In December 1531 the Virgin Mary appeared in Mexico to an Aztec man named Juan Diego. During the next three days she appeared to the 57-year-old on four different occasions. The Virgin Mary asked Juan Diego to help build a church in her honor where she stood on Tepeyac Hill at the northeast edge of Mexico City. Juan Diego conveyed her request to Bishop Zumarraga. The church needed proof of the Virgin’s apparition, on the fourth and final time that she appeared to Juan Diego, the validation of her existence came to fruition.
The Miracle of Roses
The Virgin asked Juan Diego to gather the roses that magically appeared from the desolate terrain and present them to the bishop. Juan Diego obeyed, and when he unfastened his clock for Bishop Zumarraga the roses tumbled out. At that instant, the Virgin’s miraculous portrait appeared inside the cloak. Today, this world-famous image is displayed at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. On July 31, 2002 the Catholic Church canonized Juan Diego. His feast day of December 9th is celebrated throughout the Catholic world, especially in Mexico.