The Guilt of St. Juan Diego

First, I must apologize! I looked up information about this artwork, but I couldn’t find anything. So, if you know anything about this artwork, let me know about it!

Still, I stumbled on this art and had to feature it for the day:

I talked about the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe in another blog post, but I want to focus on St. Juan Diego, since it’s his feast day.

One thing that struck me about the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe was how much shame that St. Juan Diego felt when he didn’t follow Our Lady’s instructions and meet with her at the appointed time. Sure, he had a fantastic excuse — he was attending the death bed of a relative. If that isn’t a good excuse not to meet up with someone, I don’t know what is!

And yet, he still had that sense of shame that perhaps he was doing something wrong. And so, when it came time to find a priest to administer last rites to his dying uncle, he walked the long way around to deliberately avoid the meeting spot where he promised Our Lady that he would meet her — a promise he didn’t fulfill.

Well, that didn’t matter. She met him anyway, even on the route he took to deliberately avoid her! And the words on featured art show what she said to him, both in the Aztec language and in Spanish. Translated? “My dear little Juan, the littlest of my sons, where are you going?” (It doesn’t translate quite well — it’s supposed to be not demeaning but as a mother may talk to her son, so in a loving way.)

So, even though he feels guilty for not following through with his promise to her, it’s okay: she meets him anyway and treats him with love.

And now he’s a saint!

So, what should this tell us?

If we don’t follow God the first time and feel horribly guilty about it, do not despair! Just try to meet God again. He is more forgiving to yourself than you will ever be!



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