Sunday, December 31, 2023

Competed Well. Finished the CIY & BIY Podcasts, Kept the Faith

Recalling Saint Paul's Letter to Timothy: "I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith," 2 Timothy 4:7 

We successfully completed Father Mike Schmitz's Catechism In a Year (CIY) Podcast as well as the Bible in a Year (BIY.) and picked up Divine Office along theway,  three times a day: Lauds, Vesper and Compline. While it took some convincing, we couldn't wait and actually completed them (CIY & BIY) last night, and we are thankful for that!

Early in the year, when our youngest daughter brought us the idea about the possibility of starting CIY, I attributed her enthusiasm to naivete. After all, I had previously recommended to our family that whenever there were doubts about Church Teachings, to simply refer to the Catechism-  I even bought them all a printed copy. Then the online version became available. All very convenient, yet there was a caveat: The Catechism was too technical and  it was not easy to read or comprehend.

We reluctantly started our daily dose of CIY & BIY podcasts. But in short notice we were hooked on Father Mike's down to earth engaging style. We found Father Mike's presentations not only easy-to-understand but also informational and entertaining, dispelling many myths along the way.

For added context, I have read different versions of the Bible
Including the KJB version and listened to various Bible expositors, such as Pastor Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie, Rick Warren and others. I Felt so confident on my accumulated wealth of Biblical knowledge that more than once, I have responded "It's not Biblical," to Homilies, art or simply comnents. To only later realize I waswrong after hearing Father Mike Schmitz's BIY Podcast and OR CIY

Couples could use certain sections of Father Mike's CIY for marriage counseling in additional to several reminders from the Church Father's, such as Sin and Prayer are mutually exclusive. Or kex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi - as we pray, so we believe, so we pray.

Or, take he Lord's Prayer.Tertullian (CC 2761) said "The Lord's Prayer is truly the summary of the whole gospel."

Father Mike Schmitz, using the Catholic Catechism, deconstructs the Lord's Prayer, using the last twelve episodes of his Catechism In a Year Channel and shows why Tertullian was right.

Then there's the Book of Revelation. In Seven Days, starting in Day 359, Father Mike's treatment of the Book of Revelation took the mystery out of it and made it easier to digest.

Whether you are a Bible neophyte or a Bible expert - like I thought I was - going through Father Mike's Bible In a Year and Catechism In a Year Podcasts cannot only be edifying but get you ready to give an answer:" Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame." 1 Peter Chapter 3

As Saint Paul charged Timothy: "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.

But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry." 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Dispelling Myths About Mary, Mother of God

Many so-called Christians poke fun at Catholics' veneration, some would say infatuation with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

Even the Beatles call her Mother Mary.

The widely used meme below paraphrased Jesus in John Chapter 14 when He says “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me " But they seem to forget the rest of the Sacred Scriptures:

In the first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul rebukes them for sowing discord: "For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe's people, that there are rivalries among you. I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to* Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.”

Jesus in what is generally known as the Farewell Prayer or the High Priestly Prayer and by far the longest prayer of Jesus in any of the gospels (John 17:1–26,)  He addressed  the earlier parts of the discourse  to His disciples, and in the final part addresses the Father, as He turns his eyes to heaven and He prays for ALL Christians, whether self-described  liberal or conservative, Evangelicals or Protestants. to be united and to follow his example. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17

In the Beatitudes, Jesus Warns about hate stated, or implied “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,n ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment,o and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift - Matthew Chapter 5

A cursory look at the Catholic Catechism shows that while the Blessed Virgin Mary is addressed properly, as the Mother of God, she is not equal to Gid:

(CCC 487)  What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ

488 "God sent forth his Son", but to prepare a body for him, he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, "a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary":

The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.

490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role." The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace". In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.

491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

960 The Church is a "communion of saints": this expression refers first to the "holy things" (sancta), above all the Eucharist, by which "the unity of believers, who form one body in Christ, is both represented and brought about" (LG 3).

963 Since the Virgin Mary's role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. "The Virgin Mary . . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer. . . . She is 'clearly the mother of the members of Christ' . . . since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head." "Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church."

964 Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death"; it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:

Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son.

965 After her Son's Ascension, Mary "aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers." In her association with the apostles and several women, "we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation."

966 "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:

In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death

967 By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity. Thus she is a "preeminent and . . . wholly unique member of the Church"; indeed, she is the "exemplary realization" (typus) of the Church.

968 Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. "In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace."

969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."

970 "Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it." "No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source."

