to the Church at Tlatelolco in order to bring a priest to his dying uncle, Juan Diego was stopped by the Lady, who had come down from Tepeyac Hill to meet him in the road. She listened quietly to Juan’s excuse for not having kept his appointment with her the day before. When he had finished speaking she said, “It is well, littlest and dearest of my sons, but now listen to me. Do not let anything afflict you and be not afraid of illness or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Are you not in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need? Do not fear for your uncle for he is not going to die. Be assured… he is already well.”

Having heard these words, Juan Diego rejoiced and asked for the sign he was to take to the Bishop. He was told to climb to the top of the hill where she had spoken to him on three previous occasions. She said he would find many flowers blooming there which he was to cut and bring to her. Juan Diego did as he was told though he knew no flowers had ever bloomed before on the stony summit. He discovered a marvelous garden of dew-fresh blossoms which he cut as she had asked. Placing them in his rough cloak, or tilma, he brought the flowers to the Lady who rearranged them and told him to take them to the Bishop; that this was the sign to persuade him to carry out her wishes.

When Juan Diego, radiantly happy, stood before Bishop Fray Juan de Zumarraga and told him of the fourth encounter with the Lady, he opened his tilma to show the Bishop the sign; the flowers cascaded to the floor – but to the astonishment of the Bishop and Juan Diego, there appeared upon the coarse fabric of the Indian’s mantle a marvelously wrought, exquisitely colored portrait of the Blessed Virgin, just as Juan Diego had previously described her.

5th Apparition: Earlier that same day, December 12, she had also appeared to Juan’s uncle, Juan Bernardino, and restored him to health as she had told Juan Diego. Juan Diego was at that time fifty-seven years old; his uncle was sixty-eight. Both had been among the first of the natives to be baptized into the true faith several years before.

The Name of Guadalupe
Juan Bernardino told his nephew the Blessed Virgin had ordered him to relate to the Bishop in what miraculous manne she had cured him. She also told Juan Bernardino her image was to be known as “Santa Maria de Guadalupe” and thus she has been venerated by this title for nearly five centuries.

The Mantle of Juan Diego
The mantle or tilma on which the Sacred Image of the Blessed Virgin is imprinted is handwoven from the fibers of the Maguey cactus, a fabric which has a life span of little more than thirty years. It is six-and-a-half feet long by forty-two inches wide and has a seam running down the middle.

 

juandiegoThe Sacred Image
Directly on this rough, burlap-like material is the exquisitely delicate figure of Our Lady, four feet, eight inches in height. This authentic portrait of the Virgin Mary has remained fresh and lovely for nearly five centuries and may be viewed today at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City where it occupies the place of honor above and behind the main altar.

The Pictograph
The Sacred Image is a pictograph or picture writing; every detail symbolic. She is brighter than the sun; her foot rests upon the moon; the stars on her mantle are in the same relative configurations as the stars in the heavens on the morning of December 12, 1531; the northern constellations on her right – the southern constellations on her left. Further, the golden filigree over her rose colored gown matches the topography of the Mexican lands once ruled by the Aztecs.

Despite more than twenty-two languages and almost fifty dialects spoken at that time, all were able to read and understand all that is contained in this Sacred Image. So it was in this manner eight million natives were converted to Christianity in the incredibly short span of seven years.

The Chapels
On December 26, 1531, two weeks after its marvelous appearance, the Sacred Image of the Blessed Virgin was moved from the Bishop’s oratory to the new Hermitage at the foot of Tepeyac Hill. Thousands of church and civil dignitaries, Indians and Spainards made up the colorful procession. This little chapel was enlarged and renovated several times before 1622 when a second larger church was completed.

In 1667, a chapel was built on the hill to commemorate the first three apparitions. El Cerrito was rebuilt in 1957 and shares the hilltop with a Carmelite convent and a cemetery.

In 1695, the Church of the Indians was completed It was next to the Hermitage, which served as its sacristy, and housed the Sacred Image while the church of 1622 was razed to make room for the first Basilica.

In 1787, the Convent of the Capuchin Sisters was built adjoining the Basilica of 1709 in order to have a place for Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. For the seven years, seven months and seven days prior to completion of the renovation of the Basilica on September 30, 1985, the Sacred Image was housed there.

The First BasilicaOld Basilica 2004
The first Basilica was completed in 1709 and the Sacred Image was installed above the high altar for the veneration of all. This Basilica is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful churches in the Western Hemisphere. Constructed of red volcanic rock and sandstone, it is 184 feet long by 122 wide. The bell towers rises 108 feet and the dome 124 feet.

