Our Lady of San Juan is also known as the Virgen de San Juan by the Catholics of Mexico. Catholics around the world are very devoted to the Blessed Virgin; especially those in Mexico and South America. It is because of this devotion that the first Spanish missionaries, led by Father Miguel de Bologna built a church in San Juan de Los Lagos, Jualisco, Mexico, in 1542. Father Miguel placed a statue of the Immaculate Conception in the church which he brought with him from Spain.
The Our Lady of San Juan Miracle
In 1623, a young girl who was the daughter of a local Indian became gravely ill. Her distraught parents prayed to Our Lady of San Juan for her recovery and their prayers were answered. After the miraculous recovery of the little girl, the statue of the Immaculate Conception became the sight of veneration by traveling pilgrims, the local Indians, the Spanish, and the mestizo (people of mixed blood – Spanish and Amerindian). At this time, the official name for the statue became Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos.
Our Lady of San Juan Basilica
The Our Lady of San Juan Shrine is over 800 years old.
1732 – construction begins in the baroque style
1769 – the Blessed Virgin is placed in the church
1790 – the bell towers are completed
1792 – the church becomes a basilica
Pilgrimage to the Our Lady of San Juan Basilica
Each year, thousands of Catholics make a pilgrimage to the Our Lady of San Juan Shrine between January and February to pay homage to the Immaculate Conception. A festival takes place and over a million people from all over Mexico attend the festivities. There are fireworks,
musicians, and vendors who sell Our Lady of Jan Juan statues and Our Lady of San Juan jewelry. Pilgrims laugh and pray together and many of them wear an Our Lady of San Juan medal or Our Lady of San Juan pendant to profess their faith in the Immaculate Conception.