971 "All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship." The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration." The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary

972 After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary. In her we contemplate what the Church already is in her mystery on her own "pilgrimage of faith," and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. There, "in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity," "in the communion of all the saints," the Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother.

In the meantime the Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God.

493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia), and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature". By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long


Feast of Our Lady Of Guadalupe

December 12 is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of many Toponymic Marian Titles for Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Christianity, Mary is known by many different titles, epithets, invocations, and several names associated with places where she has appeared. All of these descriptives refer to the same woman named Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ

Liturgy of the Hours in Memoriam of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, Miguel Cabrera

Today, December 9 is the Memorial of Saint Juan Diego, while In the Christian tradition, church bells are rung as a call to prayer voluntarily. at the canonical hours prayed at fixed prayer times, as well as at the start of a church service, but typically not referred to as a "call to prayer " 

Feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a memorial celebrated on 12 September, to commemorate all the privileges bestowed upon Mary by God and all the graces received through her intercession and mediation. 

Memorial of Jesus's Grandparents

On July 26 the Roman Catholic Church commemorated the parents of the Virgin Mary, Saints Joachim and Anne.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 12 is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of many Toponymic Marian Titles for Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Christianity, Mary is known by many different titles, epithets, invocations, and several names associated with places where she has appeared. All of these descriptives refer to the same woman named Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. The Virgin of Guadalupe has been proclaimed "Queen of Mexico", "Patroness of the Americas", "Emppress of Latin America", and "Protectress of Unborn Children" (the latter two titles given by Pope John Paul II in 1999).

Our Lady of Guadalupe & Liturgy of the Hours Prayers 

Toponymic Marian Titles,  refer to places where Blessed Mary has appeared over the centuries, such as the Madonna of Loreto, the Madonna of LourdesOur Lady of Fatima, the Madonna of Medjugorje, or Saint Mary on the Sea, or Our Lady of Guadalupe.   Our Lady of Guadalupe, is often called the "great missionary" or Virgen Morena ("Brown Vurgin) who brought the Gospel to the Americas. Invoked as Star of the Evangelization of Peoples, comforter of indigenous people and the poor, the faithful humbly implore her help on the Tepeyac Hill in Mexico.

The Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe, appeared to Juan Diego, an Aztec who converted to Christianity, at a time when Mexico was shaken by violence and continuous violations of human rights and dignity. Indigenous people, in particular, suffered serious discrimination.

The Marian apparitions consolidated the encounter between the indigenous peoples and Christ. Mary presented herself as the "Mother of the true God" and she chose Juan Diego to be her messenger. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, also known simply as Juan Diego  was a Chichimec peasant and Marian visionary. He is said to have been granted apparitions of the Virgin Mary on four occasions in December 1531: three at the hill of Tepeyac and a fourth before don Juan de Zumárraga, then bishop of Mexico. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, located at the foot of Tepeyac, houses the cloak (tilmahtli) that is traditionally said to be Juan Diego's, and upon which the image of the Virgin is said to have been miraculously impressed as proof of the authenticity of the apparitions

Besides the numerous titles for our Blessed Mary, there's the Marian Principle:  To explain the structure of the Church, Von Balthasar speaks of several principles. The best known is the "Petrine principle", which refers to its hierarchical structure with the apostolic role of Peter, the Apostles and their successors. Another is the Pauline principle which represents its missionary dimension and so on.

All the principles of the Church, however, are oriented towards the primary one which is the "Marian principle". It refers to the very reason why the Church exists: To correspond with love to God's infinite love. It is called "Marian" because Mary, with her total FIAT, is the prototype of such love response. To be "the prototype" means that Mary is the first finished model of what all Christians should become. Von Balthasar writes: "Before men were placed into office, the whole Church was present in Mary". Just as Mary lived intimately united to the Trinity, we too are called to respond to the action of the Holy Spirit so that Christ reigns in us and directs us to live in faithful love and obedience to the Father.

This Marian total surrender of love to God is the essence of holiness. All dimensions of the Church, all structures and institutions, including the hierarchy are totally ordered to foster this holiness in her members. Mary is the point of reference. Where the Marian principle is central there is an authentic presence of the Church.   

In the words of the Catechism:

In the Church this communion of men with God, in the "love [that] never ends," is the purpose which governs everything in her that is a sacramental means, tied to this passing world. "[The Church's] structure is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ's members. And holiness is measured according to the 'great mystery' in which the Bride responds with the gift of love to the gift of the Bridegroom." Mary goes before us all in the holiness that is the Church's mystery as "the bride without spot or wrinkle." (Eph 5:27). This is why the "Marian" dimension of the Church precedes the "Petrine."   CCC 773

Marian Titles, names that derive from attributes referring to Mary in the Sacred Scriptures or popular veneration, or that derive from characteristics attributed to her or from ways of saying common language, such as  Madonna, from the L,atin mea dominina, “my Lady”.

