Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our parish's mother church is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. Our Lady appeared to a native peasant named Juan Diego at Tepeyac in central Mexico in late 1531.

Many have wondered why this apparition of Our Lady to an Indian in recently conquered Mexico and speaking to him in Nahuatl call herself "of Guadalupe", an apparently Spanish name. One primary belief is that this name is a transliteration into Spanish of the Nahuatl word written in our alphabet as coatlaxopeuh which is pronounced "quatlasupe", which means "who crushes the serpent" (presumably the Aztec serpent-god Quetzalcoatl) and sounds remarkably like the Spanish word Guadalupe.

The full story is told on a web site dedicated to Our Lady. This site includes the full text of the Nican Mopohua, described as "Juan Diego's detailed account of his encounters with the Lady on the hill, with lots of tender dialogue between her and him. The Nican Mopohua, sometimes called 'The Fifth Gospel,' is available [on the web site] in seven languages: Nahuatl (Aztec, the original language of composition), English, Spanish, Polish, Japanese, Italian, and French." This site is described as "Truly outstanding" and "One of the very best Marian sites" by MaryLinks. There is also an excellent site in Spanish that was inaugurated by Pope John Paul in 2001.

The story has also been told -- for a different audience -- in a Wall Street Journal column in February, 2001. There is also the excellent essay Unity in the Virgin published on the MSNBC web site in December 2004 by Dave Kopel (who also wrote the MaryLinks web site).

Juan Diego was canonized on July 31, 2002.