Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Patroness of the Americas and truly a 'Living Image'.

The 'miraculous' and most realistic image of Our Lady is nearly 500 years old!

Only 39 years after Columbus discovered the Americas, and 10 years after Hernán Cortés defeated Montezuma and the Aztec Empire for Spain, the Blessed Mother appeared to Juan Diego, a poor Indian, in 1531.

Most of the interest in Mexico was gold, but since Spain was a Catholic country, there was also strong interest in converting the native population to the Catholic faith, but in 1531, few Indians had been converted to Catholicism. Even though the Aztec Nation was decimated, many Aztec indians were considering a general insurrection against the Spaniards. Many still practiced human sacrifice and polygamy behind the backs of the Friars [Catholic Missionaries].

Bishop-elect Fray Juan de Zumarraga prayed for peace, reconciliation, conversions, and for an end to human sacrifice and polygamy, and his prayers were answered by the Blessed Mother. The Bishop's special prayer to Mary was that she would grace him with Castilian Roses from his homeland in Spain, since he missed them dearly, and they didn't grow in Mexico.

One of the early converts was Juan Diego, and on one of his long 10 mile walks to church through the Tepayac hill country in central Mexico, he encountered a miracle. On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, 1531, Juan was attracted to a hill-top by the sound of singing birds. Our Lady called out:

""Juanito, Juanito".

There he encountered a beautiful woman surrounded by a ball of light as bright as the sun, at a spot known as Tepayac Hill. Juan Diego thought he was in Heaven. The rocks appeared as emeralds, in the transfigured environment. The beautiful Lady spoke in his native language, and identified Herself:

"My dear little son, I love you. I desire you to know who I am. I am the ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who gives life and maintains its existence. He created all things. He is in all places. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth. I desire a church in this place where your people may experience my compassion. All those who sincerely ask my help in their work and in their sorrows will know my Mother's Heart in this place. Here I will see their tears; I will console them and they will be at peace. So run now to Tenochtitlan and tell the Bishop all that you have seen and heard."

Juan Diego, age 57, and who had never been to Tenochtitlan, nonetheless immediately responded to Mary's request. He went to the palace of the Bishop-elect Fray Juan de Zumarraga and requested to meet immediately with the bishop. The bishop's servants, who were suspicious of the rural peasant, kept him waiting for hours.

The bishop-elect told Juan that he would consider the request of the Lady and told him he could visit him again if he so desired. Juan was disappointed by the bishop's response and felt himself unworthy to persuade someone as important as a bishop.

He returned to the hill where he had first met Mary and found Her there waiting for him. Imploring Her to send someone else, She responded:

"My little son, there are many I could send. But you are the one I have chosen."

She then told him to return the next day to the bishop and repeat the request. On Sunday, after again waiting for hours, Juan Diego met with the bishop who, on re-hearing his story, told him to ask the Lady to provide a sign as a proof of who She was. Juan dutifully returned to the hill and told Mary, who was again waiting for him there, of the bishop's request. Mary responded:

"My little son, am I not your Mother? Do not fear. The Bishop shall have his sign. Come back to this place tomorrow. Only peace, my little son."

Unfortunately, Juan Diego was not able to return to the hill the next day. His uncle had become mortally ill and Juan stayed with him to care for him. After two days, with his uncle near death, Juan left his side to find a priest. Juan had to pass Tepayac Hill to get to the priest. As he was passing, he found Mary waiting for him again. She spoke:

"Do not be distressed, my littlest son. Am I not here with you who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Your uncle will not die at this time. There is no reason for you to engage a priest, for his health is restored at this moment. He is quite well. Go to the top of the hill and cut the flowers that are growing there. Bring them then, to me."

While it was freezing on the hillside, and no roses should be blooming in the freezing weather, out of season, Juan obeyed Mary's instructions and went to the top of the hill where he found a full bloom of Castilian roses. Removing his tilma, a poncho-like cape made of cactus fiber, he cut the roses and carried them back to Mary. Our Lady was not satisfied with the haphazard arrangement so She rearranged the cut Castilian roses into a nice bouquet and told him:

"My little son, this is the sign I am sending to the Bishop. Tell him that with this sign I request his greatest efforts to complete the church I desire in this place. Show these flowers to no one else but the Bishop. You are my trusted ambassador. This time the Bishop will believe all you tell him."

