The miraculous appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in December of 1531 is the foundational experience for the Catholic faith in the Americas. The Mother of Jesus, who hurried into the hill country of Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth, comes to her children of a new world with an urgent message. She comes as a beautiful woman clothed with the sun and radiant with the stars, yet she greets Juan Diego by his name, in his own language. She asks Juan to be her messenger so that a church may be built where she may show her love for all her children: “Here I will demonstrate, I will show, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes.”
When Juan Diego carried Our Lady’s message to the local bishop, he asked for a sign from the Lady. Early on the morning of December 12, 1531, she fulfilled the bishop’s request with two miracles whose powerful meaning redounds almost 500 years later. First, she directed Juan to climb to the top of the craggy, dry hill and gather the blossoms he would find there. These unexpected blossoms on a barren hilltop, these fragrant roses vibrant in color and bright with morning dew were a sign of flourishing new life recognizable both to the bishop and the native people. The Lady herself arranged the flowers in Juan’s tilma, the humble cloak woven of the local cactus fibers. When Juan opened the tilma to share the roses with the bishop and his council, an even greater sign appeared: the image of the Lady as she had appeared to him at Tepeyac. The bishop fell to his knees and exclaimed: “Hail Mary, full of grace.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School derives its name and its inspiration from this encounter. Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School aspires to be built in Mary’s honor and in her image of compassion and concern for all her children. Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School seeks to be a beautiful home where children can flourish and blossom. Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School intends to be a center of evangelization for children and their families, steeped in the best traditions of Catholic education yet responsive to new times and situations.
“I am always your mother,” Our Lady of Guadalupe assures us, and “you are always my children.”