Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City praised the 16th century saint Juan Diego for teaching the Catholic faith to locals through humble obedience to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
St. Juan Diego, “on the tenth anniversary of your canonization, thank you for teaching us to live the faith, thank you for teaching us the way of true conversion,” the cardinal said during a July 30 Mass.
In his homily, Cardinal Rivera recalled the apparitions of Mary to the Indian Juan Diego and how she entrusted to him an important message for the Bishop of Mexico, Juan de Zumarraga, “the construction of a temple, a sacred little home, a church.”
“She put all her trust in this obedient messenger. She discovered that clean and pure heart of Juan Diego,” the cardinal said.
However, Juan Diego felt overwhelmed by all the difficulties and asked that she send someone else, “for he was nobody, he was not respected or known or honored.”
In these circumstances, the cardinal said, “The Virgin Mary gives him one of her strong loving embraces, as she is the one who asks him, pleads with him and implores him to be her intercessor. Moreover, she powerfully and tenderly reveals to him that she is his mother.”
“Juan Diego believed, had faith in each word that came from the heart and mouth of Holy Mary of Guadalupe,” he added.
“On the one hand, she continued believing in him, holding him in her love, and on the other, Juan Diego believed in her and realized that when one has true faith, an attitude of joy, an attitude of joyful service, flourishes with it.”
During the Mass, Cardinal Rivera also said that the visit ten years ago by now Blessed John Paul II to canonize Juan Diego was the encounter between two men of God, “two men who now are in heaven, the paradise of God’s eternal love.”