Juan Diego: Difference between revisions

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[[File:Base_Cerro_del_Tepeyac.jpg|thumb|right|250px|At the foot of the Tepeyac Hill.]]
 
According to themajor sources identified below, Juan Diego was an Indian born in 1474 in [[Cuauhtitlan]],{{efn|Sources (2) and (5) give his age as 74 at the date of his death in 1548; his place of birth is reported by (3) and (5) and by Pacheco among the witnesses at (4).}} and at the time of the apparitions he lived there or in Tolpetlac.{{efn|Source (2) says he was living in Cuauhtitlán at the time of the apparitions; (3) and (5) report Tulpetlac.}} Although not destitute, he was neither rich nor influential.{{efn|Source (2) in the ''Nican Mopohua'' calls him "maçehualtzintli", or "poor ordinary person", but in the ''Nican Mopectana'' it is reported that he had a house and land which he later abandoned to his uncle so that he could take up residence at Tepeyac; (3) says "un indio plebeyo y pobre, humilde y candído" (a poor Indian commoner, humble and unaffected); (5) says he came of the lowest rank of Indians, of the servant class; but one of the witnesses in (4) - Juana de la Concepción - says his father was cacique (or headman) of Cuauhtitlán. Guerrero Rosado developed a theory that he was of noble birth and reduced circumstances (the ''poor prince'' theory); see {{harvp|Brading|2001|pp=356f}}.}} His religious fervor, his artlessness, his respectful but gracious demeanour towards the Virgin Mary and the initially skeptical Bishop [[Juan de Zumárraga]], as well as his devotion to his sick uncle and, subsequently, to the Virgin at her shrine – all of which are central to the tradition – are among his defining characteristics and testify to the sanctity of life which is the indispensable criterion for [[canonization]].{{efn|All the sources dwell in more or less detail on his humility, sanctity, self-mortification and religious devotion during his life after the apparitions.}} He and his wife, María Lucía, were among the first to be baptized after the arrival of the main group of twelve [[Franciscan]] [[missionaries]] in Mexico in 1524.{{efn|"recently converted" - (1) and (3); baptized in "1524 or shortly thereafter" - (5).}} His wife died two years before the apparitions, although one source (Luis Becerra Tanco, possibly through inadvertence) claims she died two years after them.{{efn|Sources (2), (4), and (5) agree she died two years before the apparitions, and all those who mention a wife (bar one of the three Indians who gave testimony in 1666 and who mentioned a wife) name her.}} There is no firm tradition as to their marital relations. It is variously reported (a) that after their baptism he and his wife were inspired by a sermon on [[chastity]] to live celibately; alternatively (b) that they lived celibately throughout their marriage; and in the further alternative (c) that both of them lived and died as virgins.{{efn|See, ''e.g''., {{harvp|Sousa|Poole|Lockhart|1998|pp=113, 115}} where (b) and (c) are presented together and not in the alternative.}} Alternatives (a) and (b) may not necessarily conflict with other reports that Juan Diego (possibly by another wife) had a son.<ref>Discussed at length by {{harvp|de Florencia|1688|loc=cap. 18, n° 223, fol. 111r}}</ref> Intrinsic to the narrative is Juan Diego's uncle, [[Juan Bernardino]]; but beyond him, María Lucía, and Juan Diego's putative son, no other family members are mentioned in the tradition. At least two 18th-century nuns claimed to be descended from Juan Diego.<ref>Unpublished records of Convent of Corpus Christi in Mexico City: see Fidel González Fernández, appendix 4.</ref> After the apparitions, Juan Diego was permitted to live next to the hermitage erected at the foot of the hill of Tepeyac,{{efn|Part of the ''capilla de los Indios'' in the Guadalupe precinct stands on what are said to be the foundations of this hermitage.<ref>[http://www.virgendeguadalupe.org.mx/santuario/pindios.htm Parroquia de Indios] {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20101005105416/http://www.virgendeguadalupe.org.mx/santuario/pindios.htm |date=2010-10-05 }}, official website of the Basilica of Guadalupe, accessed February 11, 2011.</ref>}} and he dedicated the rest of his life to serving the Virgin Mary at the shrine erected in accordance with her wishes. The date of death (in his 74th year) is given as 1548.<ref>''e.g''. [[Codex Escalada]], and see note under the reference to his date of birth in the text.</ref>
 
===Main sources===
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