|The Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe
(K through 6th grade adaption)
Many years ago in the year 1531, and in the land that is now called Mexico, Mary appeared to a man named Juan Diego. It was a cold December morning and Juan Diego was on his way to Mass. He was Aztec but he had been baptized Catholic and the church was very far away from his house. While he was walking he heard beautiful music and he went to see where it came from. When he approached the hill called Tepeyac, he saw a bright light that looked like the sun. Then he heard a girl’s voice calling, “Juan, my little Juan.” He climbed the hill and saw a beautiful young woman wearing clothes that shined very brightly. She said to him, “Hello, my son, I am the Virgin Mary, the Mother of the One God of All Life. I want someone to build a little church right here on this hill. That way I can help the people who live nearby. I will give them hope and love because I am their Mother too. So, I want you to go to the Bishop and tell him to build my church. Tell him how I sent you to do this.” Juan Diego agreed to go to the Bishop for the Lady.
When Juan Diego came to the Bishop’s house, he had trouble getting in. Some of the people did not want him to see the Bishop because he was busy. Still the Bishop, whose name was Juan de Zumárraga, met Juan Diego anyway and he told the Bishop everything about the Lady and how she wanted to have a church built. But the Bishop did not believe Juan Diego. He told him, “I need to have a sign or some proof that this Lady came to see you. If I don’t have proof, I will not build the church.” Juan Diego left feeling very sad. He did not want to tell the Lady that he could not do what she asked.
When he returned to the hill of Tepeyac, the beautiful Lady appeared again. He knelt down and begged for her to be patient. “Please forgive me, I did as you asked me but I could not convince the Bishop. He will not believe me without a sign. Maybe you should send someone else.” The Lady only smiled and said, “Dearest Juan Diego, it is very important that you personally do this for me. I believe in you and I want you to go to the Bishop again. I will give you a sign tomorrow morning.” At this Juan was very happy because he believed that with this proof the bishop would believe him.
So the next day (December 12) he woke up early and was getting ready to go when he found out that his uncle, Juan Bernardino, was very sick. His uncle asked Juan Diego to go and find a priest for help. Juan Diego was sad again because he wanted to help his uncle and he could not see the Lady. So, while he was walking he tried to go another way. But the Lady appeared to him anyway and she asked him, “Where are you going?” He tried to explain about his uncle and apologize, but she assured him, “Listen, my dearest son, do not be afraid of anything. Am I not your Mother? I am here to protect you. Your uncle is already well and you do not need to help him anymore. I need you to go back to the hill where you saw me. There you will find many flowers. Gather them and bring them to me.”
Juan Diego did as she said and found many beautiful Castilian roses of all different colors, which was a miracle. He cut them and gathered them in his tilma or cloak. He took them back to the Lady. She reached out and arranged the flowers in his tilma and said, “These flowers are the proof that the bishop wants. When he sees them he will know that I have sent you as my messenger. He will build the church that I want on the hill.” Juan Diego was very happy now. His uncle was cured and he had the proof that he needed.
At the Bishop’s house he told Bishop Juan de Zumarraga the whole story and held his tilma tight. At the end of the story he opened the tilma and the flowers fell away. As they fell, a beautiful, bright image of the Lady appeared! She looked exactly as she did when she appeared to Juan Diego on the hill. Everyone was very surprised and amazed. The Bishop fell onto his knees, prayed and cried. Later, they built the church on the hill of Tepeyac and they placed the tilma inside it. Juan Diego went home and saw his uncle who was now well. His uncle told him that a very beautiful Lady appeared to him at home. She told him not to be afraid and that he was cured. She also told him her name: Holy Mary of Guadalupe.
To this day, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that miraculously appeared on the tilma hangs in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The church has millions of pilgrims visit each year especially on December 12, her feast day.
Un sábado de 1531 a principios de diciembre, un indio llamado Juan Diego, iba muy de madrugada del pueblo en que residía a la ciudad de México a asistir a sus clases de catecismo y a oír la Santa Misa. Al llegar junto al cerrito llamado Tepeyac amanecía y escuchó una voz que lo llamaba por su nombre.
Él subió a la cumbre y vio a una Señora de sobrehumana belleza, cuyo vestido era brillante como el sol, la cual con palabras muy amables y atentas le dijo: "Juanito: el más pequeño de mis hijos, yo soy la siempre Virgen María, Madre del verdadero Dios, por quien se vive. Deseo vivamente que se me construya aquí un templo, para en él mostrar y prodigar todo mi amor, compasión, auxilio y defensa a todos los moradores de esta tierra y a todos los que me invoquen y en Mí confíen. Ve donde el Señor Obispo y dile que deseo un templo en este llano. Anda y pon en ello todo tu esfuerzo".
De regresó a su pueblo Juan Diego se encontró de nuevo con la Virgen María y le explicó lo ocurrido. La Virgen le pidió que al día siguiente fuera nuevamente a hablar con el obispo y le repitiera el mensaje. Esta vez el obispo, luego de oir a Juan Diego le dijo que debía ir y decirle a la Señora que le diese alguna señal que probara que era la Madre de Dios y que era su voluntad que se le construyera un templo.
De regreso, Juan Diego halló a María y le narró los hechos. La Virgen le mandó que volviese al día siguiente al mismo lugar pues allí le daría la señal. Al día siguiente Juan Diego no pudo volver al cerro pues su tío Juan Bernardino estaba muy enfermo. La madrugada del 12 de diciembre Juan Diego marchó a toda prisa para conseguir un sacerdote a su tío pues se estaba muriendo. Al llegar al lugar por donde debía encontrarse con la Señora prefirió tomar otro camino para evitarla. De pronto María salió a su encuentro y le preguntó a dónde iba.
El indio avergonzado le explicó lo que ocurría. La Virgen dijo a Juan Diego que no se preocupara, que su tío no moriría y que ya estaba sano. Entonces el indio le pidió la señal que debía llevar al obispo. María le dijo que subiera a la cumbre del cerro donde halló rosas de Castilla frescas y poniéndose la tilma, cortó cuantas pudo y se las llevó al obispo.
Una vez ante Monseñor Zumarraga Juan Diego desplegó su manta, cayeron al suelo las rosas y en la tilma estaba pintada con lo que hoy se conoce como la imagen de la Virgen de Guadalupe. Viendo esto, el obispo llevó la imagen santa a la Iglesia Mayor y edificó una ermita en el lugar que había señalado el indio.
Pio X la proclamó como "Patrona de toda la América Latina", Pio XI de todas las "Américas", Pio XII la llamó "Emperatriz de las Américas" y Juan XXIII "La Misionera Celeste del Nuevo Mundo" y "la Madre de las Américas".
La imagen de la Virgen de Guadalupe se venera en México con grandísima devoción, y los milagros obtenidos por los que rezan a la Virgen de Guadalupe son extraordinarios.