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Tonantzintla tocihuapillatocatzin

Nican Mopohua [English]

Nican Mopohua [Nahuatl]
Nican Mopohua [Castellano]
Nican Mopohua [English]

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"Now that the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe has been built
there, they call her Tonantzin too...the term that ancient
Tonantzin and this state of affairs should be remedied, because
the proper name of the Mother of God is not Tonantzin, but Dios.
It seems to be a satanic device to mask idolatry...and they come
from far away to visit that Tonantzin, as much as before; a devotion
which is also suspect because there are many churches of Our
Lady everywhere and they do not go to them; and they come from
faraway lands to this Tonantzin as of old." (Bernardino de Sahagun,
Historia general de las cosas de nueva espana I, lib 6)


Here is recounted, set out in harmony,
how quite recently, very miraculously,
there appeared the Ever Virgin, Saint Mary,
Mother of God and Our Queen,
over at Tepeyac,
which is referred to as Guadalupe.

She first revealed herself to an Indian
by the name of Juan Diego,
and, after that, there appeared Her Sacred Image
in front of the late Bishop,
Don Fray Juan de Zumarraga.

When ten were the years
since the conquering of the waters, the hills of Mexico City;
when arrow, when shield lay still;
when each expanse of waters, each expanse of hills
had lulled to tranquility,

Then there was a beginning,
there was a burgeoning,
there was a blossoming
of believing in the Truth of Him,
of recognizing the Countenance of Him,
Him because of Whom Life goes on,
Him Who is the True Divinity,
God Himself.

It was the year one thousand, five hundred and thirty one,
a few days into the month of December.
It happened that there was an Indian,
one of pitiable poverty,
whose name was Juan Diego.
According to hearsay,
he was a dweller in Kwautitlan,
but in things divine
he belonged entirely in Tlatilolko.

It was a Saturday, and still quite dark,
when he was journeying in pursuit
of Things Divine
and of the Commandments.

As he reaches the neighborhood
of the hillock
in the area named Tepeyac,
already Dawn is brightening.

Distinctly he hears
from the top of the hillock
a singing,
like that of varied rare birds of song.

Time and again subside those voices,
as if for the hill itself to answer.

How utterly soothing to the heart,
how cheering to the soul,
is their song,
surpassing that of the Shrillbird,
that of the Bellbird,
that of every other kind of Lovely Songbird!

Juan Diego stands still,
gazes motionless.
He says to himself:

"Could it be that I be worthy?
Could it be that I deserve
what I am hearing?

Is it that I am dreaming?
Is it that I am sleep-walking?

Where am I?
Where indeed do I seem to be?

Could it be even yonder,
In the place they used to tell us of,
Those Ancient Men,
Those Great Great Grandfathers of ours--

There in the Land of the Flowers' Bloom,
There in the Land of our Flesh's Corn?

Could it be even yonder,
There in the Land of the Heavenly Ones?"

Gazing he is to the top of that hillock,
towards the Region of the Sallying Sun,
whence sallies forth also
that heavenly, lovely song.

Then suddenly ceases the song,
and hearkens he to the stillness:
then hears he a Call,
coming to him from the top of the hillock,
and saying:

"Juanio, Juan Dieguito!"

Thereupon ventures he to make his way up
to where he is being called,
Nothing of disturbance is in his heart,
nor any stunning shock;
rather is he full content with it all,
full glorying in it all,
as he clambers up the hillock,
whither he has been gazing
and whence has been coming his Call.

Upon his reaching the top of the hillock,
he catches sight of a Woman,
One Who has been taking Her stand there.
She beckons him to come on,
closer up to Herself.

Upon reaching Her Presence,
he greatly marvels
at Her extreme, Her surpassing, Her perfect

Her garments are as the Sun,
gleaming, glittering.
Even the boulder, the crag,
on which She takes Her stand
sparkles in Resplendence,
like fine Emerald Jade on a Bangle when it shines,
like the swarming Glow of a Rainbow in the Gloom.

Even the soil,
the brambles and prickles
and the rest of the varied weeds
that struggle to survive there
are shining

Like Emerald, like Divine Turquoise,
to the tip of every leaf;
are glittering
like the Golden Scourings of the Gods
up every stalk and twig and thorn.

