Monday, December 12, 2016

Our Lady of Guadalupe - December 12th

In 1531, a poor Indian, who had been baptized Juan Diego, was walking through the Mexican countryside to attend mass in honor of Our Lady. He heard beautiful music and saw a radiant cloud. In it appeared a beautiful Lady. She spoke in his native language and wore native dress. She sent him to the Bishop to tell him to build a chapel on that spot. The Bishop asked for a sign from the Lady. Juan was going to visit her but his uncle became seriously ill so he tried to avoid her. But he had to use the same path to see his uncle. She appeared to him again and told him his uncle would be cured and to cut some roses that were growing on the top of the hill. This was a cold December day. He did as she requested and brought the roses to the Bishop wrapped in his tilma (cape). When the Bishop opened the tilma, there was a magnificent picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When St. Juan Diego next saw his uncle, he had been completed cured as the Lady had said. Until this time few natives had converted to Catholicism, within a few years millions had. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patron of the Americas and Her shine is one of the most visited.




The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe

"Here I will show myself as a loving Mother to you and
to all those born in these lands, and to all those
who love me and trust in me, for I am your loving mother."
 

In Mexico in 1531, God permitted Our Lady to appear to a recently converted Aztec Indian named Juan Diego. To him was given arguably the greatest treasure in the church - the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a true image of Mary the Mother of Jesus, when she was with child.
When Juan Diego first saw the Blessed Mother, he was a 57 year old widower and she seemed to him to be about 18. She appeared to him 4 times, and once to his uncle Juan Bernadino, who was cured of his sickness. When first Juan saw her it was at the foot of the Tepeyac Hill (in what is now Mexico City). She was in a brilliant light, and called to him softly. She told him that she was the ever Virgin, Holy Mary, Mother of the True God who is the Author of Life, the Creator of all things, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, present everywhere. Her purpose in coming was to ask Juan Diego to tell the bishop that she wished a sanctuary to be erected in that place where she would be honored. 





When the Spanish bishop asked for a sign to prove Juan Diego's story, Our Lady gave Castille roses, which she herself arranged in the Indian's cloak or 'tilma', telling Juan to show them to no-one but the bishop. When he did so, the roses cascaded forth, revealing on the tilma a miraculous image of Our Lady as she had shown herself to Juan Diego.
The name Guadalupe comes from an ancient shrine of Our Lady in Spain. The bishop was unable to understand the Indian name of Tecoatlexpeuh, which means "she who crushes the head of the serpent", and thought it sounded like 'de Guadalupe', by which name it has been known ever since. Within 7 years of the apparitions, 9,000,000 Indians had converted to Christianity from their pagan Aztec religion. It is the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the history of the Church.


To the Indians the picture told the great truths of Christianity. Mary is robed with the sun and is standing on the moon. The Aztecs offered human sacrifices on a massive scale so as 'to keep the natural order in creation'. She is wearing the dress of an Aztec princess, and the black sash at her waist indicates that she is pregnant. When the image was crowned by the Papal Envoy on 12th December 1981, to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the feast of the roses, a great light shone forth from her womb over the whole congregation in the Basilica. This miracle lasted for 20 minutes, could be seen by all present, and was visible even on television. Our Lady is supported by her Guardian Angel, Saint Michael. Together they brought to an end the practice of human sacrifice by the Aztecs, and together, by the power of God, they will bring to an end the killing by abortion of unborn babies in our own times.


The figure of Our Lady is 4'11" high. It is unutterably beautiful and deeply compelling. Her hands are joined in prayer. Our Lady of Guadalupe is silent and humble, but her words to Juan Diego are a comfort for us all:
"...Know for certain that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God...here I will show and offer all my love, my compassion and protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows...their necessities and misfortunes..Listen and let it penetrate your heart...

Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and my protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the fold of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?"
Discoveries about the tilma of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Patroness of the Americas

Would you like to read something that will not only surprise you, but might change your way of thinking forever.....? Then read what science has discovered about the tilma of the Virgin of Guadalupe:
 Scientists from the NASA Research Center have carried out extensive tests on the fabric and image and have discovered no scientific explanation, since the picture is neither painted, dyed or woven. It is made from the fibers of the maguey cactus and it has not been treated with sizing, a fabric of which the ordinary life span is 20 years. Enlargements were made and it was discovered that the reflection of the bishop looking in astonishment could clearly be seen in the pupil of Our Lady's eyes (more information below). This hidden miracle has been kept for the 20th century, an age where there is so little faith.

