Celebrating the Feast of St. Juan Diego And Our Lady Of Guadalupe

The Feast days of Saint Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe both reside in early December, and they are the perfect Saint days to celebrate with your family during Advent! The feast day of San Juan Diego falls each year on December 9, and Our Lady of Guadalupe falls on December 12. This is an especially important feast day for Mexican Catholics, and there are many beautiful celebrations and traditions that revolve around these feast days. You can find all of my resources for celebrating Advent Saints here. Now let’s take a look at celebrating the feast of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe! 

Disclaimer: Links included may be affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and order I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

St. Juan Diego And Our Lady Of Guadalupe Quick Facts

As always, it’s a lot easier to plan your celebrating when you already know about the Saint. Here are some highlights of the story of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

  • St. Juan Diego was from Tepeyac, Mexico
  • He was Nahuatl, which is a group of people native to Mexico
  • His given Aztec name was “Cuauhtlatoztzin” which means “one who talks with an eagle”
  • He was baptized by Spanish missionaries and given the Christian name Juan Diego
  • On December 9 he was walking many miles to mass to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to him
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe told him she wanted a church built in that spot, but when Juan Diego told the bishop, he was ignored
  • After many appearances, Mary promised to deliver the bishop a sign, and she told Juan Diego to go pick flowers from the top of the hill at Tepeyac
  • It was a miracle to find roses growing during December. He collected them and put them in his tilma. When he reached the bishop and dropped the tilma to reveal the roses, Our Lady of Guadalupe’s image had miraculously appeared on the tilma! The bishop agreed to build the church where Our Lady wanted it. 
  • The image from the tilma is the famous image we all know as Our Lady of Guadalupe today (pink dress, blue mantle with stars, angel at her feet)
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe most likely spoke to Juan Diego in his own language, Nahuatl and she called herself “coatlaxopeuh”, meaning “the one who crushes the serpent”. This sounds a lot like the Spanish word “Guadalupe” when pronounced, which is what led to the popular name of this Marian apparition- Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • The miraculous tilma is still on display in Mexico and has many amazing things about it that cannot be explained by Science!
  • The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City is the most visited Catholic site in the world. 
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe is sometimes referred to as “Lupita” by the Mexican people 

Our Lady Of Guadalupe Celebrations In Mexico

I would definitely encourage you to show your children some authentic celebrations of this beautiful feast day from Mexico! Don’t gloss over the beautiful culture of this feast day. 

Some of these Mexican traditions for the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe include:

  • People gathering in the street and going to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe to view the St. Juan Diego’s tilma (more than 7 million people go on the feast day to see the tilma every year on this day!) 
  • Much singing and dancing
  • The young boys dress up like St. Juan Diego (you can find my directions on how to make your own Juan Diego tilma here)
  • They process with images of Our Lady of Guadalupe 
  • The people climb to the top of the Tepeyac hill, sometimes on their knees 
  • Blessings and Masses run throughout the day 
  • They hold a “blessing of the roses” where the people hold up their roses and the archbishop blesses them 
  • It is also traditional to set up a feast day table at home with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe surrounded by roses 

At midnight when the feast day begins, they traditionally sing a song called “Las Mañanitas” for Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is traditionally a birthday song. The lyrics are absolutely beautiful! Here is a version where the song is in Spanish, but it runs an English translation to the side for you.

 

This video shares many visuals of the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe while explaining the traditions in text at the bottom. A very interesting watch!

 

Here’s a shorter video with a little background info and some Aztec dancers that are dancing to honoring Our Lady.

 

Our Lady Of Guadalupe Song

The song “La Guadalupana” is traditional to sing in Mexico on this day! You can hear it by watching the video below, and you can read an English translation of the lyrics here. Again, so beautiful! 

 

St. Juan Diego’s Story Video For Kids

Y’all… I fully recommend this Lady of the Roses movie from CCC for learning about these feast days! Of all the CCC movies, it’s my favorite, and I love the Lady of the Roses song! You can grab your copy here

Juan Diego: Messenger Of Guadalupe

There is also a free video for kids on YouTube if you didn’t get around to ordering the CCC movie. 