In Her Presence he prostrates;
he listens to Her Utterance, Her Declaration.
These are as of One Who sets others at ease,
One Who is Herself of the Gentry born,
One Whose Manner is to attract,
One Whose Attitude is esteem.

She addresses him:
"Do listen to Me,
My Littlest One, Juanito!
Whither are you betaking yourself?"

He in turn makes reply:
"My Sovereign, O Woman, My Maiden,
it is yonder that I am bound,
to Your Dwelling in Mexico-Tlatilolko,
in pursuit of Things Divine
which they minister to us,
which they teach to us,
those Representatives of the Person of Our Sovereign,
who are our Priests."

Forthwith She informs him,
She presents to him
Her Sacred Wish.

She addresses him:
"Do know this,
do be assured of it in your heart,
My Littlest One,
that I Myself, I am the Entirely and Ever Virgin
Saint Mary,
Mother of the True Divinity,
God Himself:

Because of Him, Life goes on,
Creation goes on;

His are all things afar,
His are all things near at hand,
things above in the Heavens,
things here below on the Earth.

How truly I wish it,
how greatly I desire it,
that here they should erect Me My Temple!
Here would I show forth,
here would I lift up to view,
here would I make a gift of
all My Fondness for My Dear Ones,
all My Regard for My Needy Ones,
My Willingness to Aid them,
My Readiness to Protect them.

For truly I Myself,
I am your Compassionate Mother,
yours, for you yourself,
for everybody here in the Land,
for each and all together,
for all others too,
for all Folk of every kind,

who do but cherish Me,
who do but raise their voices to Me,
who do but seek Me,
who do but raise their trust to Me.

For here I shall listen to their groanings,
to their saddenings;
here shall I make well and heal up
their each and every kind
of disappointment,
of exhausting pangs,
of bitter aching pain.

But in order to realize
what I have in mind
in My Regard for My Needy Ones,
do you, please, go to the Palace
of the Bishop of Mexico;

Go and tell him how it is I Myself
who am commissioning you
that you should present to him
how strongly I desire it
that here he should house Me,
that here, on the level ground,
he should erect My Temple.

And give him a full account
of all you have seen and wondered at
and of whatever you have heard.

And do be assured of it in your heart
that I shall be full grateful
and that I shall repay;
for I shall enrich you
and make you prosperous
and you shall very much merit
that I compensate you
for the fatigue and the exertion
of your going to procure
what I am commissioning you to do.

And so you have heard,
My Littlest One,
My Utterance, My Declaration;
do, please, betake yourself
and make every effort to carry it out."

Forthwith he prostrated in Her Presence
and addressed Her:
"My Sovereign, O Woman,
already am I going
that I may realize
Your Utterance, Your Declaration.

May I but take leave of You,
I, Your needy vassal."

Down he went at once
to go and realize his commission,
he met up with the Road of Return
and straight off he headed for Mexico City.

Upon reaching the womb of the city,
at once he headed straight
for the Palace of the Bishop.

This was the Priestly Chieftain
who had but recently taken office;
his name was Don Fray Juan de Zumarraga,
a priest of Saint Francis.

Having reached there,
he at once tried hard
to get to see him,
begging his stewards and domestics
that he might go in and visit him.

Then, after quite a delay,
someone did come out and call him in,
for the Lord Bishop had given orders
that he enter.

When he had entered,
he knelt and prostrated in his Presence.
Forthwith he presented and recounted
the Utterance, the Declaration
of the Heavenly Woman,
Her Commission to him.

Moreover, he told him
of all he had marvelled at,
of all he had seen,
of all he had heard.

Upon hearing the whole
of his declaration and commission,
he seemed to make of it something less than the truth.
He made answer and told him:

some other time you must come along,
when I must listen to you at leisure;
I shall look into the root of the matter
for which you have come along
and consider it,
this wish, this desire of yours."

Off he sallied.
Yet sadly trod he,
for the Bishop had not really credited
his commission.
Thus turned he back and straight he headed,
still that same day,
for the top of the hillock.

When he reached the Presence
of the heavenly woman,
the Place where She had first appeared to him,
there She was, standing and waiting for him.

