To view a presentation of our Church and Shrine click on Photo Gallery
|Over 460 years
ago the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to an Aztec Indian in Mexico named Juan
Diego. She wanted him to direct the Spanish Bishop to build a church in her
honour. The Bishop commanded Juan to request a special sign from the Mother
When Juan returned to the ancient Aztec temple, Mary appeared to him, speaking in his Indian language, assured him healing and protection to the whole people.
Mary directed Juan to gather a bouquet of flowers from the desert and to take them to the Bishop as a sign. He carried the flowers in his cape. When he stood in front of the Bishop he opened his cape, and inside, the flowers turned into a striking image of Mary imprinted on the cape.
The Bishop was satisfied but investigations had to follow. A Church was finally built on the Guadalupe site in 1709. The cloak Juan wore still hangs in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.
The devotion of Our Lady of Guadalupe began in Johnstown by Msgr. Ronald
MacLean. As a Chaplain in the Canadian Navy he visited Mexico and was
impressed by the story of Guadalupe. He purchased a Mosaic and brought it to
Twelve paintings depicting the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe are now on permanent display in the vestry of Sacred Heart Church. The art display is a mixture of South American, local Gaelic and Mi'Kmaq work. The devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe is important to the Mi'kmaq nation. They believe the Virgin Mary appeared as a native, spoke in the Aztec language and proclaimed herself protectress of Juan Diego's people.
A Children of Guadalupe Fund, into which people can make contributions, was started by the parishioners and continues to help the children of Mexico.
The Tepeyac Trail
Parishioners of Sacred Heart Parish have built a trail through the hills behind Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine. As you get to the top of the trail turn and look out at the amazing Bras d'Or Lake.
For a more detailed description on how Our Lady came to Johnstown you can check out a book "Fiddles and Flowers" by Fr. Dan Doucet