Skip to comments.Science Stunned by Virgin of Guadalupe´s Eyes
Posted on 10/16/2001 10:09:15 PM PDT by topher
Engineer Sees a Reflection, Literally, From a Scene in 1531
ROME, JAN. 14, 2001 (ZENIT.org) .- Digital technology is giving new leads in understanding a phenomenon that continues to puzzle science: the mysterious eyes of the image of Virgin of Guadalupe.
The image, imprinted on the tilma of a 16th-century peasant, led millions of indigenous Indians in Mexico to convert to the Catholic faith. Last week in Rome, results of research into the famed image were discussed by engineer José Aste Tonsmann of the Mexican Center of Guadalupan Studies during a conference at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum.
For over 20 years, this graduate of environmental systems engineering of Cornell University has studied the image of the Virgin left on the rough maguey fiber fabric of Juan Diegos tilma. What intrigued Tonsmann the most were the eyes of the Virgin.
Though the dimensions are microscopic, the iris and the pupils of the images eyes have imprinted on them a highly detailed picture of at least 13 people, Tonsmann said. The same people are present in both the left and right eyes, in different proportions, as would happen when human eyes reflect the objects before them.
Tonsmann says he believes the reflection transmitted by the eyes of the Virgin of Guadalupe is the scene on Dec. 9, 1531, during which Juan Diego showed his tilma, with the image, to Bishop Juan de Zumárraga and others present in the room.
In his research, Tonsmann used a digital process used by satellites and space probes in transmitting visual information.
He insists that the image "that has not been painted by human hand." As early as the 18th century, scientists showed that it was impossible to paint such an image in a fabric of that texture. The "ayate" fibers used by the Indians, in fact, deteriorated after 20 years. Yet, the image and the fabric it is imprinted on have lasted almost 470 years ago.
Tonsmann pointed out that Richard Kuhn, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, has found that the image did not have natural, animal or mineral colorings. Given that there were no synthetic colorings in 1531, the image is inexplicable.
In 1979, Americans Philip Callahan and Jody B. Smith studied the image with infrared rays and discovered to their surprise that there was no trace of paint and that the fabric had not been treated with any kind of technique.
"[How] it is possible to explain this image and its consistency in time without colors, on a fabric that has not been treated?" Tonsmann asked. "[How] is it possible that, despite the fact there is no paint, the colors maintain their luminosity and brilliance?"
Tonsmann, a Peruvian engineer, added, "Callahan and Smith showed how the image changes in color slightly according to the angle of viewing, a phenomenon that is known by the word iridescence, a technique that cannot be reproduced with human hands."
The scientist began his study in 1979. He magnified the iris of the Virgins eyes 2,500 times and, through mathematical and optical procedures, was able to identify all the people imprinted in the eyes.
The eyes reflect the witnesses of the Guadalupan miracle, the moment Juan Diego unfurled his tilma before the bishop, according to Tonsmann. In other words, the Virgins eyes have the reflection that would have been imprinted in the eyes of any person in her position.
In the eyes, Tonsmann believes, it is possible to discern a seated Indian, who is looking up to the heavens; the profile of a balding, elderly man with a white beard, much like the portrait of Bishop Zumárraga, painted by Miguel Cabrera, to depict the miracle; and a younger man, in all probability interpreter Juan González.
Also present, Tonsmann believes, is an Indian, likely Juan Diego, of striking features, with a beard and mustache, who unfolds his own tilma before the bishop; a woman of dark complexion, possibly a Negro slave who was in the bishops service; and a man with Spanish features who looks on pensively, stroking his beard with his hand.
In a word, the Virgins eyes bear a kind of instant picture of what occurred at the moment the image was unveiled in front of the bishop, Tonsmann says.
Moreover, in the center of the pupils, on a much more reduced scale, another scene can be perceived, independent of the first, the scientist contends. It is that of an Indian family made up of a woman, a man and several children. In the right eye, other people who are standing appear behind the woman.
Tonsmann ventured to express why he believes the Virgins eyes have a "hidden" message for modern times, when technology is able to discover it. "This could be the case of the picture of the family in the center of the Virgins eye," he says, "at a time when the family is under serious attack in our modern world."