At the Bishop's palace, Juan Diego once again came before the bishop and several of his advisors. He told the bishop his story and opened the tilma letting the flowers fall out. The Bishop recognized the flowers as the Castilian Roses sign that he had prayed for, but it wasn't the beautiful roses that caused the bishop and his advisors to fall to their knees; for there, on the tilma, was a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary precisely as Juan had described her. The image developed before the eyes of the Bishop and an assembled court of approximately 13 people, as if it was an old-fashion Polaroid print! The Bishop was certain that the Image was not a painting or some trick by Juan Diego, because it was impossibly developing before his very eyes!

Juan Diego shows the 'sign' to Bishop-Elect Fray Juan de Zumarraga and his court.

The next day, after showing the Tilma at the Cathedral, Juan Diego took the bishop to the spot where he first met Mary. He then returned to his village where he met his uncle who was completely cured. His uncle told him he had met a young woman, surrounded by a soft light, who told him that she had just sent his nephew to Tenochtitlan with a picture of herself. She told his uncle:

"Call me and call my image Santa Maria de Guadalupe".

It's believed that the word 'Guadalupe' was actually a Spanish mis-translation of the local Aztec dialect. The word that Mary probably used was 'Coatlallope' which means "one who treads on snakes", perhaps referring to her hatred of Satan, in
Genesis 3:14-15:

"And the Lord God said unto the serpent, 'I will put enmity between thee and the woman".

Bible scholars agree that the Blessed Mother is the 'woman' referred to in Genesis 3. 'Enmity' is a determined, enduring, and extreme hostility between enemies. Also, Our Lady of Guadalupe appears eerily similar to the description of Her when She is battling Satan, in Revelation 12:1:

"A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon at her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."

Within two weeks, the Bishop had a Church built on the miracle spot. The indians came together with the Spanish because the indians recognized Our Lady as one of them because of the design details of the Image. Now it wasn't just the white man's European religion, but the Indian’s own.

In their celebration, they shot arrows into the air, and one came down and pierced an indian through the neck, killing him on the spot. Someone in the crowd was inspired to bring the tilma to him, so they did, and they prayed for him. He got up from the ground, and the arrow was pulled from his neck, that left two marks but no blood, and the dead indian was fine! This first miracle is depicted in a large mural at the museum in Mexico City.

There were so many miracles after this first, that they stopped counting, and the Aztec Indians were overwhelmingly convinced of the authenticity of Our Lady's message. Within nine years of this apparition, nine million Aztecs had converted to Catholicism. This is the largest mass conversion in the history of the world, overwhelming the 3,000 in one day, in the Pentecost conversions in the Book of Acts. Nine Million in Nine Years is an average of over 2,700 per day, for nine years!

Aztec Indians would come out of the wilderness and ask for the Waters of Baptism, in sign language, because Our Lady had said that She was 'your fountain of life'.

Since the time the tilma was first impressed with a picture of the Mother of God, it has been subject to a variety of environmental hazards including smoke from fires and candles, water from floods and torrential downpours.

In 1629, workers were cleaning the Tilma's gold frame, and very powerful nitric acid was spilled on the Image, in the upper right section, which should have disintegrated the delicate cactus fibers, but the Image survived undamaged, except for a stain.

The Tilma's upper right detail section showing the nitric acid stain of 1629.
The stain extends down the right side, about 65% of the way down the Image.

In 1921, Masons posing as venerators, planted a bomb at the Altar under the Image. They arrived with a beautiful bouquet of roses to lay at the altar, but the vases contained bombs. When the bombs exploded, a cast-iron cross next to the Altar was twisted out of shape, [perhaps as Jesus bent over backward to save His Mother's image.] The marble altar rail was heavily damaged and the tilma was...untouched! Indeed, no one was injured in the Church despite the damage that occurred to a large part of the altar structure.

