Juan Diego: Difference between revisions

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Both the author of the ''Nican Mopectana'' and Miguel Sánchez explain that the Virgin's immediate purpose in appearing to Juan Diego (and to don Juan, the seer of the cult of los Remedios) was evangelical – to draw the peoples of the New World to faith in Jesus Christ:<ref>{{harvp|Sousa|Poole|Lockhart|1998|p=97}}; for Sánchez, who writes of the "New World", see {{harvp|Sousa|Poole|Lockhart|1998|p=143}}.</ref>
<blockquote>In the beginning when the Christian faith had just arrived here in the land that today is called New Spain, in many ways the heavenly lady, the consummate Virgin Saint Mary, cherished, aided and defended the local people so that they might entirely give themselves and adhere to the faith. .&nbsp;. in.In order that they might invoke her fervently and trust in her fully, she saw fit to reveal herself for the first time to two [Indian] people here.</blockquote>
The continuing importance of this theme was emphasised in the years leading up to the canonization of Juan Diego. It received further impetus in the Pastoral Letter issued by Cardinal Rivera in February 2002 on the eve of the canonization, and was asserted by John Paul II in his homily at the canonization ceremony itself when he called Juan Diego "a model of evangelization perfectly inculturated" – an allusion to the implantation of the Catholic Church within indigenous culture through the medium of the Guadalupe event.<ref>John Paul II, [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/2002/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20020731_canonization-mexico_en.html homily] at the canonization, July 31, 2002, §3; ''cf''. John Paul II, [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/1990/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_19900506_citta-del-messico_sp.html homily (in Spanish)] at beatification of Juan Diego and four others, May 6, 1990, s.5; in Card. Rivera's [http://www.vicariadepastoral.org.mx/juan_diego/j_d_c_indice.htm Carta Pastoral], February 26, 2002, the third and longest section (§§ 58–120) is entitled "Juan Diego, as evangelist".</ref>
===Reconciling two worlds===
[[File:Guadelupe.jpg|thumb|upright|Image of [[Our Lady of Guadalupe]] as it currently appears on the [[Tilmàtli|''tilma'']]]]
In the 17th century, Miguel Sánchez interpreted the Virgin as addressing herself specifically to the Indians, while noting that Juan Diego himself regarded all the residents of New Spain as his spiritual heirs, the inheritors of the holy image.<ref>{{harvp|Sousa|Poole|Lockhart|1998|p=141}}</ref> The Virgin's own words to Juan Diego as reported by Sánchez were equivocal: she wanted a place at Tepeyac where she can show herself:,<ref>{{harvp|Sousa|Poole|Lockhart|1998|p=132}}</ref>
<blockquote>as a compassionate mother to you and yours, to my devotees, to those who should seek me for the relief of their necessities.</blockquote>
By contrast, the words of the Virgin's initial message as reported in ''Nican Mopohua'' are, in terms, specific to all residents of New Spain without distinction, while including others, too:<ref>{{harvp|Sousa|Poole|Lockhart|1998|p=65}}</ref>
<blockquote>I am the compassionate mother of you and of all you people here in this land, and of the other various peoples who love me, who cry out to me .&nbsp;.</blockquote>
The special but not exclusive favour of the Virgin to the indigenous peoples is highlighted in Lasso de la Vega's introduction:<ref>{{harvp|Sousa|Poole|Lockhart|1998|p=57}}</ref>
<blockquote>youYou wish us your children to cry out to [you], especially the local people, the humble commoners to whom you revealed yourself.</blockquote>
At the conclusion of the miracle cycle in the ''Nican Mopectana'', there is a broad summary which embraces the different elements in the emergent new society, "the local people and the Spaniards [Caxtilteca] and all the different peoples who called on and followed her".<ref>{{harvp|Sousa|Poole|Lockhart|1998|p=113}}</ref>
The role of Juan Diego as both representing and confirming the human dignity of the indigenous Indian populations and of asserting their right to claim a place of honour in the New World is therefore embedded in the earliest narratives, nor did it thereafter become dormant awaiting rediscovery in the 20th century. Archbishop Lorenzana, in a sermon of 1770, applauded the evident fact that the Virgin signified honour to the Spaniards (by stipulating for the title "Guadalupe"), to the Indians (by choosing Juan Diego), and to those of mixed race (by the colour of her face). In another place in the sermon he noted a figure of eight on the Virgin's robe and said it represented the two worlds that she was protecting (the old and the new).<ref>For Lorenzana's ''oración'' of 1770, see de Souza, pp.738 and 744.</ref> This aim of harmonising and giving due recognition to the different cultures in Mexico rather than homogenizing them was also evident in the iconography of Guadalupe in the 18th century as well as in the celebrations attending the coronation of the image of Guadalupe in 1895 at which a place was given to 28 Indians from Cuautitlán (Juan Diego's birthplace) wearing traditional costume.<ref>See, ''e.g''., {{harvp|Brading|2001|loc=plates 16 and 20, with brief discussion at p. 178}}; on the indigenous presence at the coronation, see {{harvp|Brading|2001|p=297}}.</ref> The prominent role accorded indigenous participants in the actual canonization ceremony (not without criticism by liturgical purists) constituted one of the most striking features of those proceedings.<ref>''cf''. [http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/pfw0809.htm Inculturation at Papal Masses], John L. Allen, Jnr., ''National Catholic Reporter'', August 9, 2002 and
===Indigenous rights===
[[File:Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Zapopan (Jalisco, Mexico) - statue, St. Juan Diego.jpg|thumb|Statue of Saint Juan Diego in Mexico]]
To the spiritual and social significance of Juan Diego within the Guadalupe event, there can be added a third aspect which has only recently begun to receive explicit recognition, although it is implicit in the two aspects already discussed: namely, the rights of indigenous people to have their cultural traditions and way of life honoured and protected against encroachment. All three themes were fully present in the homily of Pope John Paul II at the canonization of Juan Diego on July 31, 2002, but it was the third which found its most striking expression in his rallying call: "''¡México necesita a sus indígenas y los indígenas necesitan a México!''" (Mexico needs the indigenous people, the indigenous people need Mexico).<ref>John Paul II, [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/2002/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20020731_canonization-mexico_en.html homily (in Spanish)] at the canonization of Blessed Juan Diego, July 31, 2002, §4</ref> In this regard, Juan Diego had previously been acclaimed at the beatification ceremony in 1990 as the representative of an entire people – all the indigenous who accepted the Christian Gospel in New Spain – and, indeed, as the "protector and advocate of the indigenous people".<ref>''idem'', [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/1990/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_19900506_citta-del-messico_sp.html homily (in Spanish)] at the beatification of Juan Diego, May 6, 1990, §5.</ref>
[[File:Mexico.SanJuanDiego.statue.jpg|thumb|left|250px|Statue of St. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin Church of San Juan Bautista, Coyoacán, México DF.]]