As soon as he caught sight of Her,
he prostrated, flung himself to the ground
in Her Presence,
and addressed her:

My Sovereign, Milady, O Woman,
My Littlest One, O Maiden,
I have been to where you commissioned me
that I go and realize
Your Utterance, Your Declaration.

Albeit with difficulty,
I did enter into the Quarters
of the Priestly Chieftain;

I saw him and I laid before him
Your Utterance, Your Declaration,
Just as You had bidden me do.

He received me cheerfully
and listened to me in goodly mood,
and yet when he answered me,
it was as if his heart were not in it,
as if he made of it less than the Truth.

He said to me:
'Another time you shall come along,
when I shall listen to you at leisure;
I shall look into the root of the matter
for which you have come along,
this desire, this wish of yours'.

Well could I see
from the way he was answering me
that he was still thinking about
whether this Temple of Yours,
which You wish that they make for You here,
were not something I had merely created,
rather than being from Your Lips.

Thus earnestly do I beg of You,
My Sovereign, O Woman, My Maiden,
that it be one of the Esteemed Gentry,
one whose countenance is recognized,
whose countenance is revered,
and who himself is held in honor:

Let it be on him that you enjoin it,
let it be he that bears it, that carries it,
this utterance, this Declaration of Yours.

That it be believed.

For I indeed am pitiably poor,
for I am harness, for I am hod,
for I am all haunches, all elbows,
for I am of the Dispossessed,
for I am a packcarrier;

for it is not mine to exist there,
for it is not mine to set foot there,
there where you bid me to go.

O My Maiden, My Littlest One, Milady,
O Woman,
please do grant me pardon
that I be troubling
Your Countenance, Your Heart,
that I be stepping, that I be stumbling
into Your Frowning Annoyance,
into your Rightful Wrath, Milady,
O My Sovereign!"

And the Wondrous Ever Virgin made answer:
"Do listen to this,
My Littlest One,
and let your heart be assured.

That it is not to the Wealthy Ones
among My Stewards, My Commissioners,
that I am wont to leave it
that they should bear
My Utterances, My Declarations,
or that they should realize My Wishes.

Thus rather is it necessary
that it be you yourself who live this through,
who act as spokesman on this matter,
and that it be by your hand
that it be realized, that it be done,
this Will, this Wish of Mine.

And so well may I beg of you,
My Littlest One,
and strongly do I bid you,
that once more, on the morrow,
you go, you go and visit the Bishop.

On My Behalf let him know,
let him listen well,
how it is My Will and My Wish
that he realize, that he make,
the Temple for which I am asking.

And indeed say to him once more
how it is I Myself,
the Ever Virgin Saint Mary,
Mother of God,
Who am commissioning you."

So Juan Diego made answer and told her:
"My Sovereign, O Woman, My Maiden.
Let me not trouble
Your Countenance, Your Heart;

for indeed with all my own heart
I shall go, I shall go and realize
Your Utterance, Your Declaration.

By no means shall I leave it aside
or reckon the road laborious;
I shall go, I shall go and do Your Will---

Though I well may not be listened to in goodly mood,
and even if I am listened to,
I may not be believed.

Tomorrow then, in the afternoon,
when the Sun is entering its Home,
I shall come and bring back
Your Utterance, Your Declaration,
with whatever the Priestly Chieftain
shall have answered me.

And now I beg to take leave of You,
My Littlest One, My Maiden, Milady,
O Woman.
Do, then, rest Yourself a little."

And forthwith home went he
and took his own rest.

On the morrow, the Sunday,
while it was still quite dark,
(darkness thick around him),
forth he sallied from his home
and straight he headed for Tlatilolko,

There to learn the Things Divine
and to be counted on the Roll
and, after that, to visit the Priestly Chieftain.

Thus, around ten o'clock,
Preparation was made
and Mass was heard;
thereafter the Roll was counted,
and all the Indians dispersed hither and yon.

As for Juan Diego himself,
he immediately went to the Palace
of the Lord Bishop.
When he reached it,
he made every effort to get to see him
and did, after much difficulty, get so to see him.

He knelt at his feet,
weeping and sad,
to call to his attention and present to him
the Utterance, the Declaration
of the Heavenly Woman,
so that the Commission, the Wish
of the Ever Virgin
might be believed

And that they undertake to build,
undertake to erect
Her Temple,
there where She had indicated,
where She had wished.

