The oldest and most venerable shrine of the Blessed Virgin in North America is in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. This was the scene of several appearances of the Virgin to an Indian peasant, Juan Diego. A miracle occurred in 1531 when a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared on the tilma of Juan Diego. The image of the beautiful lady had the dark complexion of the natives and they interpreted this as a sign from God. Over the next few years eight million Indians were converted. So eager were they to become Catholics that they ran out from their villages to greet and welcome the Catholic missionaries. While the Church lost many to the Protestant Reformation in Europe, she gained many more in the new world. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is still on display in Mexico City today.
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