On a hillside, just outside what is now Mexico City, in the year 1531 the Virgin Mary appeared before
an Indian farmer named Juan Diego, and asked him to see to it that a church be built there in her honor. When Juan approached
his Bishop with Our Lady's request, he was not believed and was driven out. The Virgin appeared again to the Indian
and directed him to a barren, stony place where she said he would find roses growing. He wrapped the roses in his cloak
and brough them to the Bishop. When he unwrapped the roses, he discovered the image of the Virgin imprinted on the cloak.
This time he was believed and a Bisilica was built on the original spot.
This cloak, unfaded by time has been authenticated by art experts as not being any work
they can explain. The picture above is the exact image Our Lady imprinted onto Juan Diego's cloak which
now hangs behind the main altar of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe (1)
The following novena was composed by the late Helen Behrens. She was an American
who until her death, spent many years operating an English Information Center, near the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
in Mexico City. She was tireless in her efforts to promote devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, particularly as "Queen
and Mother of America."
This Novena in English received the imprimatur of the proper Church authorities in Mexcio
City in 1956. This Novena has been found to be most effective, particularly in bringing about a solution to difficult
and seemingly impossible problems. It is recommended that you say it often, for Our Lady of Guadalupe truly does listen
to the prayers of those who call upon her intercession.
After the prayer for each day, say four Hail Mary's, commemorating the four
apparitions to Juan Diego; and the Memorare to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Memorare to Our Lady of Guadalupe
Remember, O most gracious Virgin of Guadalupe, that in your heavenly
apparitions on the mount of Tepeyac, you promised to show your compassion and pity towards all who, loving and trusting you,
seek your help and call upon you in their necessities and afflictions. You promised to hear our supplications, to dry
our tears, and to give us consolation and relief. Never has it been known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored
your help, or sought your intercession, either for the common welfare, or in personal anxieties, was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we run to you, O Mary, ever-Virgin
Mother of the true God! Though grieving under the weight of our sins, we come to prostrate ourselves before your
presence, certain that you will fulfill your merciful promises. We fully trust that, standing beneath your shadow and
protection, nothing will trouble or afflict us, nor do we need to fear illness, or misfortune, or any other sorrow.
You wanted to remain with us through your admirable Image, you
who are our Mother, our health, and our life. Placing ourselves beneath your maternal gaze, and having recourse to you
in all our necessities, we need do nothing more.
Our Holy Mother of God, despise not our petitions, but in your
mercy hear and answer us. Amen.
The words of Our Lady of Guadalupe spoken to the Indian, Juan Diego, on the hill of Tepeyac,
December 9, 1531,
"My dear son, whom I love tenderly, know that I am the Virgin
Mary, Mother of the True God; the Giver and maintainer of life; Creator of all things; Lord of Heaven and Earth, Who is in
all places. I wish a temple to be erected here, where I can manifest the compassion I have for the natives and for ALL
who solicit my help."
These your words, my heavenly Mother, fill my heart
with love and gratitude, with renewed faith and hope, because they were directed to me also. Therefore, I turn to you,
confident of obtaining through your intercession, the graces which will enable me to live in accordance with the teaching
of your Divine Son, Jesus, whom I desire to love with all my heart. You shared in all that my Saviour suffered for me,
therefore I also belong to you, and you are my loving Mother.
Do not abandon me in this vale of tears; take pity, I beg you,
on my poverty and necessities; have compassion on my anxieties and cares; assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and
The Merciful words spoken on the fourth and last visit to Juan
"Do not let anything afflict you, and do not be afraid
of any illness or accident or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection?
Do you need anything else?"
These words were also directed to me and they fill my heart with
gladness and hope. Turn then, most graciou Mother, your eyes of mercy towards me. Perfect me in your love, making
it possible for me to put all my troubles and worries at your feet, knowing that you will remember that you are my Mother;
that I am under your shadow and protection; and that you will obtain for me the consolation of which I am so much in need.
When you visited Juan Diego's dying uncle Juan
Bernardino, curing him and telling him your name, "Immaculate Virgin Mary who crushed the serpent," you fill the Indians'
hearts with joy. It told them that they no longer needed to make human sacrifices to their pagan idols.
Hail! Holy Queen, merciful Mother. Hail!
Our life, our sweetness and our hope!
Permit me to join in the songs of praise that,
to this day, this whole nation sends up to your throne' many coming long distances to offer you gifts and prayers.
Pray for us Holy Mother of God, exterminate the SERPANT OF EVIL
from our lives, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ, your Divine Son.
When the Indians saw the admirable image representing you, which you left on Juan Diego's
tilma, they recognized it to be a picture-writing, containing a celestial message which was directed to them. Your regal
figure, in the form of a human being, taught them that your dwelling place, at one time, must have been on earth. The
rays of the sun, the clouds which surround your body, the stars on your garment, the crescent under your feet, the Angel who
transports you through space, all denote that your present abode is in Heaven, and called their attention to the immortality
of the human soul.
