Skip to comments.A WOMAN AND A DRAGON (Catholic Caucus)
Posted on 07/31/2011 6:10:35 AM PDT by NYer
IT is one of the most remarkable ongoing miracles in modern times, and the majority of Catholics are likely unaware of it. Chapter Six in my book, The Final Confrontation, deals with the incredible miracle of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and how it relates to Chapter 12 in the Book of Revelation. Due to widespread myths that have been accepted as facts, however, my original version has been revised to reflect the verified scientific realities surrounding the tilma upon which the image remains as an inexplicable phenomenon. The miracle of the tilma needs no embellishment; it stands on its own as a great "sign of the times."
I have published Chapter Six below for those who already have my book. The Third Printing is now available for those who would like to order additional copies, which includes the information below and any typographical corrections found.
Note: the footnotes below are numbered differently than the printed copy.
CHAPTER SIX: A WOMAN AND A DRAGON
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. (Rev 12:1-4)
They were one of the bloodiest cultures on earth. It is estimated that the Aztec Indians, in what is known as Mexico today, sacrificed, along with the rest of Mezzo-america, as many as 250,000 lives each year.1 The bloody rituals sometimes included removing the victims heart while he was still alive. They worshipped the Serpent-god Quetzalcoatl whom they believed would eventually render all other gods useless. As youll see, this belief was pivotal in the eventual conversion of those peoples.
It was in the midst of this blood-soaked culture of death, in 1531 A.D., that the Woman appeared to a commoner there in what marks the beginning of a great confrontation with the serpent. How and when she appeared is what makes her apparition most significant…
It was at dawn when Our Lady first came to St. Juan Diego as he walked along the countryside. She requested that a church be built on the hill where the apparitions were taking place. St. Juan approached the Bishop with her request, but was asked to return to the Virgin and appeal for a miraculous sign as proof of her appearances. So she instructed St. Juan to collect flowers from the Hill of Tepeyac and bring them to the Bishop. Even though it was winter, and the ground was rough terrain, he found flowers of every kind blooming there, including Castilian roses, which were native to the Bishops homeland in Spainbut not Tepeyac. St. Juan gathered the flowers into his tilma.2 The Blessed Virgin re-arranged them and then sent him on his way. When he unfolded the tilma before the Bishop, the flowers fell to the ground, and suddenly a miraculous image of Our Lady appeared on the cloth.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE: A LIVING IMAGE
The actual miracle was so overwhelming that the bishop never contested it. For centuries, it remained the only uncontested miracle by the Church (though in 1666, an investigation was conducted primarily for historical reference.) It is important to pause for a moment to consider the nature of this miraculous event, for it underscores the great significance of this apparition.
This cloth is among the most exceptional ongoing miracles in modern times. What I am about to explain below has been scientifically verified, and amazingly, is known by relatively few in the Church. The fact that technology is only now able, in our times, to discover some of the tilmas miraculous elements is also significant, as I will explain.
In August of 1954, Dr. Rafael Torija Lavoignet discovered that her eyes demonstrated the Purkinje-Sanson law. That is, they contained three mirror reflections of the same image on the inner and outer cornea and outer lens surfacecharacteristics belonging to a human eye. This was confirmed again in 1974-75 by Dr. Enrique Graue. In 1985, hair-like images of blood vessels were discovered in the upper eyelids (which were not circulating blood, according to some rumors).
Perhaps most remarkable was the discovery, through digital technology, of human figures in her pupils that no artist could have possibly painted, particularly on such rough fibers. The same scene is reflected in each eye revealing what appears to be the instant that the image appeared on the tilma.
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 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. Zenit.Org, January 14th, 2001
The figures are located exactly where they are supposed to be in both eyes, with distortion in the images agreeing with the curvature of a human cornea. Its as though Our Lady had her picture taken with the tilma acting as a photographic plate, her eyes bearing the scene of what occurred at the moment the image appeared in front of the Bishop.
Further digital enhancements have found an image, independent of the other, situated in the center of her eyes. It is that of an Indian family made up of a woman, a man and several children. I will discuss the significance of this later on.
