According to tradition, an indigenous Aztec peasant named Juan Diego heard the voice of a woman calling to him from the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City in 1531. He ascended the hill to see a woman clothed in light, who asked him to tell the Roman Catholic leaders in the area to build a church. The apparition of the Virgin Mary was brown-skinned and pregnant.
The Catholic bishop of Mexico City initially didn't believe Juan Diego and asked him to return another day with proof.
Flowers appeared on the hill, which Juan Diego cut and gathered in his cloak to show the bishop. When he unfurled his cloak, the flowers spilled out revealing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. An imprint of the apparition appeared on Diego's tilma, or cape, in which he'd carried the roses.
Sparks said the statue is about 10 feet tall on the foundation base.
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