For most of the people in the Spanish-speaking world, religion is a large part of daily life, and a large percentage of those people are Catholics. According to America Magazine, in 2010, the largest population of Catholics in the world resided in Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico has the second-largest Catholic population of any country in the world, with 85 percent of its residents identifying themselves as practicing Catholicism (Catholic). One of the main beliefs of the Catholic faith is the sanctity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ.
In 1531 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a poor and humble Indian man named Juan Diego at Tepeyac Hill, northwest of what is now Mexico City. The “Lady from Heaven”
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But Juan was unable to return the following day because he was caring for a gravely ill uncle. He ventured to find a priest to bless his uncle, who was by that time near death, and had to pass by Tepeyac Hill on his way. When he arrived at the hill, he again found Mary waiting for him. She told him not to worry about his uncle, that he was well again, but to go to the top of the hill and pick the flowers that were growing there for her. The date was December 12th. At the top of the frozen hill, Diego found a bouquet of roses. He wrapped the roses in his tilma – a cape made of fiber from a cactus – and brought them back to Mary. Mary rearranged the flowers and said “…this time the Bishop will believe all you tell him."
Upon his return to the bishop’s palace, Juan presented to him the tilma containing the flowers he had retrieved from the hillside. Imprinted on the cape was an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, appearing exactly as Juan had described her. The bishop fell to his knees in homage, and the next day he and Juan returned to Tepeyac to visit the spot where the Blessed Mother first appeared to Juan, and ordered a church to be built there. Juan then returned to his village to see his uncle. Indeed he was cured of his sickness. His uncle described meeting a woman “surrounded by a soft light, who told him that she had just sent his nephew to Tenochtitlan with a picture of herself. She told his uncle: Call me and call my image Santa Maria de