At that time, the year 1531, a few days into the month of December [December 9], it happened that there was a humble but respected Indian, a poor man of the people; his name was Juan Diego; he lived in Cuauhtitlán, as they say. ...
It was Saturday, not yet dawn; he was coming in pursuit of God and his commandments. And as he drew near the little hill called Tepeyac it was beginning to dawn. He heard singing on the little hill, like the song of many precious birds; when their voices would stop, it was as if the hill were answering them; extremely soft and delightful; their songs exceeded the songs of the coyoltotl and the tzinitzcan and other precious birds.
Juan Diego stopped to look. He said to himself: "By any chance am I worthy, have I deserved what I hear? Perhaps I am only dreaming it? Perhaps I'm only dozing? Where am I? Where do I find myself? Is it possible that I am in the place our ancient ancestors, our grandparents, told about, in the land of the flowers, in the land of corn, of our flesh, of our sustenance, possibly in the land of heaven?" He was looking up toward the top of the hill, toward the direction the sun rises from, toward where the precious heavenly song was coming from.
And then when the singing suddenly stopped, when it could no longer be heard, he heard someone calling him, from the top of the hill, someone was saying to him: "Juantzin, Juan Diegotzin!"
Then he dared to go to where the voice was coming from, his heart was not disturbed and he felt extremely happy and contented, he started to climb to the top of the little hill to go see where they were calling him from. And when he reached the top of the hill, where a Maiden was standing, who spoke to him, and who called to him to come hither.
And when he reached where she was, he was filled with admiration for the way her perfect grandeur exceeded all imagination: her clothing was shining like the sun, as if it were sending out waves of light, and the stone, the crag on which she stood, seemed to be giving out rays; her radiance was like precious stones, it seemed like an exquisite bracelet; the earth seemed to shine with the brilliance of a rainbow in the mist.
And the mesquites and nopals and the other little plants that are generally up there seemed like emeralds. Their leaves seemed like turquoise. And their trunks, their thorns, their prickles, were shining like gold. He prostrated himself in her presence. He listened to her voice, her words, which give great, great glory, which were extremely kind, as if she were drawing him toward her and esteemed him highly.
She said to him, "Listen, my dear son Juan: where are you going?"
And he answered her: "My Lady, my Queen, my Beloved Maiden! I am going as far as your little house in Mexico-Tlatelolco, to follow the things of God that are given to us, that are taught to us by the ones who are the images of Our Lord: our priests."
Then she talks with him, she reveals her precious will, and she says to him: "Know, be sure, my dearest-and-youngest son, that I am the perfect Ever Virgin Holy Mary, mother of the one great God of truth who gives us life, the inventor and creator of people, the owner and Lord of what is around us and what is touching us or very close to us, the owner and Lord of the sky, the Lord of the earth. I want very much that they build my sacred little house here, in which I will show him, I will exalt him on making him manifest; I will give him to the people in all my personal love, in my compassionate gaze, in my help, in my salvation, because I am truly your compassionate mother, yours and of all the people who live together in this land, and of all the other people of different ancestries, those who love me, those who cry to me, those who seek me, those who trust in me, because there I will listen to their weeping, their sadness, to remedy, to cleanse and nurse all their different troubles, their miseries, their suffering. And to bring about what my compassionate and merciful gaze is trying to do, go to the residence of the bishop of Mexico, and you will tell him how I am sending you, so that you may reveal to him that I very much want him to build me a house here, to erect my temple for me on the plain; you will tell him everything, all that you have seen and marveled at, and what you have heard. And know for sure that I will appreciate it very much and reward it, that because of it I will enrich you, I will glorify you; and because of it you will deserve very much the way that I reward your fatigue, your service in going to request the matter that I am sending you for. Now, my dearest son, you have heard my voice, my word: go, do what you must do."
And immediately he prostrated himself in her presence; he said to her: "My Lady, my Beloved Maiden, now I am going to make your venerable voice, your venerable word, a reality. I, your poor Indian, am leaving you for a while."