OUR LADY OF OCOTLAN, Tlaxcala, Mexico
At the time of this writing the world is being ravaged by the CORONA VIRUS. Schools and churches are closed, sports and entertainment venues are shut down, and border restrictions are in place everywhere. Travel is nonexistent. We are in “lockdown.” Most countries agree that it is the worst crisis they have faced since World War ll.
Five hundred years ago Mexico was also facing a devastating plague. It was an epidemic of smallpox and it “swept through the country like a tidal wave.” In many areas as many as nine out of ten indigenous people died from the disease.
In 1541, ten years after the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego, Our Lady appeared to another Juan Diego, this time in the town of Tlaxcala, 95 miles (152 km.) east of Mexico City. After the visitation of Our Lady, the town of Tlaxcala was cured of the plague!
She appeared to the startled Juan as he was fetching water for his sick family members. She said to him, “I will give you water to cure the disease. It will cure all who drink of it. MY HEART IS EVER READY TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE ILL, FOR I CANNOT BEAR TO SEE THEIR MISFORTUNE.”
She led Juan—who was one of the first Christians in the area— to an unknown spring. He filled his jug and gave this water to his ill relatives. All who drank the water were cured! The “Beautiful Lady” had another message and she asked him to relay it to the friars at the Franciscan convent where he worked.
It was a curious message! “Tell the friars that they shall find my image in this place. Through it I will generously BESTOW FAVORS AND KINDNESSES. When they find the image they are to place it in the church.” But Juan wondered to himself, “Where would they find the image in the middle of this huge pine forest?”
By a series of mysterious signs the friars were directed to one particular tree in the forest. When they took an axe to this tree (the ocote tree, a type of pine) they were stunned to discover a full-size image of Our Lady inside the intact tree trunk. Today the original statue resides above the main altar in the Basilica of Our Lady of Ocotlan in Tlaxcala.
This apparition has been approved by five popes: from Pope Clemente Xll (in 1735) to Pope Pius Xll (in 1941). The miraculous spring in the Capilla de Pocito (Chapel of the Well), near the Basilica, is still healing people to the present day. The Basilica is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Mexico.
Our Lady of Ocotlan, please pray for us now!