Tzotzil and Tzeltal indigenous people venerate San Juan Diego in Chiapas


Indigenous people went on a pilgrimage to San Cristóbal de Las Casas, in the state of Chiapas, to celebrate San Juan Diego

Hundreds of parishioners of Tzotzil Mayan descendants came on a pilgrimage to San Cristóbal de Las Casas, in the state of Chiapas, to celebrate San Juan Diego, who according to the Catholic religion sighted the Virgin of Guadalupe on the Tepeyac hill in 1531.

Every December 9, a few days before celebrating the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, in this town they remember San Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, who, according to history, had the image of his mother printed on his clothing.

From the top of one of the hills in this valley, east of the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the image of Juan Diego is carried on the shoulders of his faithful from the Catholic ceremonial center along with the Virgin Mary, and then descended to where hundreds of Tzotzil and Tzeltal descendants await them.

From very early on the faithful come up with offerings for the ceremony, others arrive from the Zoque area to dance in his honor, some more arrive accompanied by wind music to bring the traditional ‘mañanitas’ to San Juan Diego.

This day the Catholic faithful gather with joy to walk more than three kilometers next to the image of Juan Diego and the Virgin of Guadalupe with slogans such as ‘Long live Juan Dieguito!’, ‘Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!’, ‘Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!’ Long live Cristo Rey!’, ‘Long live the Guadalupe neighborhood!’.

The first contingent was led by Omar Gutiérrez, dressed in the clothing of Juan Diego, who said he was proud to represent the indigenous person who recognized the Virgin.

“He is a fundamental part of our history and religion because he was clearly key to these traditions,” Gutiérrez told EFE.

The contingents of men and women were accompanied by floats decorated with artificial plants and animals representative of the state. A giant toy cart accompanied by children handing out candy also caught attention.

This year the faithful said they were happy for the participation of young people because they believe that in these violent times there should be more unity.

Juana Montoya said that among her requests are “that we be in good health, that she (the Virgin) cover us with her mantle and take care of us from all crime.”

The faithful begged the Virgin Mary to help and guide them to overcome the consequences left by Covid-19, as they are still very sensitive due to the losses left by this disease.

“I ask for a lot of health, because we have gone through many difficult times due to the pandemic,” said Eric Hernández Verá, a resident of San Cristóbal.

Hundreds of spectators crowded the streets to watch the route, which lasted more than three hours.

21 years after the canonization of Juan Diego by Saint John Paul II, on July 31, 2002 in the Basilica of Guadalupe, in Mexico City, the Catholic faithful are becoming fond of him and recognize his contribution to the history of the Mexicans.

 Source: Lopez Doriga