O Holy Mary, as your image on the garment of Juan Deigo taught
the Indians, so let it teach me never to forget the immortality of my soul, that Heaven is my goal and my inheritance.
Amid the temptations and miseries of this life, let me think always of this home of peace, of glory and eternal bliss.
For centuries, the natives of Mexico had worshipped the sun,
sacrificing countless human beings in its honor. But when they beheld your beautiful Image blotting it out, so that
only its rays are visible, they understood the lesson it was intended to convey.
After the Indians had heard your message, and read what your
Image contains, they abandoned their false gods and embraced the loving doctrine of your Divine Son.
Never have they ceased to give thanks for the great mercy that
the Almighty God showered upon them, when He sent you to be their Queen, their Mother, and their teacher.
O Holy Mary, through the mystery of the Incarnation of your beloved
Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, wherein our salvation was begun, obtain for us ligtht to understand the greatness of the benefit
He bestowed upon us in becoming our Brother, and in giving you, His own venerated Mother, to be our Mother also.
The fires that burned on the altars of the false gods were extinguished
forever, after the Indians had contemplated your Image, and saw you clothed with the sky covered with stars. This showed
them that the stars had been created by the Indivisible God to serve humankind and, therefore, could not be gods to whom adoration
and sacrifices were due.
Most Holy Mary, who through your Image, stamped by God on the
Indian's garment, hast brought millions of pagans into the light of the true Faith, I beg you to obtain for me the grace of
understanding the message it contains. Shed upon me the light of your countenance; direct and sanctify all my undertakings.
The emblem of our redemption, stamped upon the golden brooch
fastened to your garment, served to tell the Indians that the religion of their conquerors was the one they were to embrace.
The cross on the banner of Hernanado Cortez and on the brooch was the same. When they saw it upon your Image, they flocked
around the Spanish Missionairies, eager to know its meaning. They were told about the Saviour, Who came form Heaven
to redeem the human race, through His death on the cross; and that you are the Virgin Mother of the Divine Victim, associated
with Him in the mystery of our redemption.
Happy the nation to whom you revealed yourself and God.
Holy Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, my Queen and Mother, more than
four hundred and fifty years have passed since you spoke to Juan Diego, and, so far, only a few of your children in other
lands have become aware of the purpose of your Image on the altar of your shrine. Inspire us, then, to see in this,
your miraculous picture, the instrument for the conversion of ALL to the Catholic Apostolic Faith, you who are the adorable
Queen and Mother of all the Apostles, and of all Missionaries.
After Juan Deigo had cut the flowers that had bloomed suddenly
on the barren hill of Tepeyac, he brought them to you at the foot of the mount, where you were waiting. With your own hands
you arranged them in his tilma, tying it around his neck, telling him to take them to Bishop Zumarraga, and that this sign
would induce him to start building your temple. The last words which he heard from your adorable lips were: "You
are my ambassador worthy of confidence; go in peace."
The sacred picture, on the coarse cloth of the tilma, could not
have been painted by human hands. It convinced the Bishop, as it ought to convince every person who looks at it, that
Juan Diego's message was truly yours.
Humbly I beg you, my Queen and Mother: Let me be your ambassador
like Juan Deigo, to give the doctrine contained in your Image to all my friends; to convince them also, whether they be believers
O Holy Virgin, enthroned on the spot which you yourself chose,
in teh very heart of an idolatrous nation, you marvelously accomplished its conversion. After seeing your Image on teh
tilma of their countryman, Juan Diego, the Indians stripped their temples of all idols and built beautiful churches on whose
towers gleaming crosses shone in the sun. The huge drum, which innumerable times had announced human sacrifices in honor
of their gods, was heard no more.
As Juan Deigo spent the remaining seventeen years of his life
in giving your spoken message to the Indians, so permit me, my loving Mother, to help in making known your celestial message
among my countrymen. Animate and bless all who join in the Apostleship and Novena, in order to propagate the Catholic
religion among their friends, having as their banner your admirable Image on Juan Diego's tilma, together with the cross,
the emblem of our redemption.
I beg your special aid in procuring the conversion of __________.
Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe (2)
Our Lady of Guadalupe, acccording to your message in Mexico I
venerate you as "the Virgin Mother of the true God for Whom we live, the Creator of all the world. Maker of heaven and
earth." In spirit I kneel before your most holy Image which you miraculously imprinted upon the cloak of the Indian
Juan Deigo, and with faith of the countless numbers of pilgrims who visit your shrine, I beg you for this favor (mention
your request here).
Remember, O Immaculate Virgin, the words you spoke to your devout
client, "I am a merciful Mother to you and to all your people who love me and trust in me and invoke my help. I listen
to their lamentations and solace all their sorrows and their sufferings." I beg you to be a merciful Mother to me, because
I sincerely love you and trust in your and invoke your help.
I entreat you, Our Lady of Guadalupe, to grant my request, if
this should be the Will of God, in order that I may "bear witness to your love, your compassion, your help and protection."
Do not forsake me in my needs.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Hail Mary... (3 times).