by Darren Squillace ’19
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to an elderly man named Juan Diego in the form of the Virgin Mary. It was 1531, and not only was Juan Diego elderly, he was also a peasant laborer. This is not the first person many would call upon to carry a message to the bishop asking him to erect a church. This is what Our Lady of Guadalupe did, however, as not only did she look past the social status of Juan Diego, but chose him to carry out her will due to her belief in the good and humility of her people.
When Juan Diego initially went to his local bishop to relay what he had witnessed, the bishop naturally had difficulty believing the peasant’s story and required that he have the spirit give a sign of her presence. When Juan Diego’s uncle came close to death due to illness, Our Lady of Guadalupe cured him along with giving him the sign the hesitant bishop and his advisors had required.
When Diego had returned to the bishop for the third time, he again told him and his advisors what had occurred while opening his tilma what revealed flowers along with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The temple that was ultimately built and remains to the day is one of the most notable sites of religious pilgrimage in the world today.
When asked about the newly erected shrine in St. Dominic Chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Father Peter Martyr Yungwirth, O.P., explained the purpose and stated that the shrine will fulfill. “The new Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Dominic Chapel is a space to pray and ask Our Lady of Guadalupe to offer our prayers to God,” Fr. Peter Martyr said. “The image, which was donated to the College, is a reproduction of the miraculous tilma in Mexico City and shows her maternal care not only for the people of Mexico but also for all of the Americas.”
The shrine, like Our Lady of Guadalupe herself, serves as a representation of both God’s and her own love of all human beings, not only those who are perceived to be righteous. Anyone who wishes to visit the shrine and offer up prayers to Our Lady may feel free to do so at any time.
“There are prayer cards available in the Shrine with some history, info, and prayers in English and Spanish, and it’s a quiet place to sit and pray. So please come by for a beautiful experience of prayer on campus.”