Yes, I’m a bit behind, and maybe you’ve noticed I’m backdating these posts….don’t judge me! We’ll continue our travels with Mary and hit 31 days one way or another!
Our Lady of Ocotlan
Apparition of Our Lady that appeared in Tiaxcala, Mexico in 1541
Many Catholics are familiar with Our Lady of Guadelupe, but Our Lady of Ocotlan is another example of when the Blessed Mother appeared to the indigenous people of Mexico and left behind a powerful image for veneration.
Juan Diego Bernardino was gathering water believed to have healing properties when a beautiful woman appeared to him. She asked him where he was going, and when he explained his mission she replied:
“Come with me and I will give you water to cure the disease. It will cure not only your family, but all who drink of it. My heart is ever ready to help those who are ill, for I cannot bear to see their misfortune.”
“Take as much as you wish of this water and know that those who are touched by even the smallest drop will obtain, not merely relief from their illness, but perfect health.”
Juan followed her to the spring in a pine grove, and after he collected some water, she told him he would find an image of her in the grove and that the Franciscan friars were to place it in the church of San Lorenzo.
Juan took the water back to the sick and then raced to tell the friars of Our Lady’s message. They believed him and went with him back to the pine grove. There they found a particularly fat pine tree and opening it with an axe, they found a statue of Our Lady as promised.
Originally given the name Nuestra Senora de Ocatlatia, which means our lady of the burning tree (as the tree her image was found in originally appeared to be on fire from a brilliant sunset), she is now simply known as Our Lady of Ocotlan, which means place of the pine tree.
By 1588, the church was written about as a Marian shrine with pilgrims visiting to partake of the spring’s waters and look upon the image of Our Lady. In 1670, the shrine was expanded. In 1746, it was elevated to the status of a basilica. Today, her feast is celebrated on the third Sunday in May with a procession.
Prayer to Our Lady of Ocotlan (tough to find!)
Tomorrow, we’ll move back to South America with Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil!