Tuesday, December 9, 2008
"Thousands of people gathered in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe July 31, 2002, for the canonization of Juan Diego, to whom the Blessed Mother appeared in the 16th century. Pope John Paul II celebrated the ceremony at which the poor Indian peasant became the Church’s first saint indigenous to the Americas.
The Holy Father called the new saint “a simple, humble Indian” who accepted Christianity without giving up his identity as an Indian. “In praising the Indian Juan Diego, I want to express to all of you the closeness of the church and the pope, embracing you with love and encouraging you to overcome with hope the difficult times you are going through,” John Paul said. Among the thousands present for the event were members of Mexico’s 64 indigenous groups.
First called Cuauhtlatohuac (“The eagle who speaks”), Juan Diego’s name is forever linked with Our Lady of Guadalupe because it was to him that she first appeared at Tepeyac hill on December 9, 1531. The most famous part of his story is told in connection with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12). After the roses gathered in his tilma were transformed into the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, however, little more is said about Juan Diego.
In time he lived near the shrine constructed at Tepeyac, revered as a holy, unselfish and compassionate catechist who taught by word and especially by example.
During his 1990 pastoral visit to Mexico, Pope John Paul II confirmed the long-standing liturgical cult in honor of Juan Diego, beatifying him. Twelve years later he was proclaimed a saint." (From Saint A Day)
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Havana, Dec 1, 2008 / 02:34 pm (CNA).- The website of the Catholic bishops of Cuba announced just hours before the beatification of Brother Jose Olallo Valdes that Daniela Cabrera Ramos was cured of terminal cancer at the age of three and that her healing paved the way for the Cuban priest’s beatification.
Reporter Osvaldo Gallardo Gonzalez interviewed the girl who is today 12. According to the website, she was cured of a fatal type of cancer after her family prayed to Father Olallo for his intercession.
“I remember my veins got pricked a lot. My mom told me that I was very sick with massive cancer in my abdomen and the doctors said I would not survive,” the girl said.
Daniela, who lives with her family on a street dedicated to the Cuban priest, said Father Olallo “dedicated his life to the care of the sick, whom he considered to be his favorites. He was a great nurse.”
“He bought food with his savings and went from door to door leaving food for the sick,” she added, saying her healing happened thanks “to Jesus Christ through the intercession of one of his servants, Father Olallo.”
“Now that I am older I give thanks to God for having chosen me for a miracle, because in my hospital there were many other kids just as sick as me and who died,” she said.
Daniela was present on Saturday at the beatification Mass and said she would be bringing a special petition. “I will pray to him for a good kidney transplant for my dad and for his healing, that God will place his hands on all the sick children and heal them like he healed me, and that peace and love will reign on the earth,” she said.
(from the Catholic News Agency)