In 1977, the tilma was examined using infrared photography and digital enhancement techniques. Unlike any painting, the tilma shows no sketching or any sign of outline drawn to permit an artist to produce a painting. Further, the very method used to create the image is still unknown. The image is inexplicable in its longevity and method of production. It can be seen today in a large cathedral built to house up to ten thousand worshipers. It is, by far, the most popular religious pilgrimage site in the Western Hemisphere.

Juan Diego is, of course, Saint Juan Diego, the first Saint of the Western Hemisphere, and Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas.

The various 'miraculous' aspects of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Because of the overwhelming popularity of the image, and given the progress made in the field of digital imagery, a program was started called the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, It was developed by Dan Lynch, and he is also the Guardian of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and he has traveled the world with the Image since 1991. Dan Lynch was a judge and a lawyer, but eventually gave up his practice, in devotion to Our Blessed Mother, to devote full-time to the Missionary Image.

The Missionary Image is an exact size and color, digital copy of the original tilma, which still hangs in the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Mexico City. Many miracles, healings, and other unexplainable phenomenon have accompanied the four traveling Missionary Images, as well as the original tilma in the Basilica Shrine. The Missionary Image today is sent to Churches, schools, hospitals, homes, and nursing homes, etc.

The normal lifetime of a 16th Century cactus fiber tilma is 10 years!

The Tilma of Juan Diego is made of cactus plants, [similar to burlap], and the life of the cactus fibers is about 10 years. The very fact that the Tilma has survived for over 475 years, without preservation, is a miracle, in itself! For nearly one hundred years the Tilma hung in the open air of the Basilica Shrine with no protection, in the salt air, and worshipers would come up to the Tilma and pull away cactus fibers as souvenirs from the Tilma, yet the Tilma remained undamaged, and undiminished. Soldiers would salute the Image, and poke their swords at it!

The Image is opaque from the front, but transparent from the back!

The colors of the Tilma can't be reproduced by scientists or artists, and Kodak says that the colors are not absorbed into the cactus fibers, and it is scientifically inexplicable. The brilliance of the colors remain, nearly 500 years later. From the front side the Image is opaque, of course, but from the back side, the Image is transparent!

The Image spoke to the Aztecs in the pictogram symbolism they could understand.

The Aztec Indians did not have a written language, and communicated with images or pictographs. The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe spoke to the Aztec Indians in the form that they knew. They recognized that this message was not of this earth. A 'little man', an angel, was bringing them this Lady on the wings of an eagle! The Lady was standing on the moon and She was blocking out the sun, like an eclipse! The colors She wears are those of an Aztec Royal Princess, because She is telling the indians that She's Royalty. The style of the clothing, however, is that of Middle-Eastern women of the time of Christ.

The stars on Our Lady's clothing match exactly the constellations on that day!

The Aztecs worshipped the sun, moon, and the stars, and Our Lady had the stars on Her clothing. This Lady was more powerful than all three. She's standing on the moon, wearing the stars, and blocking out the sun. But She's not the one! She's humblely looking down in prayer, wearing the cross, that the Spaniards wore. The stars on Her clothing intrigued one astronomer named Fr. Paddy Rojas and he wondered what the sky looked like on the night of her last apparition on December 12th, 1531, when the Castilian Roses cascaded out of the tilma. He obtained a computer overlay of the night sky, and the stars matched up exactly with the stars of Our Lady's clothing.

The clothing's designs matches a topographic overlay!

Fr. Paddy Rojas was also intrigued with the other unusual symbol designs on Her dress, and obtained a topographic map of the area and found that the symbols match the topographic features of the Tepayac hills, and the fur lined cuffs at Our Lady's wrists, [it was cold in the Tepayac Hills in December, 1531], are the twin volcanoes of Mexico City, in the correct spot.

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a detail section [right].

The Aztec's symbol for 'the center of the universe', is over Our Lady's womb.

Our Lady is pregnant in the Image and the dark sash beneath Her hands is the virginal sash worn by Aztec virgins. Beneath this sash is the only four petal flower on Her clothing, over her womb, and it's the Aztec symbol for the center of the universe. The indians knew that She was carrying the 'center of the universe'.

The Aztec symbol for the center of the universe, the Image's only 4 petal flower.

