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Totus Tuus, Maria
Our Lady of Guadalupe
by John Steinbeck
Juan Diego and his wife Maria Lucia were humble people who lived in the little town of Cuautitlan, north of Mexico City. They had no children so that their dependence on each other was great. One dawn, Maria Lucia was feverish. At midmorning her eyes were swollen and her breath labored. At noon she died.
They had lived in love, and Juan Diego was lost in his sorrow. He had no relatives but the uncle named Juan Bernardino, who had cared for him in his youth. Now Juan Diego took to wandering over the hills, spending his strength the way a grieving man does. In the night, he was wakeful and restless.
Music at the Hill
It is told that one December day, he arose before dawn and walked through the frost of the harsh stormy land until he came to the hill of Tepayac. Just as the day was breaking, he climbed the hill and there came to him, first softly, and then louder, the sound of many birds' songs.
The songs grew to an earthly music so that he stopped and wondered, for the music seemed to come from everywhere. He looked up the hill, and the dawn light was brighter than any he had ever seen; the music swelled and echoed.
Juan Diego went quickly toward the light that shone from the hilltop; a voice from the music said, "Juan Diego, come here."In a moment, his grief was gone and the fullness of beauty was in him. The path up the hill was lined with mesquite and cactus and sharp with stones. He came half running to the brow. The music swelled and retired.
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