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Lourdes Policarpio
Totus Tuus, Maria

The Story of the Lady of Guadalupe

By Virginia G. Guzman-Manzo, MD

The arrival of the Spanish conquistadores led by Hernando Cortes to the New World on 12 March 1519 heralded the fall and conquest of the Aztec empire. At that time, there were yet no boundaries dividing Latin America. Cortes and his men landed in the port of Vera Cruz which is part of what is now known as Mexico. This ushered the evangelization of the natives and established the Church in the Americas. The natives were at that time exercising a pagan religion dedicated to idolatry and human sacrifices.

After many difficulties that caused the loss of lives and properties to both the natives and the conquerors, Cortes and his men, with the help of priests and missionaries sent from Spain, were able to gradually convert many of the Aztec Indians to Christianity.

Who is Juan Diego?

Early one morning on 9 December 1531, a man by the name of Juan Diego was walking towards Tlatilolco (now Mexico City), about 14 miles from where he lived. He was a native Mexican Indian from a tribe that had always lived in Mexico long before the Aztecs conquered the empire in 1325.

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