In 1531, the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego, an Aztec Indian who had converted to Catholicism.
The first one occurred when Juan was on his way to attend Mass. He said he suddenly heard what sounded like a great choir that seemed to be coming from the top of the hill.
He said he looked towards the hilltop and saw a shining, brilliant cloud. Juan climbed up the rocks toward the shining cloud. He said celestial music stopped suddenly and he heard
a voice calling his name.
Juan then saw a woman standing in the cloud of mist, illuminated by rainbow colors. She told Juan she was Mary.
Another time the apparition told him to pick flowers from the garden of roses. It was cold weather and Juan was surprised to find roses growing at that spot since they
normally did not grow at that time of the year becuase it was too cold. The flowers were Roses of Castile, a flower not found in Mexico at that time. Mary told him to wrap the
flowers in his tilma (a cape) and take them to the bishop.
When Juan gave the flowers and cape to the bishop, a lovely image of the Immaculate Conception had appeared on the cape.
Normally, the cape and any painting on it would last at most 30 years before being worn away, but the cape and the painting of the
Virgin Mary have lasted and are still on display at the shrine that Juan said Mary requested be built on that site.(Our Lady of Guadalupe)