The Miracle of Tepeyac

The Miracle of Tepeyac

The Aztec Indian Cuauhtlatoatzin, which means “the one who speaks like an eagle,” was born in 1474. He married a girl named Malitzin, and they lived with an uncle near Lake Texcoco. The three were among the few to be baptized in the early days, most likely by Father Toribio in 1525, and given the names Juan Diego and Maria Lucia, and the uncle Juan Bernardino. Maria Lucia was childless, and died a premature death in 1529.

Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was a widower at age 55, and turned his life to God. It was his custom to attend Mass and catechism lessons at the Church in Tlatelolco. At daybreak, on Saturday, December 9, 1531, Juan Diego began his journey to Church. As he passed a hill named Tepeyac, on which once stood a temple to the Aztec mother god Tonantzin, he heard songbirds burst into harmony. Music and songbirds presaged something divine for the Aztec. The music stopped as suddenly as it had begun. A beautiful girl with tan complexion and bathed in the golden beams of the sun called him by name in N├íhuatl, his native language, “Juan Diego!”


The girl said: “Dear little son, I love you. I want you to know who I am. I am the Virgin Mary, Mother of the one true God, of Him who gives life. He is Lord and Creator of heaven and of earth. I desire that there be built a temple at this place where I want to manifest Him, make him known, give Him to all people through my love, my compassion, my help, and my protection. I truly am your merciful Mother, your Mother and the Mother of all who dwell in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, and of those who seek and place their trust in me. Here I shall listen to their weeping and their sorrows. I shall take them all to my heart, and I shall cure their many sufferings, afflictions, and sorrows. So run now to Tenochtitlan and tell the Lord Bishop all that you have seen and heard.”

Juan Diego went to the palace of the Franciscan Don Fray Juan de Zumarraga, and after rude treatment by the servants, was granted an audience with the Bishop. The Bishop was cordial but hesitant on the first visit and said that he would consider the request of the Lady and politely invited Juan Diego to come visit again.

Dismayed, Juan returned to the hill and found Mary waiting for him (second apparition). He asked her to send someone more suitable to deliver her message “for I am a nobody.”

She said on this second visit, “Listen, little son. There are many I could send. But you are the one I have chosen for this task. So, tomorrow morning, go back to the Bishop. Tell him it is the ever holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God who sends you, and repeat to him my great desire for a church in this place.”

So, Sunday morning, December 10, Juan Diego called again on the Bishop for the second time. Again with much difficulty, he was finally granted an audience. The Bishop was surprised to see him and told him to ask for a sign from the Lady.

Juan Diego reported this to the Virgin (third apparition), and she told him to return the following morning for the sign. However, when Juan Diego returned home he found his uncle Juan Bernardino gravely ill. Instead of going back to Tepeyac, he stayed home with his dying uncle on Monday.

Juan Diego woke up early Tuesday morning, December 12th, to bring a priest from the Church of Santiago at Tlatelolco, so that his uncle might receive the last blessing. Juan had to pass Tepeyac hill to get to the priest. Instead of the usual route by the west side of the hill, he went around the east side to avoid the Lady. Guess who descended the hill on the east side to intercept his route!

The Virgin said, “Least of my sons, what is the matter?”

Juan was embarrassed by her presence (fourth apparition). “My Lady, why are you up so early? Are you well? Forgive me. My uncle is dying and desires me to find a priest for the Sacraments. It was no empty promise I made to you yesterday morning. But my uncle fell ill.”

Mary said, “My little son. Do not be distressed and afraid. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the fountain of your joy? Are you not in the fold of my mantle, in the cradle of my arms? Your uncle will not die at this time. This very moment his health is restored. There is no reason now for your errand, so you can peacefully attend to mine. Go up to the top of the hill; cut the flowers that are growing there and bring them to me.”

Flowers in December? Impossible, thought Juan Diego. But he was obedient, and sure enough found beautiful Castilian roses on the hilltop. As he cut them, he decided the best way to protect them against the cold was to cradle them in his tilma – a long, cloth cape worn by the Aztecs, and often looped up as a carryall. He ran back to Mary and she rearranged the roses and tied the lower corners of the tilma behind his neck so that nothing would spill, and said, “You see, little son, this is the sign I am sending to the Bishop. Tell him that now he has his sign, he should build the temple I desire in this place. Do not let anyone but him see what you are carrying. Hold both sides until you are in his presence and tell him how I intercepted you on your way to fetch a priest to give the Last Sacraments to your uncle, how I assured you he was perfectly healed and sent you up to cut these roses, and myself arranged them like this. Remember, little son, that you are my trusted ambassador, and this time the Bishop will believe all that you tell him.” This fourth apparition was the last known time Juan Diego ever saw the Virgin Mary.

