Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Amazing Pilgrimage~Our Lady of Guadalupe

~Our Own Tepeyac Hill~
A single rose bush blooms at our parish shrine today...
It's winter and the Feast of Juan Diego.
It's not necessarily a "miracle" for California but a blessing, nonetheless!
Lady of the Roses, you have brought us love and peace.
Yesterday after Mass I noticed this single rose bush blooming and I couldn't believe the connection to Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  God's little graces shine through when we take the time to notice.  The kids found it even more amazing and miraculous, just like the story.

We started out our morning with the Juan Diego, Messenger of Guadalupe, DVD.  Catholic Icing is offering a giveaway.  If you don't have it, you will love it!  My kids never tire of watching this every year.  The "Lady of the Roses" theme song is ever-so-sweet.

I have a special connection to Our Lady of Guadalupe after completing the Women of Grace study a few years ago.  Ever since then, she has been leading me closer to Jesus, as she always does.
After this study, I was blessed to be able to make a pilgrimage to the real Tepeyac Hill and Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico City.  My dear friend Joan was my awesome travel companion!

For today's Feast Day of Juan Diego, here is the ancient baptismal font where Juan Diego was baptized in the year 1527.  He was 53 years old. 
His Aztec name was Cuauhtlatoatzin (try to pronounce that one)!
His new Christian name was Juan Diego.  He was baptized with his wife whose name became Maria Lucia and she passed away 2 years later.
Here are a few images of Tepeyac Hill...
Juan Diego's story begins here on a cold winter morning on December 9,1531.
This is where he heard heavenly music and a saw a beautiful lady standing in bright light.
The lady revealed herself to Juan Diego as the Ever Virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the One, True God, Who created Heaven and Earth.
She continued by asking him to go to the Bishop, requesting him to build a home for her, a temple on the plain.
Juan Diego went to the Bishop but he did not take action after several attempts by Juan Diego.
In summary, Our Lady provided a sign.

In utter amazement, Juan Diego saw roses growing in the dry, frozen, and rocky soil.
In this photo of the actual terrain, you can imagine his astonishment!
There is a cement walkway up the hill today.  You can actually climb the hill to a 
beautiful chapel at the top.
Here I am at the top, looking down over the new Basilica and Mexico City...
These beautiful angel statues remind me of sentinels at the top of Tepeyac Hill...
I tried to sit there and picture the story in my heart, as I gazed over the massive city below.

Juan Diego gathered those flowers in his tilma from the hill, placed carefully by our lady,
and ran to the bishop.
When Juan Diego dropped the corners of his tilma in front of the bishop, a cascade of roses fell to the floor and a luminous image of Our Lady appeared there on his tilma.  I could picture the wide-eyed bishop gazing upon the glorious image of the Mother of God that took his breath away.  
The tilma with the sacred image was immediately protected by the bishop and he agreed to build the church that Our Lady requested!
This is the original Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, still standing today.  It was under renovation at the time of our pilgrimage.
What a blessing to be able to see this church and the newer Basilica as well.
The miraculous image can be seen today at the new Basilica in this photo. 
( I liked the exterior design of the older one much better)
In the more than 470 years since this miracle occurred, the image of Our Lady has remained on Juan Diego's tilma.  It is as clear today as when she first imprinted it in 1531.

The miraculous image hangs high above the main altar in a golden frame.
It was an absolute amazing grace to have our pilgrimage priest conduct a private Mass for us on this balcony, overlooking the image and main altar!
And FINALLY, you can view the original miraculous tilma on a walkway behind the altar, viewing it from the bottom since it is raised up quite high!
Just as beautiful as ever.
It was a pilgrimage to remember and cherish forever!
Joan and I couldn't get enough of viewing the image of Our Lady so we went back at night, on our own, to spend more time!
Our Lady's famous words to Juan Diego are printed out and pinned up in my office.  
They bring me comfort time and time again:

"Do not let your heart be disturbed.  Do not let anything worry or afflict you; do not fear illness nor any troublesome happening or pain.  Am I not here who am your Mother?
Are you not under my shadow and protection?
Am I not your life and health?
Are you not in the folds of my mantle?
In the crossing of my arms?
Is there anything else you need?"

Today, I recreate the pilgrimage with my children through photos and story books.
This is what we have on our school room shelf to read this week:
This is my personal favorite and better for the older children:
The illustrations are magnificent!
They inspired me to make the candles you see on our shelf.
The photos from that craft are in my archives HERE.
We found the little votive holders from the Dollar Tree and just used Mod Podge and glitter!

You can read more about Juan Diego at Catholic Culture or at

Our afternoon treat was Mexicocoa!
This is something our entire family looks forward to around these Feast Days...

Prayer to St. Juan Diego of Guadalupe

O St. Juan Diego, in the appearance of 
Our Lady of Guadalupe, you, a humble
peasant, were chosen as Her messenger.

Your faithfulness in this task is evident
still today, in the miraculous image the
Virgin left upon your tilma.

Intercede for me, I pray, that I might have
your childlike trust in the Mother of
God, and that my heart might respond to
her maternal promptings.

Through such simple confidence,
obedience, and love, may I join you one
day in sharing everlasting joy, where our
heavenly Mother reigns in the glory of 
Her Son.  Amen

Born in 1474
Died- May 30, 1548
Canonized a Saint-July 31, 2002


  1. thanks for sharing this virtual pilgrimage. i'm blessed to be able live vicariously through you, joan and nancy. your sharing is a wonderful blessing to myself and family since we have not been able to physically go on a pilgrimage. the sharing of our friend's pilgrimages brings us much joy.

    cause of our JOY, pray for us!

    pax Christi - lena

  2. What a wonderful experience! To actually see and be in the presence of the image of Guadalupe must have been amazing. Thanks, Tiffany, for sharing your pilgrimage and joining in the O+L+G Feast Day Link Up.

  3. My boys were just asking if they could see pictures of where this (Mary appearing to St. Juan Diego) really happened. I will show them yours! What an amazing journey.

  4. Tiffany, you put so much work into these blog posts-thank you so much for taking the time and making the effort to share these beautiful pictures, prayers and stories with us!

    What a blessing to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and what a special blessing to have your own little shrine in your yard with a little miracle of roses of your own!

  5. I can imagine having goose bumps galore while looking up at the actual tilma. So glad you were able to go back and fill up some more on it beauty and grace.

    How wonderful to go on that pilgrimage! Thanks for sharing!

  6. The photos from your pilgrimage are gorgeous, it must have been amazing to see it for yourself. My MIL was able to go a couple of years ago. I love the roses blooming at your parish ~ how amazing is that!!

  7. Tiffany, what a wonderful experience!! I loved all your pictures!! Thank you for sharing them! What a great oppportunity you had to be able to take all those pictures inside the Basillica. When we went it was crowded!! We couldn't stay to see the image, we had to take a moving walkway (like the ones in airports). Masses were said by the hour and it was hard to find a seat. But still, it was worth it! Behind the Basilica, there was a priest blessing sacramentals non-stop. His job was just that! what a blessing!!

  8. I just loved this post, thank you so much for sharing. I am digging out our books and activities now for Sunday.
    Peace & Health,

  9., wow, wow!

    Incredible blessing to be there, thank you soooo much for sharing!


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