Six enormous oil paintings and many smaller works of art decorate the walls and depict Guadalupan history. Life-sized sculptures of Bishop Zumarraga and Juan Diego kneel reverently at the sides of the white Carrara marble altar, above which the Sacred Image was enthroned until its transfer to the new Basilica on October 12, 1976. The structure has since been converted to a museum.

The New Basilica
A large cross and the symbolic Marian “M” gracefully top the majestic upsweep of the new Basilica, rising almost 150 feet into the sky from its huge semicircular base. Nine small chapels are arranged around a balcony at the rear of the Basilica, which holds ten thousand people. Easily seen from anywhere inside, ensconced above and behind the red seats for visiting Prelates, behind the main altar, is the Sacred Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Image is behind bullet-proof glass, with three frames: of gold, five inches wide; of silver, five inches wide; and of bronze, fourteen-and-one-half inches wide. Below the Image, three “moving sidewalks” carry pilgrims and devotees past the Image, only thirty-five feet above.

On the left of the main altar is the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. To the right is the Saint Joseph Chapel, where the Canons of the Basilica recite the daily office of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Crown
On the 12th of October, 1895, by decree of Pope Leo XIII, the Image of the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe was crowned with great solemnity. On October 12, 1945, the fiftieth anniversary of the crowning, Pope Pius XII proclaimed her Patroness of all the Americas. Above the frame there is always a replica of the 1895 Crown. Made in Paris, the crown contains jewels and precious stones donated by the ladies of Mexico City. It is valued at more than two million pesos.

A second crown was donated to Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1945 by the people of Mexico. It was made by a team of eigthteen artists who were directed by a famous lapidary. It weighs thirty-two pounds. Other valuable crowns have been donated over the years by many groups, including the goldsmiths and silversmiths of Mexico.

The Mass and Office
Our Lady of Guadalupe has a special Mass in the Roman Breviary for the 12th of December. It is a Holy Day of Obligation in Mexico, with Octave and double rites of the first class. The Sanctuary of Guadalupe is equal in rank to the Lateran Basilica (second only to St. Peter’s) and the Abbot and Canons have been assigned vestments different from all others.

Words of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego
“Know for certain, least of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of 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 exhibit, 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, of those who have condfidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes.”

50 Comments

  1. joven
    Apr 08, 2015 @ 15:09:56

    Great and mercyful mother guide me always to true path.amen

    Reply

    • Geri Penzone
      Aug 09, 2015 @ 19:36:43

      Another beautiful story of our Lady, May she help Michael to find emplyment and Jack to be baptized in our holy church.

      Reply

      • Bola Onwubiko
        Nov 16, 2016 @ 12:19:09

        Our Lady of Guadalupe, my Mother, pray for my family and for divine healing of my daughter. Amen

        Reply

    • Jim
      Apr 10, 2016 @ 09:09:14

      Our Lady of Guadalupe pray for us. Amen Alleluia.

      Reply

    • Rene Rediron
      Aug 24, 2016 @ 02:49:13

      My holy mother of quadulope pray for me and my family and neighbor

      Reply

  2. Novella TAYLOR
    Apr 08, 2015 @ 22:45:59

    Awesome.

    Reply

  3. gerardo gonzalez
    Apr 09, 2015 @ 01:54:57

    Beautiful story of our Virgen De Guadalupe!

    Reply

  4. Christina Bravo
    Apr 09, 2015 @ 02:52:43

    Amen

    Reply

  5. violeta bardos arana francisco
    Apr 09, 2015 @ 09:08:15

    Dear Lady of Guadalupe intercede for us your children now in great confusion and chaos we need you so much!

    Reply

    • chukwudi
      Nov 26, 2015 @ 15:37:13

      Dear lady Guadlupe intercede for me your son,your child,to your son to forgive my sins and bless me in my hustling

      Reply

  6. joselito antonio
    Apr 09, 2015 @ 13:54:32

    Amen

    Reply

  7. Charles S. SYlvia
    Apr 09, 2015 @ 14:18:48

    This picture of our Blessed Mother Mary is as if it were taken by a camera. A true immage of Mary.

    Reply

  8. gay
    Apr 09, 2015 @ 19:50:06

    wonderful that miracles are still happening, I still remember the image of the virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus in the water mark on a hugh plate glass window, in St Petersburg, Florida, that stayed there for a very long time until a vandal shot at it and destroyed it, so sad that anyone would do that.

