20130325 Mary brought millions to Church 聖母帶群眾進教會

In the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church lost many members in Europe due to the Protestant revolt; however the Church gained even more members in the New World through the powerful intervention of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The humblest son

            Juan Diego was one of the first to be converted to Catholicism after the Spanish conquered the Mexican Empire. He and his wife were baptized at the church of Santiago. The couple would walk fourteen miles to Tlatelolco for Mass. After the death of his wife in 1529, his devotion to Our Lady became even stronger.

On Saturday December 9, 1531, while on his way to the church at Tlatelolco, Juan Diego came near the hill called Tepeyac; there he heard someone called him from the hilltop. When Juan Diego went up the hill, he saw the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Our Lady said, ”Juanito, the humblest of my children, know and understand that I am the ever virgin Mary, Mother of the true God through whom all things live. It is my ardent desire that a church be erected here so that in it I can show and bestow my love, compassion, help, and protection to all who inhabit this land and to those others who love me, that they might call upon and confide in me. Go to the Bishop of Mexico to make known to him what I greatly desire. Go and put all your efforts into this.”

Juan Diego spoke to Bishop Fray Juan de Zumarraga, but the Bishop did not believe in him. Juan Diego, therefore, returned to the hilltop and asked Our Lady to send someone more illustrious to convey the message. Our Lady, however, told him to see the Bishop again.

The next day, Sunday December 10, Juan Diego went to see the Bishop. However, the Bishop did not believe in Juan Diego and told him that some sign was necessary.

Castilian roses

            In 1531, the Mexican people were on the verge of revolting against the Spaniards because of conflicts and tensions. Bishop Zumarraga had begged Our Lady for help and had secretly asked her for Castilian roses as a sign that she would help. Castilian roses did not grow in Mexico but in Spain.

On Monday December 11, Juan Diego did not return to the hilltop. On that day his uncle, Juan Bernardino, became very ill and asked Juan Diego to find him a priest at Tlatelolco.

On Tuesday December 12, Juan Diego went around the hill to avoid Our Lady. But she met him on the side of the hill and said, “Listen and understand, my humblest son. There is nothing to frighten and distress you. Do not let year heart be troubled, and let nothing upset you. Is it not I, your Mother, who is here? Are you not under my protection? Are you not, fortunately, in my care? Do not let your uncle’s illness distress you. It is certain that he has already been cured. Go up the hilltop, my son, where you will find flowers of various kinds. Cut them, and bring them into my presence.”

Juan Diego did as Our Lady had commanded. He was astonished to see so many Castilian roses at a time when the frost was severe, and Our Lady helped arranging them in his tilma (mantle).

Our Lady told Juan Diego to bring the roses to the Bishop. He opened his tilma in the presence of the Bishop, and let the roses scattered to the ground. The image of Our Lady also appeared on the tilma.

Due to the apparitions and the image, great numbers of native Mexicans went to the missionaries for Baptism. Millions were converted in the years immediately following the apparitions and the annual 20,000 human sacrifices to false god was abolished.

誓反教派在十六世紀,影響了歐洲很多信眾脫離聖教會;在另邊廂的新世界,卻因瓜達露彼聖母而教務蓬葧,進教的人數大增。

 

謙卑的兒子

 

西班牙擊潰墨西哥帝國後,若望.狄埃高是其中最早皈化聖教的土著,他和妻子在聖地牙哥的一所聖堂受洗,而他們為了參與彌撒,必需每次從家步行十四英里,到特拉特洛爾科市去。妻子在1529年逝世後,若望.狄埃高敬愛聖母之心,更形熱切。

 

1531年十二月九日,若望.狄埃高到特拉特洛爾科的途中,於達彼雅崗山麓,聽得有人呼喚他的名字,他於是登山,在山崗上赫然見到童貞聖母。

 

聖母對他說:「我至謙卑的兒子華尼托,你要知道我是卒世童貞瑪利亞,萬物賴以活存真天主的母親。我切望在這處建造恭敬我的聖堂,好讓此地居民得到我的呵護和庇蔭,好讓那些敬愛我的人向我呼求、信賴我。去!把我這意願轉告墨西哥主教,你要全力促成此事。」

 

若望.狄埃高向若翰.蘇馬拉加主教陳述始末,卻未得對方相信,於是折返山崗,請聖母另遣賢能,但聖母要他再作嘗試。

 

次日,十二月十日、星期日,若望.狄埃高再謁見主教,仍不著要領,主教反要求一些徵兆以證事情的真確。

 

卡詩娣玫瑰

 

是年,墨西哥人民正與西班牙統治者交惡,瀕臨革命邊源。蘇馬拉加主教曾向聖母求助,暗中要求聖母賜與卡詩娣玫瑰,作為幫助墨西哥人的承兆。卡詩娣玫瑰不長在墨西哥,只生長在西班牙國內。。

 

十二月十一日、星期一,若望.狄埃高沒有如諾到達彼雅崗。當日,他的叔父病重。翌日,他繞過達北雅崗,沒打算往見聖母,為的是趕赴特拉特洛爾科市替叔父找神父;聖母竟在崗麓給他顯現,指示他說:「我至謙卑的兒子,你要聽著。沒有任何事情會使你驚惶卻步!你何必心煩意亂!我、你的母親,不是在這裡嗎?你不是在我的庇蔭下嗎?你不是有幸地在我的呵護下嗎?你不用因叔父的病而苦惱,事實上,他已痊癒了。我兒,你到崗上採摘一些玫瑰送交主教,以確證我的意願。」

 

若望.狄埃高跑到崗上,驚見寒冬中生長著色艷奪目的卡詩娣玫瑰。他採集大堆,用斗篷包裹,直奔主教處。

 

跑到主教跟前,若望.狄埃高張開斗篷,卡詩娣玫瑰撒滿一地,聖母肖像此時居然顯在斗篷內面!

 

緣於這不可思議的奇蹟,一批又一批墨西哥人擁到聖堂,要求受洗。往後多年,皈依的信眾以百萬計。墨西哥人的歸化也終止了每年約兩萬的殺人祭邪神的惡行。

 

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