Skip to comments.Scientists certify Our Lady of Guadalupe tilma
Posted on 06/17/2007 2:37:44 PM PDT by NYer
In 1531, the Virgin Mary appeared to Mexican peasant Juan Diego. To prove to all that the apparitions were real, the Virgin imprinted an image of herself on Juan Diego's tilma, a thin cloth made of cactus fibres.
This type of tilma normally decays in 30 to 40 years. But Juan Diego's tilma is still miraculously intact and the same as it was when he wore it.
Over the centuries, many have expressed doubts about the divinity of the image, but Prof. Victor Campa Mendoza has no doubt whatsoever.
"This is not a human act but an act of God," he says in Spanish, adding he has accumulated enough evidence to prove it.
The first is in Revelation chapter 12 which speaks about a woman remarkably similar to Our Lady of Guadalupe, including the fact she was accompanied by the sun, the stars and the moon and that she was pregnant.
According to the Nahualt culture, Juan Diego's culture, Our Lady is pregnant in the tilma. This is clear by the shape of her waist and by the four-petal flower resting on her womb, which in Nahualt culture is a symbol of pregnancy, Mendoza said.
A professor of ethics at the Technological Institute of Durango, Mexico, Mendoza has done extensive analysis and research on Juan Diego's tilma for the past 30 years and has written several books on Our Lady of Guadalupe, including the Mantle Codex, the Nican Mopohua and his latest, Guadalupan.
He is currently on a speaking tour of several U.S. and Canadian cities. Blessed Sacrament Parish in Wainwright sponsored his trip to Alberta. He made presentations at parishes in Edmonton, Wainwright, Lloydminster and Vegreville.
In a brief interview in Spanish and during a PowerPoint presentation for 35 people at St. Martin's Parish in Vegreville June 12, Mendoza spoke candidly about Our Lady and gave further evidence of the supernatural origin of her image. He used a large canvass of Our Lady for the presentation and with a large ruler he pointed to details in the image.
Carlos Lara of Wainwright, who interpreted the presentation, said in his native Mexico Our Lady is popular and nobody questions the divinity of the tilma. But presentations like Mendoza's are necessary for skeptical westerners.
Mendoza noted Our Lady's tilma shows the radiant rays of the sun surrounding her as she appeared, wearing a blue-green mantle that depicts the universe.
Also fascinating is the pattern of stars strewn across her mantle. According to Mendoza the pattern mirrors the exact position of constellations on the day her image appeared on the tilma, Dec. 12, 1531. He used a graph to prove it.
It has been found that by imposing a topographical map of central Mexico on the Virgin's dress, the mountains, rivers and principal lakes coincide with the decoration on this dress, he said.
The fact that the tilma has remained perfectly preserved since 1531 is a miracle in itself, according to Mendoza. After more than four centuries, Juan Diego's tilma retains the same freshness and the same lively colour as when it was new.
Analysis shows that there is no trace of drawing or sketching under the colour, even though perfectly recognizable retouches were done on the original.
He said a professor from NASA conducted an independent analysis in 1979 and concluded that there is no way to explain the quality of the pigments used for the pink dress, the blue veil, the face and the hands, the permanence of the colours, or the vividness of the colours after several centuries, during which they ordinarily should have deteriorated.
Much research has also been conducted regarding mysterious images that appear in Our Lady's eyes. The images reflected in her retinas are of the moment when she left her imprint on Juan Diego's tilma and Mendoza showed enlarged pictures of those images.
Peruvian Jose Aste Tonsmann, an expert in digital image processing, produced them. The figures in Our Lady's eyes' reflection show the people historically known to have been present at the unveiling of the tilma in 1531 - Bishop Zumarraga, his interpreter, Juan Diego and several family members.
Further proof of the supernatural origin of the tilma comes from St. Luke, who in 71 AD painted a portrait of Our Lady that is remarkably similar to Our Lady of Guadalupe, noted Mendoza. "This is a true sign that this an act of God," he said.
Sandyeggo-It's right there in the first sentence you put in red font:...
And that's all that is mentioned and then it's in an off-handed way. The rest is about doing things for Mary so that Mary will bless and take care of them.
Juan Diego was a illiterate Indian. He was not a doctor of reformed theology, or any other kind of theology. Sometimes God reaches us down where we are, even though you don't approve.
God bless all who venerate her!
I have yet to see Mary looking like a short dark Middle Eastern as she most likely was; rather than the African, Oriental or anything else. It is understandable when people paint pictures of Mary that she appears like this because it is an artist's interpretation. However, when people say that Mary stamped her picture on their T-shirt, then one would hope that it would be an exact likeness of her. If you compare Juan's pictures among all the other pictures from the few who have similar stories, then you would think the likeness would be the same. She wouldn't look like she just came off a catechism card.
It isn't a matter of what WE believe. It is a matter of what scripture tells us.
“I don’t know anywhere in Catholic doctrine that a church is called a “temple”; do you?”
I heard St. Peter’s in Rome is so called.
"You will know a tree by its fruit." --Jesus
I am sure that we both would agree that if tomorrow 9 million Hindus became Budhists we would not marvel and think this was God at work. From the Budhist's perspective they might.
But we're not talking about non-Christian religions. We're talking about 9 million conversions to Christianity. Does that sound like the work of Satan?
"If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?" --Jesus
So? Doesn't anyone stop and think that this person could have 1) been deceived or 2) been a deceiver?
Perhaps, except to say that God the Father is not recounted in the story. Mary is talking about coming to her, not the Father.