In the process of industrial and economic development that was observable in many regions of the world after the Second World War, the rights of indigenous peoples to their land and to the unobstructed expression of their language, culture and traditions came under pressure or were, at best, ignored. Industrialization (led by the petroleum industry) made the problem as acute in Mexico as elsewhere. The Church had begun to warn about the erosion of indigenous cultures in the 1960s, but this was generally in the context of "the poor", "the under-privileged", and "ethnic minorities", often being tied to land reform.<ref>''e.g''. John XXIII, Enc. [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_xxiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_j-xxiii_enc_15051961_mater_en.html ''Mater et magistra''] (1961) Part 3, ''passim'' and Enc. [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_xxiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_j-xxiii_enc_11041963_pacem_en.html ''Pacem in Terris''] (1963), 91–97, ''cf''. 125; Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, [https://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651207_gaudium-et-spes_en.html ''Gaudium et spes''] (1965), nn.57f., 63–65, 69, 71; Paul VI, Enc. [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_26031967_populorum_en.html ''Populorum progressio''] (1967), 10, 72; [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/homilies/1968/documents/hf_p-vi_hom_19680823_sp.html homily (in Spanish)] at a Mass for Colombian rural communities, August 23, 1968</ref> The Latin American episcopate, at its Second and Third General Conferences held at Medellin, Colombia, (November 1968) and at Puebla, Mexico, (January 1979) respectively, made the transition from treating indigenous populations as people in need of special care and attention, to recognising a duty to promote, and defend the dignity of, indigenous cultures.<ref>See [http://multimedios.org/docs/d000273/ The Medellin Document], under ''Conclusions'' at ''Introduction'', §2, and at ''Human promotion'' (Justice) §14, (Education) §3; and [http://multimedios.org/docs/d000363/p000007.htm#6-p0.1.2 The Puebla Document], at §19.</ref> Against this background, it was Pope John Paul II, starting with an address to the indigenous peoples of Mexico in 1979, who raised the recognition of indigenous rights to the level of a major theme distinct from poverty and land reform. The first time he linked Juan Diego to this theme, however, was not on his first Apostolic journey to Mexico in 1979, but in a homily at a Mass in Popayán, Colombia, on July 4, 1986. Numerous Papal journeys to Latin America in this period were marked by meetings with indigenous peoples at which this theme was presented and developed.<ref>See meeting with Mexican indians at [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1979/january/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19790129_messico-cuilapan-indios_en.html Cuilapan] (January 29, 1979); speech to Amazonian indians at [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1980/july/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19800710_indios-manaus_sp.html Manaus, Brasil] (July 10, 1980); speech to indigenous people, [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1983/march/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19830307_indigeni_sp.html Guatemala City] (March 7, 1983); speech at a meeting with indigenous people at the airport of [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1985/january/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19850131_indigeni_sp.html Latacunga, Ecuador] (January 31, 1985); speech to Amazonian indians at [Iquitos, Peru] (February 5, 1985); homily at a Mass with indigenous people at [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/1986/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_19860704_indigeni-cauca_sp.html Popayán, Colombia] (July 4, 1986); speech at a meeting with indians in the Mission of "Santa Teresita" in [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1988/may/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19880517_indios-mariscal_sp.html Mariscal Estigarribia, Paraguay] (May 17, 1988); message to the indigenous peoples of the American continent marking the [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/messages/pont_messages/1992/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_19921012_indigeni-america_sp.html 5th centenary] of the beginning of the evangelization of the continent (October 12, 1992); speech to indigenous communities at the sanctuary of Our Lady of Izamal, [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1993/august/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19930811_izamal-indigeni_sp.html Yucatan], Mexico (August 11, 1993); homily at a Mass attended by indigenous populations at Xoclán-Muslay, [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/homilies/1993/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_19930811_merida-indigeni_sp.html Mérida], Mexico (August 11, 1993).</ref>
Also at about this time, the attention of the world community (as manifested in the [[UN]]) began to focus on the same theme, similarly re-calibrating its concern for minorities into concern for the rights of indigenous peoples. In 1982 the Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (then called Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities) was established by a decision of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and in 1985 work began on drafting a declaration of rights (a process which lasted 22 years). In due course, 1993 was proclaimed the International Year of the World's Indigenous People. The following year, the United Nations General Assembly launched the International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples (1995–2004) and then, on September 13, 2007, it adopted a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.<ref>See [https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/declaration.html Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples], UN General Assembly, September 23, 2007; a brief history of the process is here [https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/history.html].</ref>