The 1531 scene of the Bishop's assemblage as the tilma was opened,
is reflected in Our Lady eye pupils!

When, for instance, two people hold a conversation opposite one another, each person is reflected in the pupils of the other's eyes.

In 1929, Alfonso Marcue, who was the official photographer of the old Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, found what seemed to him to be a clear image of a bearded man reflected in the right eye of the Virgin. He did not believe his own eyes, and hesitated to tell anyone. He continued to inspect his black and white photographs, and slowly came to accept the reality of the situation. He informed the authorities at the Basilica, but he was told to keep quiet about his discovery, which he did.

More than 20 years later, on May 29, 1951, Jose Carlos Salinas Chavez, examining a good photograph of the face, rediscovered the image of what clearly appears to be a bearded man reflected in the right eye of the Virgin, and he also locates the man in the left eye too.

Since then, many people had the opportunity to inspect closely the eyes of the Virgin on the tilma, including more than 20 physicians and ophthalmologists.

The first expert, on March 27, 1956, was Dr. Javier Torroella Bueno, MDS, a prestigious ophthalmologist. In what is the first report on the eyes of the image issued by a physician, he certifies what seems to be the presence of the triple reflection (Samson-Purkinje effect) characteristic of all live human eyes and states that the resulting images are located exactly where they are supposed to be according to such effect, and also that the distortion of the images agree with the curvature of the cornea.
The same year another ophthalmologist, Dr. Rafael Torrija Lavoignet, examined the eyes of the image with an ophthalmoscope in great detail. He observed the apparent human figure in the corneas of both eyes, with the location and distortion of a normal human eye and specially noted a unique appearance of the eyes: they look strangely "alive" when examined.

Many other examinations by ophthalmologists have been done of the eyes of the image on the tilma after these first ones. Most examinations agree, with more or less detail with the general conclusions of the initial ophthalmological examinations mentioned above.

A new and interesting kind of analysis of the eyes started in 1979, when Cornell University graduate, Dr. Jose Aste Tonsmann, Ph D, while working at IBM, scanned a very good photograph from the original, at very high resolution, of the face on the tilma. After filtering and processing the digitized images of the eyes to eliminate "noise" and enhance them, he reported he made some astonishing discoveries: not only did he confirm the earlier reports of a "human bust" clearly present in both eyes, but other human figures were seen, as reflected in the eyes too.

Dr. Aste Tonsmann published his latest studies on the eyes of the tilma in the book "El Secreto de sus Ojos", with complete details and photographs of his work. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the studies is his conclusion that Our Lady of Guadalupe not only left us her miraculous image as proof of her apparition but some important messages too. These messages were hidden in the eyes of the image until our times, when new technologies would allow them to be discovered, when they are most necessary.

That would be the case with the image of a family in the center of the Virgin's eye, in times when families are under serious attack in our modern world. The image of various human figures that seem to constitute a family, including various children and a baby carried in the woman's back similar to those used in the 16th century, appears in the center of the pupil, as shown in this great image, [bottom image, below], of the right eye highlighting the family, generously provided by Dr. Tonsmann.

According to Dr. Tonsmann, from left to right we can see "the Indian", "bishop Zumarraga", the "translator", "Juan Diego showing the tilma" and below "the family". Basically, Dr. Tonsman found the whole scene of about 13 people that were in the room, with Juan Diego, when the tilma was opened for the Bishop!

The early photo Our Lady's eye [left], and enhanced digital images [right, and below].

An ophthalmologist examined Our Lady's eye in the Missionary Image, and fainted!

An ophthalmologists examined Our Lady's eye in the Missionary Image with his instrument and saw a live, moving, reacting human eye, as if he were examining one of his patients, and fainted on the spot!

The womb of the Missionary Image is also alive!

The Missionary Image is a hands-on image, and people come to touch it, praying for conception, or to thank Our Lady for the grace to cancel their pending abortion. Some people have felt the quick heartbeat of a baby in the womb of Our Lady! Skeptics then called for a professional, so a nurse was secured, and she listened to the Image with her stethoscope, and testified that she heard the unmistakable thump-thump heartbeat of a baby in the womb area of the wooden-backed Image.