Sometimes Christians aid other people without invoking God's name. That does't make their actions intrinsically evil. Besides, in the account I read she identified herself as the Mother of God. She also instructed Juan Diego to go to see his bishop --to go to the Church. The connection with Christ's Church is quite clear.
1 Timothy 3:15And the magicians in Egypt were able to do miraculous signs. Simon in Acts was also.
if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
And the devil may appear as an angel of light.
But what fruit did these signs bear? Again, Satan would not work a sign that would result in the mass conversion of pagans. His kingdom would be divided against itself.
I believe it's called the St. Peter's Basilica unless they've begun instituting animal sacrifices.
Total cultural integration.
Jesus-"You will know a tree by its fruit."
If we want to use conversion as a measuring tool, we would have to say Islam is correct which is the fastest growing religion.
Thank God for Our Lady of Guadalupe.
We have been warned about those that will mislead. I only know of one instance where God will use humans (we believe are dead) to bring his message to us and that has not occurred yet. In Scripture God reveals his message to us through his Son, the Holy Spirit, or angels.
But weren't they blessed? They became Christians. In doing so, they were baptized. Adult baptism requires repentance and belief. With this miraculous event, God, working through Mary, established the divine nature of His Church, so much so that millions of pagans were led into Christ's Church.
If people followed her advise, they were not converted because there is no call for repentence and asking God for forgiveness as required in scripture.
But in entering the Church through baptism, they repented of their sins and professed belief in Christ.
God uses all things to His glory so it is entirely possible that some of these people understood the message and "saw the light" so to speak. But, based upon what Juan told everone, this is not the gospel message.
Why would Mary be limited to strictly speaking the gospel message? She led the pagans to Christ's Church, and Christ Himself, as the woman whose offspring "crushed the head of the serpent."
Somewhere in St. Peter's the church is referred to as a temple, at least according to Mother Angelica. (I saw this rerun last week).
She herself claims to have been told by the infant Jesus to "build a temple for me." She said that she was confused, because she had never heard of a Catholic temple. But one day when she was in St. Peter's, she saw that it was called a temple.
The Solomonic columns used in the high alter of St. Peter's provide converging evidence. Catholic Churches are heavily influenced by the design of Solomon's Temple.
Finally, we Christians can regard ourselves as completed or messianic Jews. So the idea of calling a church a temple should not pose too great of a problem for us.
My two cents, anyway 8-)
This particular apparition has some strong evidence in its favor; but other FReepers have posted lots of links, so I encourage you to train you critical eye on it, and evaluate things for yourself.
Here's a reasonable hypothesis of why Christ's mother--- if this is His mother---- would want to emphasize so much her own motherhood. And that would be hinted at by the location of her visit. It was the hill of Tepeyac, where previously there had been the pyramid of the Aztec goddess Tonantzin, which means simply "Venerable Mother."
The Aztecs had as great an interest in and reverence for sacred realities as did the pagan Greeks at Areopagus. But it's hard for us even to grasp the profound humiliation and disorientation they suffered when their whole society was shattered by this utterly alien invasion and conquest. It would be very hard for them to accept Christ from the aliens at Castilian knifepoint; Christianity would be seen as something that almost deified the Spanish, while annihilating the Aztec.
So it was necessary for them to be evangelized by "one of their own," so to speak. And thus Mary came, very young, very dark, very much NOT a goddess, hands folded reverently and eyes meekly downcast, using elaborate Aztec iconographic aymbolism to tell them --- as Paul told the Greeks at Mars Hill --- who their "unknown god" really is.
Don't be misled by thinking her whole message is in her words. It's all in her visual symbolism. She is not the Supreme Being. But she is carrying Him.
The fact that she wanted a 'temple' under the authority of Bishop Zumarraga clearly means she wanted to draw people into the church of the Christians, for here many millions have encountered Christ.
If it were not for her, I believe the Mesoamerican people would overwhelmingly be Huitzilopochtli-worshippers to this day.
In fact, thinking of the titanic struggle going on in Mexico even now as we speak, with their vile government oppressing the poor (abort them or export them!), rapidly and comprehensively embracing the Culture of Death (legalizing abortion, promoting contraception, honoring perverse sexuality, and prostitution) I suspect Huitzilopochtli is still a strong contender.
Give a thought to the significance of that snake under Mary's foot. "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and hers..."
I would suggest the Catholic Church has gone positively wacky with Mary. Even the Orthodox roll their eyes over the Marian doctrine that has been coming out of the Church for the last 200 years. People are seeing Mary more often (thousands of reported sightings yearly) simply because Mary is hip.
It was very poor form for the Spainards to run into Central America to loot and plunder at the same time they were trying to convert the lost souls. However I sincerely doubt that Mary was, or would have been, more appealing to the people than the word of God. God's word, after all, is the power of salvation and the method by which He instills faith. Visions of Mary, while they make make everyone feel good, just doesn't have that type of power.
Be careful not to set up a false dichotomy here. Mary, pregnant, is carrying Jesus, the Word of God. Pretty clearly this is a package deal, not an either/or.
And if you go to the Basilica of Guadalupe (or any other Catholic church) you can't help but notice that the Mass is drenched with Scripture: not only the Epistle, the Old Testament lesson, the Psalm, and the Gospel at EVERY Sunday Mass, but in fact all the prayers are either straight Scripture or based on Scripture.
So if Mary got them into the Church, she got them into the Word.
You certainly don’t believe, “For God so loved the world, that He sent a book...”?