At the time of Mary's appearance, Catholicism was relatively new in Mexico. It is thought that the first Catholic Mass on Mexican soil had occurred less than 15 years earlier. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that Mary's apparition would have a "powerful effect, the increase in conversions being very noticeable after that time."
Today Catholicism remains the majority religion in Mexico. The 2010 census found that about 84 percent of respondents identified themselves as Catholic; the Vatican estimates the number is higher (nearly 92 percent).
But, as in many countries, the number of Catholics leaving the Church has increased in recent years. According to one study, more than 1,000 Mexicans left the Catholic Church every day over the last decade. One Mexican bishop estimated that of people remaining in the Church, only 10 to 20 percent go to Mass and are involved in their parish.
- Little Blue Book, December 9
Take some time to day to think about Our Lady and St. Juan Diego. Ask them to pray for a rebirth of the Church in Mexico and throughout the world.