The tilma is made of ayate, a coarse fabric woven from ixtle plant fibers. Richard Kuhn, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, has found that the original image does not have natural, animal, or mineral colorings. Given that there were no synthetic colorings in 1531, the source of the pigments is inexplicable. Zenit News Agency reports that in 1979, Americans Philip Callahan and Jody B. Smith studied the image using infrared rays and also discovered, to their surprise, that there was no trace of paint or brush strokes, and that the fabric had not been treated with any kind of technique. There is no thickness to the pigmentation, so there is not the usual aspect that we are used to seeing in, say, an oil painting where colors melt together. The ixtle fibers are also visible through parts of the image; that is, the holes of the fabric are visible through the pigmentation giving the sense that the image hovers, though it is indeed touching the fabric.
Presenting these facts at a Pontifical conference in Rome, a Peruvian environmental systems engineer asked:
[How] it is possible to explain this image and its consistency in time without colors, on a fabric that has not been treated? [How] is it possible that, despite the fact there is no paint, the colors maintain their luminosity and brilliance? José Aste Tonsmann, Mexican Center of Guadalupan Studies; Rome, January 14th, 2001; Zenit.org
Furthermore, when consideration is given to the fact that there is no under-drawing, sizing, or over-varnish, and that the weave of the fabric is itself utilized to give the portrait depth, no explanation of the portrait is possible by infrared techniques. It is remarkable that, in over four centuries, there is no fading or cracking of the original figure on any portion of the ayate tilma, which being unsized, should have deteriorated centuries ago. Dr. Philip C. Callahan, Mary of the Americas, by Christopher Rengers, OFM Cap., New York, St. Pauls, Alba House, 1989, p. 92f.
Indeed, the tilma appears to be somewhat indestructible. Ayate cloth has a normal lifespan of no more than 20-50 years. In 1787, Dr. Jose Ignacio Bartolache made two copies of the image, trying to recreate the original as accurately as possible. He placed two of these copies in Tepeyac; one in a building called El Pocito, and the other in the sanctuary of St. Mary of Guadalupe. Neither lasted even ten years, underscoring the astonishing incorruptibility of the original image: it has been over 470 years since Our Lady appeared on St. Juans tilma. In the year 1795, nitric acid was accidentally spilled on the upper right side of the tilma, which should have dissolved those fibers. However, a mere brownish stain is left on the fabric that some claim is lightening over time (though the Church has made no such claim.) On one infamous occasion in 1921, a man concealed a high-powered bomb in a flower arrangement and placed it at the feet of the tilma. The explosion destroyed parts of the main altar, but the tilma, which should have sustained damage, remained completely intact.3
While these technological discoveries speak more to modern man, the imagery on the tilma is what spoke to the Mezzo-american peoples.
The Mayans believed that the gods sacrificed themselves for men, and thus, man must now offer blood through sacrifice in order to keep the gods alive. On the tilma, the Virgin is wearing a customary Indian band indicating that she is with child. The black colored band is exclusive to Our Lady of Guadalupe because black is the color used to represent Quetzalcoatl, their god of creation. The black bow is tied in four loops like a four-petal flower that would have symbolized to the indigenous people the dwelling place of God and the genesis of creation. Thus, they would have understood this Womanpregnant with a godto be greater than Quetzalcoatl. Her gently bowed head, however, showed that the One she carried was greater than her. Thus, the image evangelized the Indian peoples who came to understand that Jesusnot Quetzalcoatlwas the God who renders all others useless. St. Juan and the Spanish missionaries could then explain that His Bloody Sacrifice was the only one necessary…
Let us return again to Revelation 12:
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
When St. Juan first saw Our Lady on Tepeyac, he gave this description:
…her clothing was shining like the sun, as if it were sending out waves of light, and the stone, the crag on which she stood, seemed to be giving out rays. Nican Mopohua, Don Antonio Valeriano (c. 1520-1605 A.D,), n. 17-18
The image seems to portray this scene as rays of light extend all around the tilma.