Castilian Rose petals have fallen from Heaven when the Image was paraded in the streets!

When the Missionary Image was paraded in the streets of both Ireland and Colorado, Castilian Rose petals fell from the Image. At a Colorado Abortion Clinic, a follower stopped the procession to alert the handlers that 'paint' was flaking off the image. When they bent down to examine the particles, they were rose petals, and the air was fragrant with the smell of roses!

The Missionary Image has cried tears of sorrow and joy!

The Guardian of the Missionary Image, Dan Lynch, has witnessed Our Lady's Image crying tears of oil. Other times, it has cried tears of sorrow for the scandals in the Church, or tears of joy for the more than 20 Abortion Clinics that have closed after the Missionary Image visited them.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is 4 feet, 8 inches tall!

Since every aspect of Our Lady of Guadalupe's image is virtually photographic in accuracy, in every detail imaginable, I believe we can assume that this is exactly as She appeared in 1531. The Image is then assumed to be life-size, so Our Lady is 4 feet, 8 inches tall. Artists say She represents the perfect form, proportionally known as 'the golden proportion', that artists strive to achieve. This is the only image of Our Lady, from heaven, not depicted through the imagination of man, and the only image where she is pregnant.

Bernadette of Lourdes said that Our Lady was about the same size as herself [Bernadette], and Bernadette was about 4 feet, 8 inches tall.

How far along is Our Lady's pregnancy?

Some gynecologists say that Our Lady is nearly 9 months along, and perhaps three weeks from delivery. Others say that Our Lady doesn't look very pregnant, because the Image does not plainly show a protruding abdomen, either high or low.

In my humble, unprofessional opinion, I think Our Lady might be only 3 months along, in this December 12th image. I don't see a characteristic protruding abdomen either, and I think that would have been plain to see, if Our Lady's aim was to reinforce the accuracy of the popular Christmas date of December 25th.

We're as bad today as the 'Human Sacrificing' Aztec Nation, and we'll pay!

The Aztec Empire was the grandest peak of civilization, at the time and Tenochtitlan was the grandest city in the world. The Aztec Indians, unfortunately, were deficient morally because of the practice of human sacrifice.

The United States is certainly at the grandest peak of civilization today, and New York, it could be argued is one of the grandest cities in the world. The United States, and indeed the world, is also morally deficient, to the same degree, with the widespread practice of abortion. The Pope has called Western Civilization, 'a culture of death'.

The Aztec Nation was offering sacrifice to their Gods of the Sun, Moon, and Stars on a scale never before seen. They sacrificed 20% [1 in 5], of their infant babies to the Gods as human sacrifices. They stabbed them on sacrificial altars, temple steps, or flung them from high cliffs into deep pits.

When we hear that, we say, 'How could anybody do that?' but in America, we kill 25% [1 in 4], of pregnancies by surgical abortion, not counting drug or chemical abortions. It's not as 'messy', or uncivilized, and the details are seldom seen, or featured, but the antiseptic procedures behind closed doors are murder, never-the-less.

The mothers say it's the culture that made them do it- 'they had no choice'. Their parents, or their boyfriend, or their schooling, or their job, or pier pressure, or the 'welfare-mother' lifestyle for 20 years, left them no choice.

The best image ever of a real angel, was obtained
in 1531

The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is remarkable, and the image of Our Lady on the tilma of Juan Diego is 'miraculous'. It is widely beleived to be a 'virtually photographic' life-size' image of the Blessed Mother on the day She appeared to the Bishop, as Juan Diego opened his tilma [cloak], and out-of-season roses poured forth. On the tilma, Mary measures 4 foot, 8 inches tall.

The most neglected portion of the image on the tilma is the angel at the bottom of the picture. By inference, the angel must also be a 'virtually photographic' image, that is also life-size. He is small like a baby, but apparently beyond his years, since the hair of his forehead is thinning.

The best image of a real angel yet obtained! The angel image is to scale to Our Lady above it.

Holy Family Monastery YouTube video by Brother Peter Dimond's Amazing and Miraculous Our Lady of Guadalupe Image.

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