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St. Juan Diego Card - Artist John Nava

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Saint Juan Diego
Born 1474 at Cuauhtitlan, about 14 Miles from Mexico City
Died May 1548

Saint Juan Diego was one of the first Catholics baptized in Mexico in 1524. He was a Nahua tribesman, possibly the grandson of the philosopher-King Nezahualcoytl, although traditionally believed to be a poor peasant. He lived a simple life as a laborer, walking many miles every day to attend Mass. On one of these mornings, in 1531 on Tepeyac Hill, he had a vision of the Virgin Mary dressed as an Aztec princess and encircled by a rainbow. She told Juan Diego to tell the bishop to build a church on that spot so that in it she could give her love and compassion to the people. When the skeptical bishop asked for proof of the Lady’s identity Juan returned to him with a cloak full of flowers that he found growing in the snow. Even more miraculous was the image of the Lady, which glowed from inside his cloak and that can still be seen today at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Our Lady of Guadalupe became the patroness of the Americas. Juan Diego’s feast day is December 9th.

This image is made from original designs for
The Communion of Saints,
A cycle of tapestries woven for the Nava of the
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Los Angeles, California.