Feast Day of St. Juan Diego
Juan Diego was born in 1474 in Mexico. He was a native Aztec Indian who had converted to the Catholic faith. One day on December 9, 1531 Juan Diego got up very early in the morning to walk his 15 miles to Mass. On his way there, he heard music and followed it up to Tepeyac Hill. There he saw the Blessed Virgin Mary and she identified herself to him as such. She gave Juan a message to give to the bishop ," "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." Eagerly , Juan ran to the bishop and gave him the message that Mary had given him. The bishop sent him away, and did not believe him at all. Juan Diego went back to the spot and told the Blessed Mother that they did not believe him. Juan did not feel worthy of this duty as he was a poor man. He asked her to send anyone but him. Mary then told him that she could have picked anyone, but she chose him to send this message.
So once again Juan Diego went back to the bishop, and still not believing him, wanted him to ask Mary for a miracle. Not knowing what kind of miracle, the bishop told Juan that She would know. So off he went back home. The next day his uncle, whom he had been living with, had gotten very ill. He thought he was dying and sent Juan off for a priest to come and give him his last rights and to hear his confession. Juan tried to avoid the spot where he had seen Mary and go a different way. It truly didn't matter as Mary found him where he was anyways. She asked him why he had not gone back to the bishop and Juan explained to her that his uncle was sick and dying. She then told Juan to go to the bishop and that his uncle was cured. Before doing so , Mary asked him to go to the top of Tepeyac Hill and gather some roses to take back to the bishop ( this was amazing in itself because of the time of year it was, and the type of roses that bloomed were not really from that area). Juan climbed the hill, gathered the roses in his tilma and went on his way to give them to the bishop. While Juan was on his way to see the bishop , Mary visited his uncle and cured him.
Juan went back to the bishop and layed before him the roses from his tilma (cloak) and they all stood before him amazed. Not only did the roses fall from his tilma , there also was the image of Mary.
Soon after that a church was built on that very site and thousands converted to the Catholic faith.
St. Juan was cannonized as a Saint in 2002. Such a long time from when he first saw Our Lady on Tepeyac hill. Since then Catholics all over have been able to enjoy his Feast Day. Just like we did yesterday.
Yesterday we decided to make the tilma that St. Juan wore on that very day. Okay, so its not exactly like the one he wore, but its close enough.
Maggie had tons of fun coloring the picture and roses. These were taken from the same coloring pages that we used a long while back to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe. Along with the rose coloring page too. We cut up the grocery bag ( you can ask to get them at your local grocery store) to make the tilma .Click here for instructions.
While we were working on this project, we all sat and listened to our Glory Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This is something my girls never get tired of listening to.
This has been a true gem from Holy Heroes. These audio CD's really liven up the stories that we have read about these glorious Saints. Even right now you can go to Holy Heroes and get this CD for Free (with a small cost in shipping) and you get two great stories on one CD. We are definitely working on our collection of these wonderful stories. I think our next one will be that of St. Joan of Arc , though I will admit its hard to pick which one to get next because they are all so very well done.
Maggie posing her tilma after making it.
After we were finished with that, we usually have a very tasty Mexican meal. This time I will admit , we cheated with our dinner. We all decided to get tacos. In our area just recently a Taco Bell was built ( sad , I know). So dad and I went out and we brought home tacos.
Trust me, it was a BIG hit.
Yes, I had to learn to really let go and NOT make the meal this time. I will say I felt a bit relieved that someone else was able to make it. Granted with this said, We have one more feast coming up. That would be Our Lady of Guadalupe. So I'm sure I will be making something tasty for that.
So there you go. In a nutshell this was our fun feast day. Its your turn. What are some of the things you do to celebrate the Feast Day of St. Juan Diego with your family?