Our lady of ocotlan.jfif

Our Lady of Ocotlan

Where:   Ocotlan, Tlaxcala, Mexico

When:   1541 



In late spring of 1541, a young native Tlaxcalan man named Juan Diego (sometimes given as Juan Diego Bernardino) was going to draw water from a river believed at the time to have healing properties. Juan Diego was a convert to Catholicism who was known for his piety and was a topil (altar server) at the Franciscan monastery. There was an epidemic in the region and he wanted to bring the water home to his family, who were sick.


As he came to a hilltop, he encountered a beautiful lady who asked him, "God bless you, my son, where are you going?"

Juan Diego explained that he was going to bring medicinal water to the sick. The lady, who was Mother Mary responded, "Follow me closely. I will give you another water with which you will extinguish the contagion and cure not only your family but all who drink of it, for my heart is always inclined toward the lowly and will not suffer to see such things without remedying them."


The woman led Juan Diego down the steep hill as night began to fall. At the bottom was a pine grove with a spring of water, that still exists today. The lady told Juan Diego that whoever drank the smallest drop would be restored to perfect health. She then told him that he would find an image of her in the pine grove where they were standing, a "true portrait of her perfections and clemencies, and that he should advise the Franciscan fathers to place it in the church of St. Lawrence" that stood on top of the hill.