On December 12 the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which means now, in the middle of Advent, is the time to celebrate the most important event in the evangelization of the New World. In December 1531, the Virgin Mary appeared to a poor Mexican convert named Juan Diego. The apparition occurred a little more than ten years after Spanish conquistadors under Hernan Cortes invaded Mexico and ended the Aztec empire. Though missionaries accompanied the Spanish forces, they were having little success converting the Native Americans, until word spread that the Virgin Mary had appeared to Juan Diego. As a result of his encounter with the Virgin, and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe miraculously imprinted on his cloak, nine million Native Americans embraced the Catholic faith. FORMED has a great film that tells the Guadalupe story from the 16th century to the present: Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message.
Produced by the Knights of Columbus and narrated by the Catholic actor Jim Caviezel, the film features interviews with leading theologians, historians, and experts on the scientific inquiries into the miraculous image on Juan Diego’s cloak. It also explores both the inexplicable mysteries behind the image – and the relevance of the Guadalupe apparition to the modern world. By the end of Guadalupe, you will understand, among many other things, why the Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City is the most visited Catholic shrine in the world. A Spanish version of film, Guadalupe: el Milagro y el Mensaje, is also available.
FORMED also has an audio version of the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe for younger audiences, especially children in the early grades. It’s called Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego and is part of a series called Truth To Inspire, which has many stories available on FORMED about the saints.