The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Empress of America, is the true story of the most remarkable event in the history of the Americas. On a cold December morning in 1531, the Mother of God appeared on a barren hilltop to a humble Aztec convert to Christianity. That meeting and the others that followed changed not only the life of Juan Diego, but also the course of history for both the Aztecs and the Spanish conquerors.
The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Empress of America, tells St. Juan Diego’s story with the aid of 18 beautiful full-color photographs of the paintings of master artist, Jorge Sánchez-Hernández. His “Nican Mopohua” collection is perhaps the most exquisite and moving depiction of the apparitions ever painted. Children and adults will delight in seeing these images bring to life this timeless story.
About the Story
Unlike many of Our Lady’s appearances in other places, such as Fatima and Medjugorje, Mary comes with no general message in words for the world, but rather with a mission of action for two men. To Juan Diego, “Go and ask, and keep on asking,” and to Bishop Zumárraga, “Build a temple.” The extraordinary friendship between the Mother of God and St. Juan Diego exemplifies mutual trust, self-confidence, courage, and perseverance.
In contrast, Mary’s message intended for the Aztec people and Spanish settlers alike, was spoken not with words, but eloquently with an image of herself, an image whose symbols the people then living would know how to interpret. Thus, with one exquisitely rendered self-portrait and a tilma full of roses, Our Lady changes hearts, liberates a people from the suffering of human sacrifice, and gives hope for the end of foreign oppression. With her mysterious painting, Our Lady would begin, on a grand scale, the spiritual conversion of Mexico that Christian missionaries up to that time had been unable to accomplish.
Our Lady’s spoken message was, effectively, “Come to me and tell me all your woes and problems, I am your Merciful Mother, the Mother of the One, True God, the Mother of all the nations on Earth, and I want to alleviate your sufferings.” She comes as Mother to remind us that she is ever with us, always ready to help, to guide, to comfort, nurture and love us. No obstacle stands in her way. We need only turn to her in our anxiety.
St. Juan Diego gives an example to all those who would volunteer for noble causes, but not by neglecting his family, even though he has been asked directly to go on a divine mission. Our Lady acknowledges and respects his devotion to his dying uncle, Juan Bernardino, whom she visits to comfort and cure him, and give him also a message for the bishop.
The story appeals delightfully to young boys and girls whose confidence and self-esteem may be fragile – the littlest ones; the quiet, timid ones; the misunderstood and overlooked ones, as they find in Juan Diego encouragement and hope. Their Mother in Heaven notices their needs and their circumstances, and she will stand by them in all they must face because they are very dear to her