Dec. 9, St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin

Beloved Juan Diego, "the talking eagle"! Show us the way that leads to the "Dark Virgin" of Tepeyac, that she may receive us in the depths of her heart, for she is the loving, compassionate Mother who guides us to the true God. Amen.

--from the homily by Pope John Paul II at the canonization of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin

"The miraculous image, which is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, shows a woman with native features and dress. She is supported by an angel whose wings are reminiscent of one of the major gods of the traditional religion of that area. The moon is beneath her feet and her blue mantle is covered with gold stars. The black girdle about her waist signifies that she is pregnant."

--from the Vatican's> biography of St. Juan Diego

Pope John Paul II canonized some questionable figures, but however difficult it may be for some to venerate Josemaria Escriva or Padre Pio, at least we know they existed. With Juan Diego, that is not at all certain. These articles by John L. Allen in NCR, by George W. Grayson in Commonweal, and by Stafford Poole, C.M., in Commonweal provide some background to the controversial canonization.

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