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Blessed Juan Diego, "Singing Eagle"
Model of Lay Apostles

Born in Cuatitlan, about 12 miles from Mexico City

One of the first Catholics baptized in 1524, with his wife Maria Lucia.

After her death he moved to Tolpetlac with his uncle Juan Bernardino

Indian, speaking the Nahuatl language

Very gentle, simple

Juan was an educated, industrious, simple farmer and land owner; also a weaver of mats

A man hungry for the real God, open to and ready for the good news. He heard about Jesus and believed.

A fine instrument in the hands of Mary with all the qualities of a true disciple

Very impressive indeed.

Amazing faith:
At 57 years of age he heard singing birds on Tepeyac and was called by name; he ran up the hill saw Mary and believed.

Man of convictions:
When he heard about Jesus he believed and followed. He loved Jesus, Mary. He respected the Bishop and the priests as ambassadors of Christ.

He spent hours in waiting; able to face hardships.

Sense of Family:
Even made Our Lady wait, to get a confessor for his dying uncle.

Mary confided her message to him. The Bishop named him custodian of the Image and Shrine.

Simple life:
He lived 17 years next to the Shrine in a tiny house, sweeping, cleaning, and explaining the Message.

Dignity - Creditability:
Two weeks after he received the Image the little "God - House" was built. There he reflected and repeated the Message till he died. In seven years 8 million Indians of all tribes, as well as Spaniards, believed. The story spread like wild fire. People came, heard, and believed Juan Diego.

Amazing in the way he carried the Message. Nothing could hold him back, not even threats to his life. The Bishop recognized his dependability.

Poor in the sense of humble:
"I'm just a man of the fields. Choose one more respected."

Mission oriented:
Concerned about his mission. Prostrated himself before the Bishop. Wept - on the second visit - because the Bishop did not believe. Begged Our Lady's forgiveness.

Very dedicated:
To his family, uncle, to our Lady's message, to the Bishop's request.

Model of Lay Apostles today
In his person and mission he understood the power of God, the intercession of Mary and Her love for all mankind.

Holy Man
His relationship with God was so clear. He obtained permission to receive communion three times a week, then an exceptional privilege. In the hearing of 1666 all agreed he was a holy man.

Died In May 1548
He was not canonized sooner probably because of the recent split between Protestants and Catholics, though there was no doubt about his holiness.