Juan called for the third time on the Bishop and explained all that had passed. Then Juan put up both hands and untied the corners of crude cloth behind his neck. The looped-up fold of the tilma fell; the flowers he thought were the precious sign tumbled out on the floor.

The Bishop rose from his chair and fell on his knees in adoration before the tilma, as well as everyone else in the room. For on the tilma was the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary just as described by Juan Diego.

While Juan Diego was calling on the Bishop, Juan Bernardino, the dying uncle, suddenly found his room filled with a soft light. A luminous young woman filled with love was standing there and told him he would get well. During this fifth apparition, she told him that she had sent his nephew, Juan Diego, to the Bishop with an image of herself and said, “Call me and call my image Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

The Number In Our Lives

People are born with a number. They die with a number. The three most important events in the life of a person is marked by a number: birth, death, and marriage and/or single blessedness vow. In these points, no one can choose which number to get. It is a gift. But what we could choose from these three most important events in life is a special number in marriage/anniversary. In marriage, everybody is given a choice. The choice must be of love, and that means it must serve a family or a community.

Also, card has numbers. Lottery has numbers. Age are numbers. There is mathematics and statistics in life and in business. There are stocks and the stock market. No one can get away from the basics of Math: add, divide, multiply, subtract.

“What’s your address?” You have a house number. “What’s your phone number?” And your phone rings, when the numbers are dialed. You have identification numbers and ATM pins. We count.

Let us see what these number word means:

1. monastery – a residence of monks; A monk from “monachus,” is one who is originally retired from the world for religious meditation.

2. binary – A binary consists of 2 things in parts.

3. triptych – is a picture or carving in three compartments, and can be ” a 3-part picture.”

4. four – Four was venerated by the follower of Pythagoras as the first square after one. It has also been considered sacred because of the ancient elements: earth, air, water, and fire. It forms cardinal points; quadra.

5. quintessence – is “the fifth essence; They also mean the highest essence because in ancient medieval philosophy, there was a thought to be a fifth or higher essence above air, earth, water and fire; 500 or short for 1,500 is used to mean the sixteenth century, especially in art and literature.

6. semester – every 6 months; the siesta began therefore at noon; an afternoon nap or break from the day’s routine is derived via Spanish and Latin. The phrase “sexta hora” refers to the 6th hour after sunrise.

7. seven – seven days a week; a number which had symbolic, mystic character.

8. eight – Eight is the number of justice; Lucky 8 for Chinese because the writing stroke ends with pen pointing up; an octagon is an eight sided plane figure.

9. nine – “Cats have nine lives.” November; A novena is a nine day period of devotion.

10. Ten – considered a perfect number. Man has ten fingers, ten toes. A decade is a period of 10 years, or any group of ten.

Rosalinda Flores – Martinez

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Our Friends Are Saints And Angels

We are all blessed by God in the days we live.

Breath is free, as the Almighty God created us. We are beautiful flesh, bones and hearts living this life. We have form, touch each other and bear children to fill the land God has lent us. This time we live, as yesterday, when our ancestors primed improved ways of life. And so, it is our duty to make way for superior progress tomorrow. And if by chance, we can make something happen for good, we have achieved a purpose of which God has created us for.

Here, we can be happy, make others happy and pray for God’s power and love in all our lives.

Our friends are angels and saints, too. I could sound too imaginative, like creating fiction, but growing up Catholic paved me the way to realize that saints and angels are real.

Of course, I have not seen angels’ wings and feathers or halos, but their calm presence in my everyday ordeal makes it evident that they are guarding all the desires of my heart and those of the people I love and pray for. An angel’s promise is real, as they are the messengers of God to light and guide, to rule and guard.

Neither, have I witnessed immense miracles by saints, but I believe the small miracles that St. Therese tells us. I could feel in my being and through other’s lives the small inspirations that move us to love and serve every new day.

On October 21, 2012 Pope Benedict XVI canonized seven new saints at the Vatican.
The new saints are: Saint Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Saint Jacques Berthieu, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Saint Maria Del Carmen, Saint Maria Schaeffer, Saint Mother Maria Anna Cope, and Saint Pedro Calungsod.

Here are manifestations that God’s love prevails. The power of faith is a gift to all until the end of time, or till that day each of us sees our dearest Father face to face. We only have different paths to tread, but one last.