    Reply

  9. Cecilia Belenardo
    Apr 10, 2015 @ 00:07:49

    I often pray to our Lady of Guadalupe,She is most powerful.Dec. 12 is her Feast day. Thank’s for Her beautiful story.

    Reply

  10. Jeramie tabalina
    Apr 10, 2015 @ 09:22:07

    Amen

    Reply

  11. Myra A. Patambang
    Apr 14, 2015 @ 06:38:27

    Our Lady of Guadalupe assures us all that we have a heavenly mother… She does listen to our pleas.

    Reply

  12. Ethel Williams
    Apr 15, 2015 @ 07:48:26

    I love Thee Mother of Mercy, sweet flower, I know in my heart, you are my Mother, & Mother to all; whom confide & pray to You. I thank you, for intercede on my behalf, to your Son, Jesus Christ.

    Reply

  13. Nariah
    Apr 15, 2015 @ 13:18:07

    Holy Mary please give us (my husband and I) an smooth transition to our move to our new house in Cheney, WA. Please help us move there. Guide us and bless us all. Thank you very much Mama Mary. Pray for us and we love you.

    Reply

  14. sylvia
    Apr 15, 2015 @ 14:27:10

    Most beautiful mother

    Reply

  15. brenda
    Apr 15, 2015 @ 17:49:54

    Pray for me Dear Blessed Mother be wit me tomorrow as I go for blood results .. Amen

    Reply

  16. Barb
    Apr 15, 2015 @ 20:19:28

    Gracious Mother fountain of mercy, hear my prayers. Amen

    Reply

  17. Blandina S. Guzman
    Apr 15, 2015 @ 21:13:47

    I thank you for this post on the history of our Lady of Guadalupe, especially the pictures of her, Juan Diego and the Basilica. I am glad my birthday is the day after her Feastday, Dec. 12 and mine, Dec. 13. I pray to God and to her, to please help me fulfill my wish to make an extension of our house to become a chapel for our Sunday Barangay Mass, with her, Holy Mary of Guadalupe as Patroness. Mama Mary, pray and protect my family and all families.

    Reply

  18. Olivia Miclat
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 12:56:26

    Mother Mary of Guadalupe…like Juan Bernardino the uncle of Juan Diego,please heal my mother Rosita of her illness…this i ask the Father through your Son Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit One God Forever and Ever…amen.Thank you Mother..

    Reply

  19. Kathurima A12
    Apr 21, 2015 @ 19:54:00

    Mother Mary, through your continuous intercession, your unbridled love and mercy for us sinners, have mercy on us all and lead all souls to heaven especially those in the most need of thy mercy. Amen!

    Reply

  20. badong
    Apr 22, 2015 @ 00:26:05

    Please our lady of Guadalupe heal us and my mother, sister,thank you amen

    Reply

  21. cheryl
    Apr 22, 2015 @ 04:35:08

    awesome story!!! I believe in you Mother of Guadalupe.. pray for us and keep us safe at all times….guide our footsteps n protect us from the evil one….Thank you Mother..

    Reply

  22. angel teotico
    Apr 22, 2015 @ 15:11:23

    I have read stories of OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE and each time I learn something new. Thank you Mother Mary and may we always be guided by your love.

    Reply

    • Shelius
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 02:40:15

      Amen. Our lady of guadalupe.heal.us

      Reply

    • Mila gonda
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 07:28:46

      Amen

      Reply

  23. Lito Borgia
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 06:08:52

    Hail Mary! Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Pray that we may have good health and peace of mind and heart. Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen

    Reply

  24. lady Bona
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 06:53:05

    My Holy Mother of perpetual help, pray for me so that I do not fall into any danger. Protect me under your mantel of Love. Amen

    Reply

  25. BILL ADAMS
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 14:06:38

    PLEASE HEAR MY PRAYERS BEAUTIFULL
    VIRGIN, “SANTA MARIA DE GUADALUPE”.

    Reply

  26. Glenda Robichaux
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 19:21:34

    Mother Mary please intercede for my daughter Angel. She needs healing for a horrible problem. Please let her get her life back in order and get her little boy and girl back. Thank you so much Mother Mary!

    Reply

  27. Charles Chase
    May 12, 2015 @ 09:04:07

    Help me and heal me and
    Bless us o’ Santa Maria de guadalupe. I ask thee.

