| The Bishop of Mexico City was a holy man. He was a Franciscan missionary, sent from Spain to teach the
True Faith to the pagan Indians.
His name was Bishop
Zumárraga and being a sensible man in matters of judgment, he had asked for a
"sign" to be given to him from the Lady from Heaven.
As Juan Diego journeyed back home, he was greeted by the "woman clothed with the sun." He related to the Mother of God that the Bishop requested a special
her in order to believe his story. The Lady slowly nodded her head in acknowledgement of the request. As
she smiled, she said, "Come back tomorrow, my son, and I will gladly provide the sign of
which the Bishop seeks."
With much contentment in his heart, Juan Diego continued home. When he stopped to visit his uncle, Juan Bernardino, he was shocked to find him very ill with a deadly fever. As a loving nephew, he stayed that night and the entire next day ministering to his uncle's needs. His condition worsened as every hour passed. Juan Diego knew that his uncle was going to die soon!
Early the next morning, on December 12th, Juan Diego set out for Mexico City to find a priest to return with him to Tulpetlac before his uncle died. Remembering his promise to meet the beautiful Lady that morning, Juan Diego tried to avoid the encounter by taking a different path around the mountain. He wanted to please the Lady but felt he must secure a priest for his uncle first.
|In the distance, Juan Diego saw the Indian Princess but the
beautiful Lady seemed to "float" down the mountainside to meet him. She smiled and asked, "What is the matter my little son? Where are you going?"
With much anxiety and concern that precious time was being lost, he replied quickly,
"Noble Lady, my uncle is very sick with the plague and is dying. I am on my way to the city to ask a priest to come to hear his confession and to give him the
last rites. When I have done this, I will return here to you."
The Lady listened intently and with the deep love and concern of a mother ~
she spoke the words that would echo down through the
"Listen and let it penetrate your heart, my dear little son. Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety, or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? Are you not in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?"
She paused a moment and continued, "Do not let the illness of your uncle worry you because he is not going to die of his sickness. At this very moment, he is cured."