Blessed Juan Diego, "Singing Eagle"
Model of Lay Apostles
Born in Cuatitlan, about 12 miles from Mexico City
One of the first Catholics baptized in 1524, with his wife Maria Lucia.
After her death he moved to Tolpetlac with his uncle Juan Bernardino
Indian, speaking the Nahuatl language
Very gentle, simple
Juan was an educated, industrious, simple farmer and land owner; also a weaver of mats
A man hungry for the real God, open to and ready for the good news. He heard about
Jesus and believed.
A fine instrument in the hands of Mary with all the qualities of a true disciple
Very impressive indeed.
At 57 years of age he heard singing birds on Tepeyac and was called by name; he
ran up the hill saw Mary and believed.
Man of convictions:
When he heard about Jesus he believed and followed. He loved Jesus, Mary. He
respected the Bishop and the priests as ambassadors of Christ.
He spent hours in waiting; able to face hardships.
Sense of Family:
Even made Our Lady wait, to get a confessor for his dying uncle.
Mary confided her message to him. The Bishop named him custodian of the Image and
He lived 17 years next to the Shrine in a tiny house, sweeping, cleaning, and
explaining the Message.
Dignity - Creditability:
Two weeks after he received the Image the little "God - House" was
built. There he reflected and repeated the Message till he died. In seven years 8 million
Indians of all tribes, as well as Spaniards, believed. The story spread like wild fire.
People came, heard, and believed Juan Diego.
Amazing in the way he carried the Message. Nothing could hold him back, not even
threats to his life. The Bishop recognized his dependability.
Poor in the sense of humble:
"I'm just a man of the fields. Choose one more respected."
Concerned about his mission. Prostrated himself before the Bishop. Wept - on the second
visit - because the Bishop did not believe. Begged Our Lady's forgiveness.
To his family, uncle, to our Lady's message, to the Bishop's request.
Model of Lay Apostles today
In his person and mission he understood the power of God, the intercession of
Mary and Her love for all mankind.
His relationship with God was so clear. He obtained permission to receive
communion three times a week, then an exceptional privilege. In the hearing of 1666 all
agreed he was a holy man.
Died In May 1548
He was not canonized sooner probably because of the recent split between
Protestants and Catholics, though there was no doubt about his holiness.