    Reply

  28. John Taabavi
    May 12, 2015 @ 12:08:22

    Beloved mother we love you help my family in all our difficulties.

    Reply

  29. Cecilia Belenardo
    May 12, 2015 @ 13:28:26

    She is brighter than the Sun,I go to often for help.

    Reply

  30. H. Akley
    May 14, 2015 @ 00:08:42

    Amazing story of the Blessed Apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    Reply

  31. Belinda
    Sep 13, 2015 @ 22:28:53

    Thank you blessed Mother for all you have given us.

    Reply

  32. Apolinaria
    Sep 14, 2015 @ 00:35:46

    I pray that Virgin Guadalupe will help me bring back my children to our Catholic Faith. Please help me and grant me my prayers and wishes for my five children. And their children will be baptize in our Catholic Church. I pray to Virgin Of Guadalupe to grant me these prayers and wishes for my five children to be devoted to our Catholic faith.

    Reply

  33. Derry Silva
    Nov 07, 2015 @ 05:19:06

    Dear and precious Virgin Mary Mother of God. In my faithful love for you and in great thanksgiving to you for sending me my dear and loving husband, Don, we named our girls after you. Mary Kathleen and Mary Elizabeth. Bring them and their brothers back to the fullness of their faith in your Holy Son. Heal their marriages and return them to our Church. Heal Florence, I request a cure, a miracle for her health.
    Thank you my Mother. I dearly love you.

    Reply

  34. Kim Romeo
    Nov 13, 2015 @ 23:06:54

    My Dear Blesed MaMa, I love you so much. Please hear my prayers .
    Please pray for my mental Health. Because of my MH (BPD,Major depression,PTSD,ADD,Insomnia) . I get know support from family,none from my children , nor do I have any friends. Because my health premium ,co payments , Meds , it doesn’t leave me much left. I left Wasington about a year and a half ago. Put a my belongings in storage, I left because of my family’s being so judgmental and unkind to me.( I just got back about 6 weeks ago.)I thought I had an apartment , but it didn’t work out. I just pray I can find something Soon. So I’m staying with my parents. My parents or so negative with me about Everything. My mom can be physically with me too. I just ask that my prayers are answers. I’ve struggled with my mental health for most of my life. Please My Dear MaMa in heaven, stay right beside me. And help me. Of course your most dearest son too, My heavening Father. Amen

    P

    Reply

  35. GF
    Nov 26, 2015 @ 15:14:42

    Dear Our Lady of Guadalupe, I beg of you to please look after my daughter and son, my family, my parents and sister’s family and all my loved ones. Especially for my daughter and me – for what I’m going through right no. Help me to have faith in you and to follow my dream. Please pray for me, please ask you son to watch over us and keep us safe and in good health. thank you mother mary for for all you’e done for me. thank you. amen

    Reply

  36. Pat Boucher
    Dec 08, 2015 @ 02:22:43

    Hear my prayers my Blessed Mother for my husband his family and mine. I pray for his return to worship of your Son Jesus and that all misinformation that has been placed on him be driven away by the authority and power of Jesus. I pray that you cover all children and adults preparing for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, 1st Communion and Confirmation be blessed with a deep faith and desire to please God in all they do.

    Reply

  37. Rebecca Ann Garza
    Dec 08, 2015 @ 18:56:49

    What a beautiful story of OUR LADY THE MOST BLESSED VIRGIN. I LOVE YOU YOU SO MUCH FOR YOU ARE THE MOTHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST….PLEASE PRAY FOR ME AND MY FAMILY.

    Reply

  38. jf
    Mar 08, 2016 @ 10:45:11

    Thank you so much our Lady thank you for helping me you and your son Jesus Christ l love you both thank you for blessing me joyce

    Reply

  39. Teri Harrington
    Apr 30, 2016 @ 15:11:32

    I always like to know more about the story and message of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

    Reply

  40. tseganesh
    Jun 10, 2016 @ 21:54:25

    My mother pleas hear our prayers Amen.

    Reply

  41. achakarat josephine
    Jul 23, 2016 @ 08:34:50

    pray 4 me n my children

    Reply

  42. Oma baby
    Mar 06, 2017 @ 09:04:04

    Oh Mother of perpetual help, May You continue to interceed for your children through the prayers of the Rosary. Amen

    Reply

  43. Elgelyn brizo
    Apr 15, 2017 @ 22:28:49

    Our dearest mother of guadalupe please hear all our prayers.amen

    Reply

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