Our Lady first appeared to Talking Eagle, aka St. Juan Diego, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. In the Spanish Empire of the 16th century, Our Lady’s conception was celebrated on December 9.
Now, she could hardly have chosen that particular day by accident, to greet the people of this continent. What exactly did she mean by it?
Only she has the answer. But if I might propose a theory…
To have been conceived without sin in her mother’s womb: that sets Our Lady apart, to be sure. But how exactly? The Virgin’s radiant sinlessness arose from the same sole source that wipes away our sins, namely the crucifixion of her Son. Mary received an unstained human nature because the Almighty and All-Just Father foresaw the sacrifice Christ would make to win her the right to have it.
Now, it pertains to our holy faith to believe and to meditate on this: Jesus, during His bitter Passion, thought of each of us individually. He thought of every human being who ever had lived or would live. He thought of you and me in particular, and He offered Himself for the purpose of wiping away your sins and mine in particular.
We need not scruple as to how Christ could have had the time or the mental capacity to think of billions of individual human beings, not to mention each of our sins, even the most hidden ones. The perfect union of His human mind with the infinite divine Mind made such an undertaking on His part perfectly possible.
No, the real question is: Of whom did Jesus think first, when He thought of us all, and dedicated His Passion and death to our personal salvation? He loves us all, of course. He would have died if either you or I were the only sinner ever.
But: He had a favorite. He loved one particular person more than anyone else.
When the Son said to the heavenly Father, “Let this chalice pass from me—but not my will, but yours be done”—when He submitted Himself to the thunderous avalanche of suffering that would liberate the world from the punishment we deserve–the son thought first of his mother.
“I do not want to die. But for her, I will.”