1. Ophthalmalgic studies made on the eyes of Mary detected that when the eye is exposed to light, the retina contracts, and when the light is withdrawn, it returns to a dilated state, just as happens with a living eye.
2. The temperature of Juan Diego's tilma, made of a material that comes from fibers of the maguey cactus, maintains a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees, the same as that of a living human body.
3. One of the doctors who analyzed the tilma placed his stethoscope below the black band at Mary's waist, and heard rhythmic beats at 115 pulses per minute, the same as that of a baby in the maternal womb.
4. No sign of paint has been discovered on the tilma. From a distance of 3-4 inches from the image, one can see only the maguey cactus fibers of the material: the colors disappear. Scientific studies have not been able to discover the origin of the coloration, nor the way the image was painted. They cannot detect vestiges of brush strokes or any other known painting technique. NASA scientists confirm that the paint material does not belong to any known element on earth.
5. When the material was examined under a laser ray, it was shown that there is no coloration on the front or the back of the cloth, and that the colors hover at a distance of 3/10th of a millimeter (1/100th of an inch) over the cloth, without touching it. The colors actually float above the surface of the tilma. Isn't that amazing?
6. The rough material of the tilma has a lifespan of no more than 20-30 years. Several centuries ago, a replica of the image was painted on an identical piece of maguey cloth and it disintegrated after several decades. Nonetheless, during the almost 500 years of the miracle, the cloth with the image of Mary remains as strong as it was on the first day. Science cannot explain why the material has not disintegrated.
7. In the year 1791, muriatic acid accidentally spilled on the upper right side of the tilma. During the period of 30 days, without any special treatment, the affected fabric re-constituted itself miraculously.
8. The stars that appear on the mantle of Mary reflect the exact configuration of positions that could be seen in the sky of Mexico on the day the miracle happened.
On the right side of the Virgin's mantle, the southern constellations are indicated:
At the top are 4 stars that form part of the Orphiuchus constellation.
Below it to the left, we find Libra, and to its right, at what seems an arrow point, is the beginning of Scorpio.
In the middle are the constellations of Lupus and, to its left, an end point of Hydra.
Further down, we can clearly see the Southern Cross: above it appears the slightly inclined square of the Centaurus constellation.
On the left side of the Virgin's mantle we see the northern constellations:
At her shoulder, a fragment of the stars of the Herdsman constellation; below it and to the left is the Great Bear. To its right is Berenice's Hair; below it, Hunting Dogs, and to its left, the Thuban, which is the brightest star of the Draco constellation.
Below the 2 parallel stars (which still form part of the Big Bear) we find stars from another pair of constellations: the Auriga and, at the bottom, 3 stars of Taurus.
Thus, in their totality and proper places, the 46 most brilliant stars that can be seen on the horizon of the Valley of Mexico are identified.
9. In the year 1921, a man concealed a high power bomb in a flower arrangement and placed it at the feet of the tilma. The explosion destroyed everything around it, except for the tilma which remained intact.
10. Scientists discovered that the eyes of Mary have the 3 refractive characteristics of a human eye.
11. In the eyes of Mary (only about 1/3rd inch in size), miniscule human figures were discovered that no artist could have painted. The same scene is repeated in each eye.
Using digital technology, the images in the eyes were enlarged many times, revealing that each eye reflected the figure of the Indian Juan Diego opening his tilma in front of Bishop Zumarraga. Do you know the size of this scene? One fourth of a millimeter (1/100th of an inch).
It is evident that all these unexplainable things were given to us for a reason:
To catch our attention. Have they caught yours?

To close, let us look at 3 surprising facts:
1. In the Indian language, 'Guadalupe' means to "crush the head of the serpent." It properly refers to Genesis 3:15 - Mary, the conqueror of evil.
2. The image also depicts a detail from Apocalypse 12: "And a great sign appeared in Heaven: a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet."
3. The Virgin wears a black band at her waist, which symbolizes pregnancy, to indicate that God wanted Jesus to be born in the 3 Americas, in the heart of each American. "While I live I will praise the Lod: I will sing praise unto my God while I have any being" (Ps 146:2)

Scientists from the NASA Research Center have carried out extensive tests on the fabric and image and have discovered no scientific explanation, since the picture is neither painted, dyed or woven. It is made from the fibers of the maguey cactus and it has not been treated with sizing, a fabric of which the ordinary life span is 20 years. Enlargements were made and it was discovered that the reflection of the bishop looking in astonishment could clearly be seen in the pupil of Our Lady's eyes (more information below). This hidden miracle has been kept for the 20th century, an age where there is so little faith.

 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.

The Virgin will be with you always, whenever you need her
- she will never abandon you

Never forget the words Mary spoke to Juan Diego:
"My little child, the smallest of all, let nothing afflict you. Do you not know that you are in my lap? Am I not here, I, who am your mother?"

And YOU are her child as well -
you will always be Mary's special son or daughter.

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