On June 28, Bishop Jorge Alberto Cavazos Arizpe knelt down to approach the altar containing Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos’ miraculous image as a final farewell to her and his now-former diocese.
After serving as the bishop of San Juan de los Lagos for six years, Cavazos was recently named the archbishop of San Luis Potos, succeeding Archbishop Jess Carlos Cabrero Romero, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 last year.
On July 1, Cavazos will be formally appointed as the Archbishop of San Luis Potos.
The cathedral basilica of San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico’s second-most popular Marian shrine, houses the miraculous image of the Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos.
Local accounts claim that the image’s representation of Our Lady has performed a number of miracles over the years.
The first miracle happened in 1623 when the statue was put on the breast of a young girl who had died during an acrobatic performance after being brought out from the sacristy, where it had been hidden for 80 years due to its poor condition.
The girl regained consciousness undamaged.
Cavazos “wanted to say goodbye to Our Blessed Mother of San Juan like the pilgrims: on his knees,” according to Dr. Everardo López Padilla, who is in charge of the cathedral’s Historical Archive, on his YouTube channel Médico Historiador (Doctor Historian).
He entered via the front doors of the cathedral and walked about 60 meters (195 feet) on his knees while focusing on the venerated Virgin of San Juan, known locally as “la Cihualpilli,” or “the Great Lady.”
Pope John Paul II referred to the statue as “one who was brought back to life (from oblivion in the sacristy) and who brought back life” (la resucitada y resucitadora, or “the resurrected and resurrecting”) when he visited San Juan de los Lagos on May 8, 1990.
Cavazos decided that the Day for the Respect, Promotion, and Care of Life should be observed on the 25th of every month, among other significant decisions he made while serving as bishop at San Juan de los Lagos.