She glowed with the perfection of her beauty and her countenance was as joyous as it was lovely… (Esther D:5)
It has been discovered that the stars on Our Ladys mantle are positioned just as they would have appeared in the sky in Mexico on December 12, 1531 at 10:40 am, with the eastern sky above her head, and the northern sky to her right (as though she were standing on the equator). The constellation Leo (Latin for lion) would have been at the highest point in its zenith meaning that the womb and the four petal flowerthe center of creation, the dwelling place of Godis situated directly over the apparition site, that is today, the Cathedral in Mexico City where the tilma now hangs. Not coincidentally, on that same day, star maps show that there was a crescent moon in the sky that evening. Dr. Robert Sungenis, who studied the relation of the tilma to the constellations at that time, concluded:
As the number and placement of the stars on the tilma can be the produce of none other than a divine hand, the materials employed to make the image are literally out of this world. New Discoveries of the Constellations on the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Catholic Apologetics International, July 26, 2006
Interpolating from the map of stars on her mantle, remarkably, the Corona Borealis (Boreal Crown) constellation is located exactly over the Virgins head. Our Lady is literally crowned with stars according to the pattern on the tilma.
Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. (Rev 12:3-4)
The constellations reveal more, in particular, the presence of a confrontation with evil:
Draco, the dragon, Scorpios, the stinging scorpion, and Hydra the serpent, are off to the north, south and west, respectively, forming a triangle, or perhaps a mock trinity, surrounding the woman from all sides, except heavenward. This represents Our Lady being in a constant battle with Satan as described in Rev 12:1-14, and perhaps coincident with the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (cf. Rev 13:1-18). In fact, Hydras tail, which appears fork-shaped on the image, is just below Virgo, as if it is waiting to devour the Child to whom she will give birth… Dr. Robert Sungenis, New Discoveries of the Constellations on the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Catholic Apologetics International, July 26, 2006
Our Lady also revealed herself to St. Juans ill uncle, instantly healing him. She called herself Santa Maria Tecoatlaxopeuh: The Perfect Virgin, Holy Mary of Guadalupe. However, Guadalupe is Spanish/Arabic. The Aztec Nahuatl word coatlaxopeuh, which is pronounced quatlasupe, sounds remarkably like the Spanish word Guadalupe. The Bishop, who did not know the Nahuatl language, assumed the uncle meant Guadalupe, and the name stuck.
The word coa means serpent; tla, being the noun ending, can be interpreted as "the"; while xopeuh means to crush or stamp out. So some suggest that Our Lady might have called herself the one "who crushes the serpent,4 though that is a later Western interpretation. Alternatively, the word Guadalupe, borrowed from the Arabs, means Wadi al Lub, or river channelthat which leads the water. Thus, Our Lady is also seen as the one who leads to the water… the living waters of Christ (Jn 7:38). By standing on the crescent moon, which is a Mayan symbol of the god of the night, the Blessed Mother, and thus the God she carries, is shown to be more powerful than the god of darkness.5
Through all of this rich symbolism, the apparitions and tilma helped bring about the conversion of some 7-9 million indigenous within a decade, putting an end to human sacrifice there.6 While many commentators look to the events and culture of death prevalent at the time of this apparition as being the reason for our Mothers appearance there, I believe there is a much greater and eschatological significance that goes beyond the Aztec culture. It has to do with a serpent beginning to slither in the tall, cultural grasses of the Western world…
THE DRAGON APPEARS: SOPHISTRY
Satan rarely ever manifests himself. Instead, like the Indonesian Komodo Dragon, he hides, waiting for his prey to pass by, and then strikes them with his deadly venom. When the prey has been overcome by his poison, the Komodo returns to finish it off. Likewise, only when societies have fully succumbed to Satans poisonous lies and deceptions does he finally rear his head, which is death. It is then we know that the serpent has revealed himself to finish off his prey:
He was a murderer from the beginning… he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
Satan plants his lie, and the fruit of it is death. On a societal level, it becomes a culture at war with itself and others.
By the envy of the devil, death came into the world: and they follow him that are of his side. (Wis 2:24-25; Douay-Rheims)
In 16th century Europe, shortly after Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared, the red dragon began to re-introduce his ultimate lie into the human mind: that we too can be like gods (Gen 3:4-5).
Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon…
The previous centuries had prepared the soil for this lie as schism in the Church undermined her authority, and misuse of power damaged her trustworthiness. Satans objectiveto become the object of worship in place of God7begins subtly since, at that time, you would be considered odd not to believe in God.
The philosophy of deism was introduced by English thinker Edward Herbert (1582-1648) in which the belief of a Supreme Being was kept intact, but without doctrines, without churches, and without public revelation:
God was the Supreme Being who designed the universe and then left it to its own laws. Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham, Beginning Apologetics 4, p. 12
The fruit of this thinking is immediately self-evident: progress becomes the new form of human hope, with reason and freedom as its guiding stars, and scientific observation its foundation.8 Pope Benedict XVI points out the deception from its beginnings.
This programmatic vision has determined the trajectory of modern times… Francis Bacon (15611626) and those who followed in the intellectual current of modernity that he inspired were wrong to believe that man would be redeemed through science. Such an expectation asks too much of science; this kind of hope is deceptive. Science can contribute greatly to making the world and mankind more human. Yet it can also destroy mankind and the world unless it is steered by forces that lie outside it. Encyclical Letter, Spe Salvi, n. 25
And so this new worldview evolved and mutated, reaching further and further into mans activities. While there was a noble pursuit of truth, philosophers began to discard theology as a superstitious myth. Leading thinkers began to evaluate the world around them exclusively by what they could measure and empirically validate (empiricism). God and faith cannot be measured, and were thus ignored. At the same time, however, desiring to keep at least some strands of connection to the idea of the divine, the Father of Lies re-introduced the ancient idea of pantheism: the belief that God and creation are one. This concept stems from Hinduism (it is interesting that one of the major Hindu gods is Shiva who appears with a crescent moon on his head. His name means destroyer or transformer.)
One day out of the blue, the word sophistry entered my mind. I looked it up in the dictionary and discovered that all of the above philosophies, and others that were introduced during this period in history, fall precisely under this title:
sophistry: a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone.
By this I mean that good philosophy was injected with sophistryhuman wisdom, which leads away from God, rather than to Him. This satanic sophistry eventually reached critical mass in what is called The Enlightenment. It was an intellectual movement that began in France and swept throughout Europe in the 18th century, radically transforming society and, ultimately, the modern world.
The Enlightenment was a comprehensive, well-organized, and brilliantly led movement to eliminate Christianity from modern society. It began with Deism as its religious creed, but eventually rejected all transcendent notions of God. It finally became a religion of human progress and the Goddess of Reason. Fr. Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham, Beginning Apologetics Volume 4: How to Answer Atheists and New Agers, p.16
This separation between faith and reason gave birth to new isms. Of note:
Scientism: proponents refuse to accept anything that cannot be observed, measured, or experimented upon.
Rationalism: the belief that the only truths we can know with certainty are gained through reason alone.
Materialism: the belief that the only reality is the material universe.
Evolutionism: the belief that the evolutionary chain can be completely explained by random biological processes, excluding the need for God or God as its cause.
Utilitarianism: the ideology that actions are justified if they are useful or a benefit for the majority.
Psychologism: the tendency to interpret events in subjective terms, or to exaggerate the relevance of psychological factors.9)
Atheism: the theory or belief that God does not exist.
These beliefs culminated in the French Revolution (1789-1799). The divorce between faith and reason progressed to a divorce between Church and State. The Declaration of the Rights of Man was drawn up as a preamble to Frances constitution. Catholicism ceased to be the religion of the state;10 human rights became the new credo, setting the stage for the powers that benot Gods natural and moral law, and the inherent inalienable rights born from itto determine just who receives those rights, or who doesnt. The tremors of the previous two centuries gave way to this spiritual earthquake, setting off a tsunami of moral change since it would now be the State, not the Church, that would guide the future of mankindor shipwreck it…
A Sunday reflection ping.
Fascinating, thanks for posting.
an awesome catholic gift to the world from God....
