Why Juan Diego?

Who was Juan Diego?

Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin is an indigenous Saint and Marian visionary. Our Lady of Guadalupe is said to have spoken to him in his native language and commanded him to build a shrine in her honor on Tepeyac Hill, Mexico in 1531.

As a sign and proof of his vision, he gathered roses in the dead of winter and dropped them at the feet of the archbishop. Juan Diego was beatified on May 6, 1990 and canonized July 31, 2002. He is the patron saint of indigenous people and one of the most popular and important saints in Mexico and among Mexican-American communities in the US.

With Juan Diego as our program’s namesake, we are framing the cultural reality that Spanish is a colonial language in the Americas.

Characteristics of a Juandieguista graduate

St. Juan Diego demonstrated enduring humility and determination teaching by word and especially by example. And in that vein, our students can expect to develop:

  • an ability to speak knowledgeably and courageously as ambassadors of social justice, community empowerment, and environmental stewardship in both Spanish and English
  • a strong understanding of diverse cultures in the Hispanic World through Western and non-Western lenses
  • critical thinking skills enabling them to be active global citizens who are aware of their impact and value communication skills to proficiently and compassionately interact with Hispanic members of our communities in both oral and written forms