But full many a topic
did the Lord Bishop
ask and inquire about
before his heart could settle itself:

Where it had been that he had seen Her,
and after what manner.

All of which Juan Diego proved well able
to recount to him in full;
yet, though he could keep every detail straight
as to the form taken
and as to all he had seen,
all he had marvelled at,
and as to how it was indeed the Ever Virgin
who had appeared to him,
that Wondrous Dear Mother
of Our Redeemer, Our Lord Jesus Christ,

Even so did the Bishop make of it
something less than the Truth,
asserting to him
that his mere word, his mere asking,
was not enough for the doing, the realizing
of what he was asking for;

Because there was indeed need
of something of a Signal
that he might be properly believed
in regard to how it was the Heavenly Woman Herself
who had commissioned him.

So when Juan Diego heard this,
he addressed the Bishop;
"Sir Chieftain,
let us see to it;
of what kind shall it be,
this Signal you are asking for?

Forthwith I shall go,
I shall go and request it
of the Heavenly Woman
Who commissioned me hither".

The Bishop, however, seeing how
he was treating it as the Truth
and was not at all embarrassed or taken aback,
simply sent him along.

However, once he was gone,
he immediately gave orders
to some of his household,
in whom he had personal trust,
that they should follow along behind him
and should keep on the lookout
as to where he went
and whom he saw and accosted.

This, then, was done.

As for Juan Diego,
he immediately headed straight off
to follow the Road of Return,
whilst they were following along behind him.

Then, where the Causeway begins,
in the neighborhood of Tepeyac,
and there is the Wooden Bridge,
they lost him:
though they searched everywhere,
nowhere did they see him.

Thus they merely turned back again,
not only because they were intensely weary of it all,
but also because he had embarrassed them
and had kindled their wrath.

Thus they went and called it to the attention
of the Lord Bishop,
and would have dissuaded him from believing him.
They said he was only deceiving
and deliberately lying
in whatever he had been there to assert,

or else that he had been merely dreaming
and was barely awoken from sleep
in whatever he had been there to request.

Moreover, they told him
that if ever he came along again and returned,
there and then they would seize him
and sternly chastise him,
that he never again tell lies,
tongue-in-cheek like that.

On the morrow, the Monday,
when Juan Diego was to have carried
something of a Signal
that he might be believed,
he did not in fact return again.

For when he had reached home
there had been an Uncle of his,
named Juan Bernardino,
upon whom the pestilence had lighted,
and it was indeed worsening.

He had been to call in the physician,
taking such action as he could,
but time had been against them
and things had worsened indeed.

So while it was still dark
his Uncle had begged him
that, at dawn, when the dark would be clearing,
he should sally forth to Tlatilolko,
going to call in one of the Priests
that he come over to hear his confession
and to prepare him.

For his heart was assured
that the time was now ripe for him to die
and that he would never again be getting up,
never healing up again.

Thus on the Tuesday,
while it was still quite dark all around,
Juan Diego sallied forth from his home
to call in a Priest
from over at Tlatilolko.

Just as he was arriving
in the neighborhood of the hillock of Tepeyac,
at its foot,
where the road leads off
on the side of the Homing Sun,
where he had previously been wont to travel,

This is what he was thinking:

"If I simply go straight along the Road,
it will be in vain,
for the Woman will catch sight of me
and will again come and detain me
for me to carry something of a Signal
to the Priestly Chieftain
as he has given me orders to do.

Ah! Let us first be rid of our trouble!
Ah! Let me first go and call in
the Mendicant Priest!
For my Uncle is surely awaiting him!"

So he forthwith detoured around the hill
climbing up the ravine on the other slope,
on the side of the Sallying Sun.
He went and travelled this way
so as to reach Mexico City more promptly
by not having the Heavenly Woman detain him.

Her he spotted, however;
for down his way She was coming,
from the top of the hillock,
from which She had been gazing on him all along
and upon which he had earlier been wont to see her.

There She came and intercepted him;
there, on the flank of the hill,
she came and halted him.

She addressed him:
"So, My Littlest One,
whither are you going?
Whom are you off to see?"