Dogmatic names are derived from the presence of Mary in the Gospels and the Liturgy, such as the VirginMother of ChristImmaculate ConceptionDescendant of DavidNew Eve, Our Lady and so on.

Marian names derived from titles attributed by theologians and Fathers of the Church, such as Regina Caeli, Stellaa -  sort of polar star for Christians, especially for those who travel by sea, or Ivory Tower in the Laurentian Litanies, supplications in the form of litany addressed to God and the Virgin born in the Holy House of Loreto from the first half of the sixteenth century, and who turn to the Virgin Mary invoking her under numerous titles. In this case, the reference is to the Song of Songs and the three main properties of ivory, candour, consistency and value.  Or Mary Sorrowful, or Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, with reference to the seven sorrows faced by Mary in the Gospels.

 Marian Titles related to popular devotionsacred images, or apparitions of Our Lady. For example, Our Lady of Grace ,  The miraculous Madonna

Marian Titles linked to natural phenomena, such as Our Lady of Lightning,  Our Lady of the Snow, from the miraculous snowfall that took place on August 5, the day of the dedication of the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and that prompted Pope Liberius to erect the basilica of Santa Maria a Nives on the Esquiline hill of Rome, the oldest Marian sanctuary in the West.

Marian Titles linked to iconography  such as the Madonna of the Pear, from the painting of the fifteenth century depicting the Virgin while giving a pear to the baby Jesus, the symbol of the latter’s acceptance of the sacrifice for the redemption of humanity, or Mary who unties the knots, from the painting by Johann Georg Schmidtner painted in the eighteenth century from which the famous great Marian devotion originated.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Not Pope Francis. But Pope Saint Damascus

 Pope Francis when criticized, has not objected,  for he is a sinner, he said. But he objects to those who also criticize the Church for his sins. After all, there's a big difference. between impeccability and infallibility. Where Impeccability is the absence of sin, an attribute of God and infallibility is that in specified circumstances the Pope is incapable of error when it comes to Church teaching

Consider that when this pope was elected bishop of Rome; some bishops  didn't like it. They  consecrated another deacon, as pope. The controversy between
Them resulted in  battles in two basilicas, scandalizing the bishops. At the synod that he called on the occasion of his birthday, he asked them to approve his actions. The bishops’ reply was curt: “We assembled for a birthday, not to condemn a man unheard.” Supporters of the antipope even managed to get him accused of a grave crime.  Internal political struggles, doctrinal heresies, uneasy relations with his fellow bishops and the media a marred the peace of his pontificate

As pope, his lifestyle was simple in contrast to other ecclesiastics of Rome, and he was fierce in his denunciation of Arianism and other heresies. A misunderstanding of the Trinitarian terminology used by Rome threatened amicable relations with the Eastern Church, and this pope was only moderately successful in dealing with that challenge

To his secretary this pope was “an incomparable person, learned in the Scriptures, a  doctor of the  Church, who loved chastity and heard its praises with pleasure.”

This pope makes us aware of two qualities of good leadership: alertness to the promptings of the Spirit, and service. His struggles are a reminder that Jesus never promised his Rock protection from hurricane winds nor his followers immunity from difficulties. His only guarantee is final victory.

His encouragement of his secretary's biblical studies led to the Vulgate, the Latin translation of Scripture which 12 centuries later the Council of Trent declared to be “authentic in public readings, disputations, preaching.” His secretary is none other than Saint Jerome. Traditionally, Saint Jerome is regarded as the most learned of the Latin Fathers. Saint Jerome is a person one can easily identify with: As a young man drawn to libertinage, with a curious mind, he learns to stand on principle, eventually becoming an ascetic and a Bible Scholar. Saint Jerome was a Feminist, and an easy target of the noted Porphyry’s accusation that the Christian communities were run by women and that the favor of the ladies decided who could accede to the dignity of the priesthood

Obviously "this pope" is not Pope Francis, but could have been.  This is Pope Saint Damascus I and today, December 11 is his feast day

Pope Damasus I was the bishop of Rome from October 366 to his death. He presided over the Council of Rome of 382 that determined the canon or official list of sacred scripture.He spoke out against major heresie, thus solidifying the faith of the Catholic Church, and encouraged production of the Vulgate Bible with his support for "his secretary" Saint Jerome. He helped reconcile the relations between the Church of Rome and the Church of Antioch, and encouraged the veneration of martyrs

