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Sanctuary in Guadelupa
Sanctuary is visited each year by more than 20 millions of pilgrims from Latin America. Mexican Catholic Church and its survival during the hard times couldn't be imagined without the Virgin Mary of Guadelupa. Virgin Mary revealed herself in 1531 to Juan Diego, a poor Indian. It was during the first period of the evangelism in Mexico. Virgin Mary had "the look of an Indian" and she spoke Juan Diego's Language.
In Guadelupa, the people have entrusted their all sorrows to the Virgin Mary. Historical sources say that the Virgin Mary has first revealed herself on 9th of December 1531, when Juan has been travelling to Tlateloco early in the morning, for the Holy Mass conducted by the Franciscans. He saw a beautiful lady, dressed in a pink robe and a blue coat, who introduced herself as "the Virign Mary the mother of the true God" and asked him to build a temple in the place where they were standing. She asked him to bring this message to the bishop of Mexico.
In the place where the Virgin Mary revealed herself to the poor Indian, a small chapel was erected soon after. Then it was further expanded and, in time, a huge Basilica of Our Lady of Guadelupa was standing in the place. From the very beginning, miraculous healings occur in the place.
On permission of the bishop, Juan Diego built a house near the church and served the Lord and his Mother. He left everything he got and devoted the rest of his life to praying and spreading the word of God. He died on 30th of May 1548 and was buried in the church where he worked. The modern church was built in the area of the earlier basilica, finished in 1709. When the old basilica, built on a damp ground, began to turn into ruin, a new sanctuary was built to accommodate the sacred painting. The new sanctuary was finished in 1976, and it was designed by Pedro Ramirez Vasquez, a great Mexican architect.
On the 6th of May 1990, John Paul II has made Juan Diego a blessed and canonized him on 31st of July 2002, during the mass held at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadelupa.
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