And himself!
Will he not be a little embarrassed?
Will he not be perhaps abashed?
Will he not be perhaps shocked?
Filled with awe?

Before Her Countenance he prostrates himself
and salutes her.

He addresses Her:
"O My Maiden, My Littlest One, O Woman,
Contentment Be Yours!
How has felt the Dawn upon Your Countenance?
How feels the Health within your Lovely Flesh?
My Sovereign, My Bairn!

I shall be troubling Your Countenance, Your Heart,
but do take cognizance,
O My Maiden,
that there is someone very sick:
to Yourself, a mere vassal,
to me, an Uncle.

A great Pestilence has lighted upon him
and presently he shall be dying of it.

Even now I am making haste
to Your Dwelling in Mexico;
I shall summon one of those dear to our Sovereign,
one of our Priests,
that he come to hear his confession,
come to prepare him.

For indeed, from when we are born
we have to be on the watch
for the travail of our Death.

But once I have realized this task,
I shall then head back here again
and shall go and shall bear
Your Utterance, Your Declaration, Milady,
My Maiden.

But do pardon me,
and bear with me in all patience,
for I am not deceiving You,
My Littlest One, My Bairn.

No, tomorrow I shall be back
and shall sally forth with speed!"

And when She had listened to this declaration
of Juan Diego's,
the Compassionate Ever Virgin
made reply:

"Do listen,
do be assured of it in your heart,
My Littlest One,
that nothing at all should alarm you,
should trouble you,
nor in any way disturb
your countenance, your heart.

And do not be afraid of this Pestilence,
nor of any other pestilence
or any rasping hardship.

For am I not here,
I, Your Mother?
Are you not in the cool of My Shadow?
in the Breeziness of My Shade?

Is it not I that am
your Source of Contentment?

Are you not cradled in My Mantle?
cuddled in the Crossing of My Arms?

Is there anything else for you to need?

Nothing else, though, should trouble you,
should disquiet you.
And do not let it trouble you,
this pestilence of your Uncle's,
for he is not going to die of it now.

Do be assured of it in your heart
that he has already healed up."

(And it was indeed just then
that his Uncle did heal up,
as later came to be known.)

While Juan Diego was listening
to this Utterance, this Declaration
of the Heavenly Woman,
he was greatly heartened,
his heart well content.

So he begged of Her
that She now commission him
to go and see the Lord Bishop
and to bear him something of a Signal
as a proof whereby to believe in him.

The Heavenly Woman immediately bade him
climb up to the top of the hillock,
where She had earlier been revealing herself.
She told him:

"Climb up, My Littlest One,
to the top of the hillock,
there where you saw Me earlier
and I gave you orders.

There you will now see a variety of Flowers:
pick them, gather them,
bundle them, bring them down,
carrying them here to My Presence."

So Juan Diego immediately went
and climbed to the top of the hillock,
and, on reaching the top,
he greatly marvelled
at all the blossoming,
all the burgeoning
of varied Castilian Garden Flowers,
in what was neither the season nor site for them.

For this was when the Frost is severe;
yet remarkably fragrant they were,
with nocturnal Dewdrops like precious Pearls.

Immediately he began to pick them;
full many of them he gathered
and put into the fold of his mantle.

Now that top of a hillock
was by no means a spot for Flowers to grow,
for it was all rocks, all spikes,
all thorns, all prickles, all brambles;

And if ever some weedy old plant did grow there,
this was now the month of December,
in which the Frost consumes everything,
which makes everything perish.

Down he came, then,
bearing to the Heavenly Woman
the varied Flowers he had picked.
She in turn, upon inspecting them,
took them up in Her Own Hands
and again delicately replaced them
in the fold of his mantle.

She addressed him:
"My Littlest One,
these varied Flowers are themselves the Proof,
the Sign,
you are to carry to the Bishop.

You are to say to him on My Behalf
that in them he should see
My Wish, My Will.

And as for yourself,
you, My Trusty Commissioner,
I strongly bid you
that only in front of the Bishop
should you unwrap your Tilma
and show what you are carrying.

You shall recount to him in full
and tell him
how I bade you
climb to the top of the hillock
and go about picking these Flowers;

tell him all you have seen and wondered at,
that thus you may lift up the heart
of the Priestly Chieftain
so that he act the spokesman
for the building and erection
of My Temple,
as I have been requesting of him."