Saturday, December 09, 2023

Liturgy of the Hours in Memoriam of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, Miguel Cabrera

Today, December 9 is the Memorial of Saint Juan Diego, while In the Christian tradition, church bells are rung as a call to prayer voluntarily. at the canonical hours prayed at fixed prayer times, as well as at the start of a church service, but typically not referred to as a "call to prayer " 

In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, for example, canonical hours are also called officium, since it refers to the official prayer of the Church, which is known variously as the officium divinum ("divine service" or "divine duty"), and the opus Dei ("work of God"). Canonical hours mark the divisions of the day in terms of fixed times of prayer at regular intervals. Herein referred to as Liturgy of the Hours.

Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, also known simply as Juan Diego  was a Chichimec peasant and Marian visionary. He is said to have been granted apparitions of the Virgin Mary on four occasions in December 1531: three at the hill of Tepeyac and a fourth before don Juan de Zumárraga, then bishop of Mexico. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, located at the foot of Tepeyac, houses the cloak (tilmahtli) that is traditionally said to be Juan Diego's, and upon which the image of the Virgin is said to have been miraculously impressed as proof of the authenticity of the apparitions

Juan Diego, a simple peasant has come to be known all over the world by the name he received when he was reborn in baptism. Born in 1474 in Cuautitlán, part of Mexico Citywith the name “Cuauhtlatoatzin,” or “the talking eagle.” This member of the Chichimeca people would live up to his name, for eagles see far and well. He and his wife, Maria Lucía, saw enough to understand that the violence of the conquistadors was not the only thing that came to his people when the Spanish set foot upon their land. Along with the soldiers and adventurers there were humble Franciscan friars who taught the indigenous peoples with drawings and with their goodness. Cuauhtlatoatzin and his wife asked for baptism, receiving new names along with their new life in Christ.

In December 1531, some time after his wife died, Juan Diego was walking the long path toward the friars, where he went every Saturday to receive catechetical instruction. But this day was different. As he passed by Tepeyac Hill, he heard strange, beautiful birdsong, and then a voice, calling him using the diminutive of his name: “Juantzin!” “Little Juan!” To his astonishment, he saw a beautiful young woman clothed with a mantle of stars, wearing the black girdle with which indigenous women signify that they are pregnant. She spoke to him in his native Nahuatl language, asking him to go tell the bishop to build a church at this site, so that she could give her Son to all those who came there.

Juan Diego hurried to the bishop, Juan Zumárraga, who reacted to his tale with skepticism. The peasant returned to the beautiful lady, telling her that since he was “a man of no importance” she should choose a better messenger. The “Mother of the true God,” as she called herself, was adamant that she had chosen the correct messenger, however. After a second trip to the bishop, who asked for a sign, the lady asked Juan Diego to return the next day.
The next day Juan Diego’s uncle, Juan Bernardino, fell gravely ill, and Juan Diego stayed home to care for him. On his way to fetch a priest the morning of December 12 to give last rites to his uncle, Juan Diego tried his best to avoid the Virgin, changing his path. She found him, however, and chided him with words that have echoed through the centuries: “Am I not here who am your mother?” Assuring him that his uncle would be well, she asked him to climb the hill, where nothing but cactus and scrub brush grew – especially in winter – and pick the roses he would find there. He did, bundling the flowers in his tilma, or mantle, and brought them to the bishop. When Juan Diego opened his tilma, the bishop, wide-eyed, fell to his knees, for he beheld not only roses, but the image of a beautiful mestiza, or mixed-race girl, clothed like an Indian. She was “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet” (Rev 12:1), as the Book of Revelation describes. The bishop understood: this humble Indian had really seen the Mother of God and Mother of all believers, who left her likeness imprinted on his mantle.

What happened to that simple Chichimec messenger did what the missionary friars and priests by and large had been unable to do: convince the indigenous peoples that this Gospel, or good news, was also for them. By 1539, only eight years after the apparitions, some 9 million of them had asked for baptism. This lady who spoke in their language and fulfilled Aztec prophecies, was the Mother of the true God. Her Son asked to be born also in their hearts.
When a church was built on the site of the apparition, Juan Diego moved into a small hut nearby in order to clean the premises, care for the pilgrims, instruct others in the faith, and above all, to pray. He remained there until his death in 1548: “a man of no importance” whose life became part of the warp and weft of this singular event in the life of the Church.