6/23/18 7:00 AM
The first journey of Padre Junípero Serra when he arrived in the New World was to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe near Mexico City. There he offered the success of his missionary efforts to her intercession, for Mary, as Serra knew, is the Church’s inspiring model for the work of missionary discipleship. When she appeared to the indigenous Juan Diego as Our Lady of Guadalupe, she was dressed like his people, spoke his language, and had the face of a mestiza, a woman of mixed race. The very purpose of Mary’s apparitions to Mexico’s Juan Diego was to draw the people of the New World to her Son. Both Saint Juan Diego, Mexico’s first indigenous saint, and Saint Junípero Serra, North America’s first Hispanic saint, are models for evangelization, dedicated to bringing about the reconciliation of cultures while leading all to Jesus Christ.