Literally, there were many instances of my travelling alone that led me on journey, with faith in saint companions. Of course, the saints I was with, were only pictures and prayers on sheets or books, but then, the assurance, love and completeness I felt, sustained all my time of need.

For example, reading the book of Blessed John Paul, while accompanying someone waiting for death was a challenge of an evening. Every tick of the clock scared in those waiting hours, minutes, and seconds. But then, those hours, moments and seconds were moments of grace, too. My mother was geared up, peacefully to meet Jesus. This was a big grace for our family.

All of us are blessed! May we all become witnesses of the small miracles in our lives. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, thank you.

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What A Deepest Sympathy Letter Might Be

I couldn’t write this letter. I wouldn’t write this deepest sympathy letter. I’d rather not.

Why would you let the agonizing person know how sad things are? Why would you focus on his/her miseries instead of cheering up? A prayer would go well for this kind of situation. The person would be happy knowing you would join him/her in prayer. But be sure to do this prayer promise, or else, you will be judged for fooling people saying you’d pray for them.

No one wrote to us when my Dad died. My mother wouldn’t understand. Neither could I. Maybe, had we got one, it’ll add to our misery. And though how kind the words in the letter might be, it will still cut like a knife. And though it is appreciated, I would soon forget it for sympathy can never be fully expressed by mentioning it repeatedly. Sympathy becomes complete only by sitting beside someone in quietness. It is also realized in a prayer, and prayer, and more prayers.

I could remember, in my younger days how it was like a parade when my father died. And when everyone tried to join us, even his colleague (lowest rank to the highest positions) visited and went with us until my Dad got to his finish destination: 7 feet under.

And there were prayers from time to time from friends and family, and cards of prayers. I think these mattered most because someone died, for both the living and the dead need the assurance of God’s caring.

How would you write your deepest sympathy letter then? Would you enumerate every feeling of grief and detail of sadness? Would you, if afar, burst in crying pages of interrogation to give hints for justice? Would you write in madness to show how it breaks your heart, as well? How would you do them?

How would you write I grieve with you, and I empathize with your pain?

Would your letter cut open your chest and show how your heart bleeds? No, that will not suffice.

How about a letter of affection? And in a letter full of prayers showing God’s presence like a mountain that connects lands, and oceans that connects spheres, and air that sustains the magnificence of heaven?

A deepest sympathy letter would come best in a letter of affection and pleadings from God, writing nothing but of love; I grieve because I love. Let God suffice the longings of your heart. Let me wipe your tears with my kisses and let me hold you tight in my silence. I’m meant to love you. I love you.

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The Basic Rules of Writing

The basic rule of writing is to make a clear sentence. That one basic rule embodies more rules that include basic grammar rules, thought building, and a way to communicate or express oneself in a language.

Knowing grammar entails being familiar with the parts of speech: noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.

Each part of speech embodies a set of rules, as to how each part should coordinate with the other parts of speech in writing a sentence. A sentence is written, and analyzed as to idea, construction, or style. Different languages display various basic sentence patterns, like the English language.

When a child, words are learned from the foundations of vocabulary building and thought building. Later, many forms of literature are available. So this one basic rule is easy, as it is hard. Remember the Kiss Theory, “Keep it simple stupid.” Sorry for the negative connotation, but that word was emphasized to make us remember how to make a good sentence.

Have this in mind:

A sentence must have unity, coherence and emphasis.

A sentence has unity when it expresses a single complete thought. The sentence contains only significant details. Unity is oneness.

A sentence has coherence when the parts of the sentence have an apparent and logical relationship with each other. The idea is expressed in a logical manner and/or a consistent manner.

A sentence has emphasis when a word or idea shows clearly what is important. The emphasis helps in an expression of a strong idea; a strong sentence.

After the sentences, paragraphs are built. A good composition follows from the effective paragraphs, after good sentences are made and/or written. Again, the paragraphs require unity, coherence, emphasis, until all revolves and highlights a complete thought. The complete thought could be shown from a topic sentence. In a more formal paper, the complete thought is the thesis, which is supposed to be supported with significant details.

Know by heart the use of proper punctuations. Know the rules of capitalization, which are included in the study of nouns and pronouns. Know how to spell. Spelling goes in getting familiar with words and more words. A dictionary will help.

Be familiar with sentence faults, and practice how to express yourself clearly. All these, and you will get through one by one. As one poet says about writing in a metaphor, “Writing is learning bird by bird.” And don’t worry if errors come, “No grammar is perfect.” Learning how to write requires checking and revising, among others.

Finally, read a lot. If possible, read the news everyday. Also, one article or one story each day would help. After learning the rules, break them and write in your own voice or style.

Good luck!

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