 

Traditional Feast Day Food For Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Traditionally, Mexican buñuelos are served in the plaze outside the basilica on this day. They are a type of fried Mexican dessert. For lack of better way of describing them, I will compare them to a funnel cake, but fried crispier than that. They’re seved with syrup and sugar on top. Head over to Mexico In My Kitchen to get a lot of great information about Mexican buñuelos as well as a recipe and step by step directions on how to make your own. 

Mexican buñuelos, Visit our site to check out the full recipe. Buñuelos mexicanos

They also traditional serve tamales on this day, and Northwest Catholic has a special tamale recipe to share with you as well. 

chicken tamales

Some years my family makes some homemade guacamole to celebrate this feast day, as the Aztec people are actually credited with creating guacamole.

Crafts For St. Juan Diego And Our Lady Of Guadalupe

We always love to celebrate with a craft, and I have some good ones for you! 
 
Check out this printable Our Lady of Guadalupe craft!  It’s a printable 3D pop up diorama, and it’s actually pretty easy to assemble using just a few pieces of tape.
 
 
I love this printable St. Juan Diego craft from my All Saints’ Day craft set. It’s easy to color an assemble these cute Saint crafts, and he makes a great table decoration! He can be paired with roses or any food containing roses. Here are some ideas:
 
  • actual roses (use them as a centerpiece on your table and now your centerpiece is also part of the theme!)
  • rose cookies (I have found these at Aldi before)
  • rose tea (this rose buds tea look GORGEOUS! I have also found rose tea at Aldi) 
  • rose marzipan “de la rosa” (you can find this at your local Latin grocery store with the candy)
  • rose flavored Turkish delight (a really fun and special treat to try)
  • beet root chips (these things look just like rose petals!)
 
 
I also have a printable set of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe ornaments in my printable Advent Saint ornaments set. This is a great set to last you all the way through Advent and it’s fun to hang them on the tree as you go!
 
 
We absolutely love peg dolls, and I now have a set of printable Advent Saint peg dolls that make having your own affordable and easy! You just follow my step by step directions on how to paint the head, then their bodies decoupage right on. This pack includes Our Lady of Guadalupe AND Juan Diego!
 
 
This particular set of printable peg dolls includes a lot of beautiful details! 
 
 

More Simple Feast Day Celebration Ideas

Sometimes it happens- we overlook the easy stuff! Here are some simple ways you can celebrate this year. 
  • Cut out sandwiches or cookies in the shapes of stars, just like Our Lady’s mantle has!
  • Pray a rosary
  • Learn to say the Hail Mary prayer in Spanish
  • Display roses on your dinner table and bless them with some holy water during dinner prayers

St. Juan Diego And Our Lady Of Guadalupe Picture Books For Kids

When you’re starting to teach your kids about the lives of the Saints, I suggest starting with a Saint picture book treasury that includes a lot of short stories you can read together. This will give you a good starting place and then you can add to your library of Saint books over the years. I think this Picture Book Of Saints is a good beginning Saint book for Catholic families. 

Saint Juan Diego’s story is found on page 137 of Picture Book Of Saints

A little side note here: Be careful when ordering books for this feast day because I have accidentally ordered some in Spanish in the past! 

Tomie de Paola (who is my FAVORITE!) has this beautiful Lady Of Guadalupe book that is very expensive in print but now has an affordable Kindle option. Yay! 

The Lady of Guadalupe by [Tomie dePaola]

Talking Eagle and the Lady Of The Roses picture book for kids looks charming! I’m always a sucker for beautiful illustrations. 

Also be sure to check out this picture book titled Our Lady Of Guadalupe.

You can find all of my resources for celebrating Advent Saints with kids here

Comments

  1. Lacy – I love the pictures of your crafts, but these aren’t showing up in my email or the website. Please update or whatever needs to happen!!

  2. I still can’t find the craft. I would love a copy of both

  3. Disregard. It is with the other saints. Sorry!

  4. Hi
    Do you sell just Our Lady of Guadalupe?

  5. Great post! The videos were really helpful to get a fuller picture of this feast. I love the work you’re doing to be inclusive, authentic, and culturally-sensitive.

    • Thank you! I have been working so hard to improve these aspects of my posts so it means a lot to hear this! I also love the videos. I was trying to find some good one for St. Lucy’s day and I didn’t have as much luck as I did for this one.

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