Our Lady of Guadalupe was proclaimed patroness of the Americas by Pope Pius XII in 1946. The devotion dates to 1531 when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared as a young Aztec woman to Juan Diego, a convert to Christianity whose Indigenous name was Cuauhtlatoatzin (“Eagle Who Speaks”). The site of the apparition was called the Hill of Tepeyac, which eventually became part of Villa de Guadalupe, a suburb of Mexico City, and today is an international Marian shrine. Some 20 million pilgrims and other visitors come to the shrine each year, which brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Catholics from all the Americas. Authentic devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe shows how the Catholic faith finds expression in Indigenous cultures. In 2002 Juan Diego was declared a Saint by the Catholic Church.
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