St. Juan Diego - December 9
As one of Mexico's most important saints
, the 16th-century Catholic convert was visited by the Virgin Mary, who told him to ask the bishop to build a shrine in her honor. Doubting his authenticity, the bishop asked Juan Diego for proof. Mary visited him again and told him to pick roses for the bishop -- this was during winter -- as a sign of her visit. When Juan Diego opened his cloak to show the roses to the bishop, it was miraculously imprinted with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The bishop had the evidence he needed to build a church. Juan Diego spent the rest of his life in a hut near to the church, caring for visiting pilgrims. His story is one of complete faith and dedication to God through devotion to the Blessed Mother.