Today is the Feast of San Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatizin, a native of Mexico who lived in the 15th Century. Juan Diego was not a man of power. He was not educated. He could not read or write. But Juan Diego had a good heart and he loved Jesus.
At the time Juan Diego lived, very few native Mexicans had yet become Christians. The Spaniards had made a lot of mistakes and a lot of enemies. When the missionaries tried to preach the to Good News of Jesus, the native Mexicans were not very interested.
But Juan Diego and his wife listened and accepted Jesus. They were baptized and took Christian names. Juan Diego did not become rich or powerful because he accepted Jesus Christ, but he knew that God loved him and that was enough to change his life forever, and his faithful witness changed his people too. Because of Juan Diego, millions of native Mexicans were baptized. One poor man said yes to God, and a nation was brought into the Church.
When the Church celebrates the Feast of a saint who was a very humble, poor person, it gives a message to the whole world. God does not look at riches, or education, or power or position. He does not look at the outside. God looks on the inside and when God finds love, He pours out more love in return. When God finds a desire to trust and obey, He pours out his grace and mercy to help that person become a saint.
God loves the poor. They have nothing to make them feel great or important and so their hearts are more open to receiving His mercy and love. Pope Francis tells us to seek out the poor and learn from them. Today we learn from San Juan Diego, a poor man, blessed on earth and in heaven; a man whose obedience led to the conversion of many, many souls. San Juan Diego, pray for us!
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I am a Catholic wife, mom and grandma. In 1995, after Bible college and a few years as an Evangelical Missionary, I was received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. These are my personal musings on Scripture, prayer, and living close to Jesus.