Friday, 9 October 2015

Seven Quick Takes on San Juan Diego


As it's the anniversary of 7 Quick Takes, I wanted to do something a little different today (can you believe this is my 33rd Quick Take, out of 257 total blog posts?) Anyway, earlier in 2015 (erm, at the beginning in fact) I vowed to find more about the saint chosen for me for the year ahead, St Juan Diego. Well, it's been a heck of year, turning 40, exploring ordination, looking after the 4Sisters, approaching 15 years of marriage, singing a solo in concert and having my gallbladder removed. So I think at least one of 'my' saints has been petitioning for God to hold me in His hands, and therefore St Juan deserves a little exploration and respect! (Or at least me reading Wikipedia and regurgitating stuff.) 


Copied from the St Juan Diego Parish website

Firstly - we have tons in common! His Feast Day is December 9th, which is good, because I really like Advent already. And he's Mexican. Which is supercool, because I loves me some Mexican food! (How did this post get to be about food already?!) (Specifically, guacamole and quesadillas, if anyone is interested. Or cooking for me.)


He is the first indigenous Roman Catholic saint from the Americas. In light of the recent Papal visits to Cuba and the USA, this feels pretty special.


He saw Mother Mary four times. He saw Mother Mary! FOUR TIMES! Her image was impressed upon his cloak in what is known as "the Guadalupe event" - and those of you who know about Our Lady of Guadalupe know what followed. (Church/basilica built, thousands of local people converting to Christianity, St Juan seen as God's way of bringing the New World on board.) Wikipedia tells me that the Basilica of Guadalupe is the go-to pilgrimage spot for Catholics - in 2010 it received 22 million visitors.


St Juan de Marco is a relatively young saint. Although born in 1474 and died in 1548, it wasn't until 1990 that he was beatified , and canonised in Pope John Paul II. Unlike some of our saints, he wasn't poor, but neither rich. He worked as a mat weaver, farmer, and labourer, and had a wife, but no children. He was extremely religious, and was particularly devoted to Our Lady. He pleaded with her to cure his sick uncle, who he looked after, and she did.


Painting by the acclaimed Miguel Cabrera

He loved the Eucharist EVEN MORE THAN I DO! Even though it was extremely rare for it to happen, he was granted permission by his Bishop to receive communion three times per week. HE WALKED 15 MILES TO MASS. BAREFOOT.


I have gone all year thinking of St Juan as 'St Juan de Marco', having mixed him up with Don Juan de Marco, a Johnny Depp character in a film I have never even seen. Oops. Apparently they are very, very different.

Join Kelly and all the others for 7 Quick Takes at This Ain't the Lyceum!

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