So when the Heavenly Woman
had thus given him Her bidding
off he went and followed the Road of Return
into Mexico City.

Heading straight along it with contented stride,
striding with heart assured
of the goodly outcome of so goodly a burden,

And yet striding with full care
for what was in the fold of his mantle,
lest any of it tumble out as he strode.

Still, amid his striding he gloried
in the fragrance of those varied Garden Flowers.

When he reached the Palace of the Bishop
there came out to meet him
the Housekeepers and sundry Domestics
of the Chieftain Priest.

So he begged them to tell him
of how he wished to get to see him;
not one of them, however, was willing to,
and all made as if they did not wish to hear him.

This may have been because it was still rather dark
or else because they recognized him
and he merely troubled them
by his importunate hanging around.

Moreover, their friends had called to their attention
how they had gone and lost him
when they had been following along behind him.

So for quite some delay
he stood there, waiting for some word,
but when they saw how long he had been waiting,
standing there on his feet and stooped over,
quite idle,
just waiting to be summoned,

And how, it seemed, he had brought some object
folded in his mantle,
they did finally come up to him
to get a look at what he might be carrying,
just to satisfy their hearts in passing.

Thus, when Juan Diego had seen
that he could scarcely hide from them
what he was carrying,
for they were now hard-pressing him,
shoving him about and manhandling him,

He did let them glimpse
that it was Flowers.

When they thus saw that it was
lots of varied Castilian Flowers
and that it was not then
the season for them to grow,
they greatly marvelled at that,
and also at how fresh they were
and how blooming
and how fragrant
and how wonderful.

They desired to snatch a few of them
and to grab them for themselves;
three times over did they try to do this,
but in their attempts at grasping
they could not manage at all.

For as soon as they would take hold of them
it would no longer be Flowers they were seeing
but, as it were, a painting or an embroidery
or something sewn on to the Tilma
for them to see.

Thereupon they did go and announce
to the Lord Bishop
what they had seen
and that the Indian was wishing to visit him,
the one who had come along so many times,
and that there had already been a long delay
in his waiting for word
about this desire to visit him.

As soon as the Bishop heard tell of this
he immediately knew in his heart
that this was the Proof
whereby his heart was to reach certainty
so that he could bring to realization
what the little fellow had been soliciting.

He then gave orders to have him enter forthwith
so as to visit him.

So he entered
and prostrated himself in his Presence,
as he had previously done.
Once again he recounted all that he had seen
and marvelled at
and all about his commission.

He addressed him:
"My Lord Chieftain,
I have now done,
I have realized
what you gave me orders to do.

Namely, I have been to tell that Person,
Madame, the Heavenly Woman,
Holy Mary, the Dear Mother of God,

That you had asked of Her
something of a Signal
for you to be able to believe in me
and so to build Her Temple
there where She had requested it of you
that you erect it for Her.

Moreover, I had told Her clearly
that I had given you my word
that I would bring back to you
some such Signal
as a proof of Her Wish,
for you had left it thus in my hands.

When She heard tell
of this utterance, this declaration of yours,
she received it contentedly
that you should be asking
something of a Signal, a Proof,
so that Her Wish might be done and realized.

And just now, while it was still quite dark,
when She was giving me orders
to come again to visit you,
I requested of Her
this something of a Signal
for me to be believed,
just as She had told me She would be giving me.

And forthwith She put it into realization,
sending me to the top of the hillock,
where I had earlier been wont to see Her:
I was to go and pick varied Castilian Flowers.

All the while I well knew
that that was not a site for Flowers,
there on the top of the hillock,
for it was all rocks, all spikes,
all thornbush, all prickly, all brambles.

Not that I was taken aback!
Not that I wavered!
No, I reached the top of that hillock
and I gazed upon
what had become a Land of the Flowers' Bloom,
wherein were united each and every kind
of the Garden Flowers of Castile,
with the Sun gleaming on their Dewdrops.

And so I went ahead and picked them.

She told me to give them to you on Her Behalf
so that, through them, I might bring about
your seeing in them the Signal you had requested
in order for you to bring Her Wish to realization,
and so that the truth of my own word,
my own commission,
might be apparent.

