The legend of the supposed sighting of the Virgin Mary by Juan Diego, from Britannica Biographies, starts of that his first vision of The Virgin Mary was on December 9, 1531. When he was visited, he was on Tepeyac Hill, which lies outside of Mexico City. In Náhuatl, the native language of Aztecs, asking him to build a shrine on the hill. Juan went to tell the Bishop about the incident but the Bishop did not believe his story and wanted proof. On December 12, Juan was visited by the Virgin Mary again and told Juan to collect roses and bring them to the Bishop as proof also she told him his uncle will recover from his sickness. After gathering roses, even while it was winter and not a suitable environment for roses, he brought them to the Bishop. As dozens of roses fell out of his cloak an image of the Virgin Mary was imprinted and visible on the inside of his cloak. Once the Bishop saw the proof he ordered that a church be built on Tepeyac Hill. (Encyclopedia, Britannica)
This legend is still controversial, especially since the cantonizing of Juan Diego back in 2002. After an extensive research I have three good reasons to why I believe this legend is false. They are lack of evidence that Juan Diego actually lived, it was used as a religious tactic for the Spaniards to succeed their conquest, and last is the image on the cloak was painted by an artist.
The First reason why I believe the legend is false is because there is not enough evidence to prove that Juan Diego existed. Miguel Sanchez, a Mexican Priest, first published the famed legend in 1648. It was a surprise to the people of Mexico City to never have heard the story. Sanchez even admitted that he did not find any documentary evidence of his story. With all the friars and Native people translating and producing a variety of documents such as chronicles, dictionaries, and confessional manuals, not one document was found between 1531 and 1648
Cited: Encyclopedia, Britannica. “ Juan Diego, Saint.” Britannica Biographies (2010): 1. History Reference Center. EBSCO. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. Davilla, Erika. “Mexico’s Treasure.” Santa Fe New Mexican (2002): 1. Newspaper Source. EBSCO. Web. 10 Apr. 2011. Peterson, Jeanette, F. “Creating the Virgin of Guadalupe: The Cloth, the Artist, and Sources in Sixteenth-Century New Spain.” The Americas 61.4 (2005): 571-610. JSTOR. Web. 9 Apr. 2011 <www.jstor.org/stable/4490973> Peterson, Jeanette, F. “The Virgin of Guadalupe: Symbol of Conquest or Liberation?” Art Journal 51.4 (1992): 39-47. JSTOR. Web. 7 Apr. 2011 <www.jstor.org/stable/777283> Poole, Stafford. “CLAH 2005 Luncheon Address: History versus Juan Diego.” The Americas 62.1 (2005): 1-16. JSTOR. Web. 9 Apr. 2011 <www.jstor.org/stable/4491020> Poole, Stafford. “Did Juan Diego Exist.” Commonweal 129.12 (2002): 9. Masterfile Premier. EBSCO. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. Wright, Ronald. “Aztec Resistance.” Stolen Continents: the “New World” through Indian eyes. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1992. 144-160. Print.