Very interesting. This is good walk “with seven-league boots” through a rich tapestry of material. It’s interesting also to note the increased interest in the state of the present dominant worldviews of our times. I suspect many more will read this post than will comment on its substance. It’s jaw-dropping for many to realize how wide-spread the present state-religion actually is, how it can be compared to a damp thick fog, one that can’t be kept out of one’s own house.
Very interesting, I was unaware of the images in the eyes. Thanks for the ping.
This thread is fascinating.
Thank you for posting this.
Fantastic detail in this article. Great find....thanks so much.
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God is Great!! Praise Jesus and hail Mary!!
“That’s beautiful. Who painted it?” Hillary Clinton upon viewing the tilma while on a visit to Mexico.
Idiots and liberals never see the hand of God.
Thats beautiful. Who painted it? Hillary Clinton upon viewing the tilma while on a visit to Mexico.
- - - —
I loved the deadpan response the bishop (?) gave to Hillary.
The truth of which is lost on her.
There are those who also believe the woman represents the Church. The problem with your view, however, is that Israel did not bear witness to Jesus as the Son of God. Remember that the Apocalypse (or Book of Revelation) is apocalyptic literature unique to the first century. Thus, it is full of symbolism which has multiple meanings. Therefore, it is common for one symbol to represent more than one thing. The woman clothed with the sun is the Virgin Mary, and so the verse should be principally interpreted as such. This is demonstrated by Rev. 12:17, where the devil goes to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who bear testimony to Jesus. This makes Mary the mother of all Christians.
Since Mary is the mother of the Church, we can say that the woman, on a secondary level, represents the Church, which is the New Israel. This is why John writes about her pangs of travail, which are symbolic for those who are being formed in the Church of Jesus Christ. So, this literature provides us multiple meanings, but there is generally a principal meaning and a secondary meaning; in this case, the woman is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the same "woman" who God said would crush the head of the serpent in Gen. 3:15. Because she is such a danger to satan, satan tried to kill her even after the Savior was born (Rev. 12:13).
Judiasm and Christianity changed that.
With the advent of Materialism,scientism, et al..The culture has returned to it's default “religious practices” all the while denying God.
"Who painted it?" Clinton asked.
"God," the rector replied.
"You have a marvelous virgin," Clinton tells Mexicans
I forgot about that second bit of idiocy.
Time is looked at as a place since John is put into eternity perspective vision. Remember God, The Angels and Saints are outside of time since they are in eternity( The Great I Am= God-Always present). Notice the mismash of past, present and future terms. ST John sees as they see.
Then as the first Bride of Christ which is the term for all true believers as a whole. You could go on and on. But it is so rich in every form of a revealing process through our sense of the march of time. The closer we get to actual final events the more understanding will be revealed. I think if I remember St Bridget was told by Christ that Believers will understand more at that time on the Book of Revelation.
Thy will be Done!!
LORD come soon!!
Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!! AMEN!! So Be It!!
Thanks for this post and to NYer for #17.
Daniel 12:9 He replied, Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand."
The believer is the wise of course. But through pray and travailing pray. The more time we spend with God the more attentive to scripture at times. In the last several years I had clarification of problem verses from long ago. I spend more time in prayers these days than at any time in my life.
Hi FF- I meant to write before!! I love your name!!!! Freeper Cheers!!! That speaks volumes! Your are a gem!! Love it!! So much in a few words!! Love it!!
In the passage, we have three entities: the woman, her Son, and the dragon. The Son is certainly Jesus. The dragon is the devil, personified as Herod. So the Son is certainly an individual, and the dragon represents a person (in the metaphysical sense), who is personified, incarnated as it were, in evil rulers throughout history, Herod in particular.
Why, therefore, should we insist that the woman does not represent an individual? That makes no sense and does violence to the passage. (And the only individual who gave birth to Jesus is obviously Mary.)
That does not exclude the idea that the woman is symbolic of the People of God under the old and new covenants -- OT Israel and the Church respectively -- of course. Both-and, not either-or.
At least three 20th century Popes, as well as the liturgy of the Church, all support this idea.