Yes, here they are!
Do but deign to receive them!

Just as he was unwrapping that white Tilma of his,
in which had lain folded those Flowers,
so as to strew them forth,
Flowers in all their Castilian variety,

Suddenly, upon that Tilma,
there flashed a Portrait,
there sallied into view a Sacred Image
of that Ever Virgin Holy Mary,
Mother of God.

In the likeness it even now retains
where, even now, it is so reverently kept,
over at Her Sacred Dwelling,
at Her Temple
entitled Guadalupe.

Thus the Lord Bishop
and all who were with him there
could see, each for himself,
and all of them did kneel
and greatly wondered.

They rose once more to gaze,
saddened and blaming themselves,
their hearts and thoughts aloft.

The Lord Bishop,
weeping and saddened,
begged and entreated to be forgiven
for not having earlier realized Her Wish,
Her Utterance, Her Declaration.

Upon his rising,
he undid the Garment, the Tilma,
from Juan Diego's neck,
to which it had been tied.

On it She had appeared,
upon it She had portrayed Herself,
She, the Heavenly Woman.

And so, reverently carrying it,
he came and established it in his Oratory.

Thus Juan Diego spent that whole day
in the Dwelling of the Bishop,
who, of course, detained him.

On the morrow, the Bishop said:
"So now for you to let us see
where it is the Wish of the Heavenly Woman
that Her Temple be erected!"

Immediately a multitude was summoned
for its building, its erection.

As for Juan Diego,
once he had let them see
where the Heavenly Woman had bidden
that Her Temple be erected,
he immediately sought leave,

For he wished to get home
to visit his Uncle Juan Bernardino,
the one who had been so sick
when he had left him all alone
so as to call in one of the Priests
from over at Tlatilolko
to hear his confession
and to prepare him,
and concerning whom the Heavenly Woman had said
that he had already healed up.

But they would not let him go alone;
they escorted him right to his home.
Upon reaching it,
they saw his Uncle
and how he had healed up
and that he was no longer sick at all.

He too in turn marvelled greatly
at how his nephew was being escorted
and being treated with such honor.

He inquired of his nephew
why the likes of this was being done,
this treatment of him with such honor.

So Juan Diego in turn told how,
when he had set out to call in the Priest
to hear his Confession and prepare him,
there had, over at Tepeyac,
revealed Herself to him
a Heavenly Woman,
One Who had commissioned him
to go and see the Lord Bishop in Mexico City,
that he might set up a house for Her
there at Tepeyac.

And how She had also told him not to trouble himself
inasmuch as his Uncle had already healed up,

And how he had been greatly heartened thereby.

His Uncle said that it was indeed true
that it had been then that he had healed up,
and that She had revealed Herself to him also,
in exactly the same likeness
in which She had been revealing Herself to the nephew,

And that She had told him moreover
how She had commissioned him to Mexico City
to see the Bishop,
and that upon his going to see him
he would present to him and inform him of
what he had seen.

He also told how marvelously She had healed him.

And how She was entitling Her Sacred Image
--as indeed it ought to be entitled--
the Ever Virgin Holy Mary of Guadalupe.

Forthwith they conducted Juan Bernardino
into the presence of the Lord Bishop
for him to give information
and to testify before him.

Then, along with his nephew Juan Diego,
they housed him in the Bishop's home for a few days.

In the meanwhile, a Temple was being erected
for the Sovereign Woman
over at Tepeyac,
where She had revealed Herself to Juan Diego.

The Lord Bishop transferred the Sacred Image
of the Dear Heavenly Woman
into the Principal Church,
removing it from the Oratory within his Palace
where it had been standing,
so that more people could see and marvel at
the Sacred Image.

For indeed this whole City, one and all,
was astir
and was visiting and marvelling
at Her Sacred Image,
doing it homage and making prayers before it.

Greatly did they marvel
at how divinely miraculously it had appeared,

For it had not been any earthbound mortal
who had painted
that Sacred Representation.

Translation by Fr. Martinus Cawley of a text published in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs by Luis Lasso de la Vega in 1649 about the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It comes from a booklet printed by the Monks of Guadalupe, Guadalupe Abbey, Box 97, Lafayette, Oregon 97127.

Nican Mopohua

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