Let Not Your Heart Be Disturbed

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I Am Your Merciful Mother

On December 9th, 1531, while Saint Juan Diego was on his way to Mass, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him and spoke to him on Tepeyac Hill. This is what she said:

Know for certain, littlest of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the true God through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of Heaven and Earth. I wish and intensely desire that in this place my sanctuary be erected. Here I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the merciful Mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me.
Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes. In order that my wish may be fulfilled, you must go to Mexico City, to the house of the Bishop and tell him that I sent you, that it is my desire to have a house built for me here, that my Temple be raised on the plain. Tell him what you have seen and heard and be sure that I shall be grateful to you for doing what I ask. I shall make you happy and reward you for the service which you render to me. And you will have great merit, for I will compensate your weariness, your work in procuring that for which I have sent you as messenger. You have heard, my least son, my desires, my work; go and do your part.

Let Not Your Heart Be Disturbed

A few days later on December 12th, 1531, the Mother of God again appeared to Juan Diego, saying:

Let nothing frighten or grieve you, let not your heart be disturbed, do not fear any sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of health? Are you not happily within the folds of my mantle, held safely in my arms?

This Is the Way

The Advent message of the prophet Isaiah is remarkably similar to the words of the Mother of God to Juan Diego:

Yes, O people in Zion who dwell at Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide Himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left (Is 30:19-21).

Juan Diego's lot in life was marked by tears; he had eaten the bread of adversity and drunk of the water of affliction. The Virgin Mother of God made herself his teacher. He described the gentle feminine voice that called to him, "Juanito, dearest Juan Diego," drawing him to the summit of the hill where she waited for him.

Sun, Moon, and Stars

Isaiah prophesies that, "the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and he light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the Lord binds up the hurt of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow" (Is 30:26). The Lady who appeared to Juan Diego was standing in front of the sun blazing in all its strength; the Aztecs understood by this that she was greater than the sun god they worshiped and so feared. Her feet rested on a crescent moon, the symbol of the moon goddess, sister to the sun god. The symbolism of the miraculous image, intelligible to the Aztecs was, at the same time, full of meaning to Christians who knew the mysterious woman of the Apocalypse: "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Ap 12:1). The God "who telleth the number of the stars, and calleth them all by their names" (Ps 146:4) covered the Woman's mantle with the stars, arranged in the very constellation that would have shone in the firmament on that December 9th, 1531.

Where Heaven Touches Earth

The words of the Merciful Mother of Guadalupe to Saint Juan Diego were the faithful representation of the deeds and words of her Divine Son who, "went about, healing every disease and every infirmity" (Mt 9:35). In the plan of God, Tepeyac was to become one of those mysterious and blessed places where heaven touches earth. "The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Mt 10:7).

Wheresoever the Blessed Virgin is loved and invoked, there the Kingdom of Heaven is present. Wheresoever the Blessed Virgin is forgotten, where her role in the economy of salvation is minimized or ridiculed, where her images are not honoured and where her sweet name is not repeated ceaselessly in prayer, there the age-old serpent raises his ugly head; there one hears the hiss from hell.

All Thine

On July 31st, 2002 Pope John Paul II canonized the humble Juan Diego in the presence of 12 million people. In sifting through the riches of the spiritual patrimony that Pope John Paul II left the Church, the first thing that strikes us is the message emblazoned on his papal coat of arms: Totus tuus. Two words addressed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God: All thine. If today's commemoration of Saint Juan Diego teaches us anything, let it be that each of us is invited to entrust himself unreservedly, to consecrate himself to the Mother of God. What she said 475 years ago to Juan Diego, she repeats to each of us today:

Let nothing frighten or grieve you, let not your heart be disturbed, do not fear any sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who am your Mother.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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