¡Buenos días! ¿Cómo están? Espero que estén bien. (“Good morning! How are you? I hope that you are well.) To a certain extent my greeting in Spanish for today is not exactly appropriate. While December 12th is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and it originated from an appearance of Our Blessed Mother Mary in Mexico, and the vast majority of the citizens speak Spanish there, the more fitting greeting would be something like “¡Cualli tlanecic! ¿Quen tinemi? Cualli ninemi, tlazocāmati.”
If this website (
) can be trusted to have an accurate translation then those words would be the way to greet you in the indigenous language of the Aztec people that is oftentimes referred to as Nahuatl. At this point you might be squinting at your computer or smartphone or tablet or other respective piece of technology and thinking, “Huh? What is going on with this eNewsletter?” Those are great questions and I’m glad you asked them!
Some of you might know that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to an indigenous man named Juan Diego in Mexico on five different occasions in December of 1531. The native language that Juan Diego spoke was Nahuatl and according to tradition Our Blessed Mother spoke to him in that language rather than in Spanish. He was told to visit the local bishop and tell him that a church should be built in her honor on a hill called Tepeyac. Juan Diego, a recent convert to Christianity, did as he was told and journeyed to meet with the bishop. Needing more time to think about the words that Juan Diego shared with him the Bishop Fray Juan Zummáraga asked Juan Diego to return another day.
Disheartened by the news Juan Diego shared this response with Our Blessed Mother and asked that she send someone of more noble standing to convince the bishop. She insisted that it be Juan Diego. He went back to the Bishop afterwards and was told that a sign from Heaven would be necessary for him to be believed. Our Blessed Mother was prepared to give Juan Diego a sign the next day but instead of him walking by the hill of Tepeyac he hurried to care for his uncle who was gravely ill. The following day he tried to avoid the hill again but Our Blessed Mother appeared to him and assured him that his uncle would recover - which he did - and that Juan Diego needed to deliver roses as a heavenly sign to Bishop Fray Juan Zummáraga.
Juan Diego gathered the roses in the cloak that he was wearing - referred to as a tilma - and went to meet with the bishop. As he came before Bishop Zummáraga and opened his cloak the roses fell out and an image of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) was on his tilma. This double sign was finally enough to convince the bishop and would begin the construction of a chapel to house the image of Our Lady that would become a church and then a basilica and then another and would stand as one of the most - visited religious sites in the world.
May Our Lady of Guadalupe - Patroness of the Americas - and St. Juan Diego pray for us in this Advent Season so that we may grow in friendship with our Lord and Salvador (Savior) Jesus Christ.