The Virgin of Guadalupe is a remarkable story even in 1531. But it defies scientific explanation today.
How was an image so real put on cactus cloth (a cloak made from cactus fibers) and yet has not decayed in almost 500 years.
The trick of this story is looking in a mirror at the pupils of your eye. You will see the reflection of yourself in your eye.
Yet the pupils of this image shows a scene that is hard to describe. It is even possible to get a clear image of Juan Diego. Who is Juan Diego? He is Saint Diego. And a city in California (in Espanol) is named after him -- for in spanish -- Saint Diego becomes San Diego.
The tilma of the story is the cactus cloth cloth of Juan Diego. A beautiful woman had appeared to him a few times and told him to tell the bishop to build a church on the spot where the woman was appearing to him. The woman, though not a "divine creature", gave him a way to prove to the bishop to get the bishop to build the church. The way was the miracle of the tilma -- special roses the "heavenly lady" told Juan to take to the bishop and show to the bishop. So the bishop is also in the pupil of Juan Diego.
These are images that should be released to the public so we can decide for ourselves.
One other point of this story (not the story above, but of the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe) is that thousands of Indians over hundreds of years touched the image.
Further, the image of Guadalupe sent a message that the Lady is "standing on the god of the Indians of Mexico" and killing that god. Further, the Virgin (Lady) is looking up to a more "powerful" being. She is also pregnant, and dressed in the "Jewish tradition of an expectant mother". This would mean she is the mother of Jesus pregnant with Jesus (carrying Jesus in her womb).
Funny you asked. There are photos and paintings and all sorts of reproductions of Our Lady of Guadalupe but they say that they in no way approximate the actual picture on the Tilma. I have a picture of her though right here in my office.
It is a book by Francis Johnston on Guadalupe. Guess I need to scan these.
Does your mother dress as nicely as the Virgin of Guadalupe and show as good a taste? Hopefully so.
When you're ready to talk about it I'll be around.
Also, I wondered how you can tell that she is pregnant, since there doesn't appear to be any form to her garments.
Your remark doesn't have a pleasant odor.
There was once a very brilliant protestant theologian. His name -- Scott Hahn. At the age of 26 (or maybe 28), he was offered a teaching position at a very good protestant seminary. It was literally the dream of his life.
He, for a long time, thought as you did.
He converted to the Catholic religion.
When he got deep in the Old Testament and what HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER MEANT, he found out that if you wish to honor the mother of Jesus, you would "glorify her", as this would please Jesus.
Also, you contradict scripture with your terminology.
Jesus said: "Do not give what is holy to the unworthy."
Jesus said: "Only a good tree can produce good fruit and a bad tree, bad fruit."
From the first reference of Jesus, only the most worthy woman of all time could be the mother of Jesus Christ.
The second reference implies that such a woman is of such a good tree, that only good can come from her."
Finally, there is a story of a wedding in the Bible. It is the story of the wedding at Cana. Who asked Jesus to help the unfortunate couple when they ran out of wine? And what was Jesus' response.
Well, in case you don't know and are not very familar with the BIBLE, it was Mary.
She asked Jesus, and Jesus said: "Mother, it is not my time." Then Mary told the servants: "Do whatever He tells you." With that, the water was transformed into wine, and the public life of Jesus was BEGUN.
Honoring, and talking to your guardian angel is not wrong. Honoring and talking to a very powerful person in heaven is not wrong either.
But DEFILING THE MOTHER OF GOD IS TRULY WRONG AND BLASPEMOUS!!!! BE WARNED.
There are those who think of what the Catholic Church stands for, and those who have lived in the Catholic Church.
Since you are the former, you are ignorant of the Church's ways.
Finally, there is another thread, where the Eastern Church and the Roman Catholic Church worked to preserve the body of St Luke. It is proving to be authenic by a number of tests the skeleton found in Padua, Italy to be that of the Evangelist Luke. What member of the Protestant faith participated in that.... Preserving the tradition and heritage of the Roman Catholic Church.