We'll be leading a pilgrimage, for the first
time, in September, to Guadalupe near Mexico City, where, of course, the Blessed Mother appeared to Saint
Juan Diego in 1531. We've been busy
doing research on the early history of our hemisphere for a book on the
past and future of America -- from a prophetic and spiritual-warfare
aspect. Guadalupe plays a role, in both obvious and hidden ways. There
is something that is specially compelling us to do this trip.
Incredible it is how many times the Blessed
Mother's image as presented at Guadalupe has been perceived on objects and buildings in recent
times: windows, trees, even a highway overpass. In the legitimate cases,
when it isn't an imaginative reach, what is she trying to tell us? Why
is it so prevalent now? Is it simply the influx of Mexicans? Or is there
more to it? It's
things like that we will be delving into during our journey as well as
in the book (appreciate your prayers). If we can swing it
we also would like to
investigate some current apparitions, sometime soon, in South America.
But getting back to Guadalupe: I've only been
there once before and that was as a lone pilgrim in the early 1990s. What
a memory of it I have. Incredible it is how one can attend Masses throughout the day
at the basilica in different languages and between liturgies pray before that
image towering from the wall before you, allowing the prayers to
flow with supernatural ease in this unquestionably authentic place
(winning the highest approval in the Church in the way of papal visits, most recently John Paul II and Francis,
who requested private time before the image).
image continues to perplex, mystify, and fascinate. Many are unfamiliar with the inexplicable
silhouettes in Mary's eyes (matching descriptions of Juan Diego and the
bishop to whom he showed the tilma), and also that the apparition healed
Juan's uncle, who was on his deathbed. There is hidden
symbolism and a hidden history. (For example, the incredible connection between Guadalupe
in Mexico and one with the same name two centuries before --
another apparition -- in Spain.)
It had a role in halting a tremendous plague.
There are so many reasons why the image
in Mexico is
inexplicable by mere science that it's daunting to summarize, and so we
won't here, but for a few interesting tidbits. As scientist Jody Brant
Smith has noted, the image seems to change color depending on how far or close one is to it
and reflects light not like a photo or painting but from a "strange
effect" that is "caused by the diffraction of light from the surface."
Beyond six or seven feet, the skin tone is
olive-green or gray-green. It continues to vary with distance, as if
alive. Noted another scientist -- who has studied the
iridescence on bird feathers and insect scales -- "somehow the gray and
'caked'-looking white pigment of the face and hands combines with the
rough surface to 'collect' light and diffract from afar the
"Such a technique," he added (in The
Image of Guadalupe), "would seem to be
impossible to accomplish by human hands; however, it occurs often in
nature, in the coloring of bird feathers and butterfly scales, and on
the electra of brightly-colored beetles."
As Foster further notes, Queen Esther of Old Testament fame was described in the
Jewish Talmud as having skin that was
greenish, "like the skin of a myrtle." Precisely can be said about the
skin tone of the Guadalupe Madonna!
How the "painting" has maintained its integrity in
the salty, acidic air of sprawling Mexico City is not something science
can answer; there is no evidence of fading or cracking, as
would happen with paint. It joins
the Shroud of Turin as the two most mysterious images on earth.
Even the Guadalupe eyes are curved exactly the
same way the human eye is curved. No artist could do or (back then) know
that! The number of stars on her blue mantle are the same as the number
of chromosomes in a human (forty-six).
And for the endless miracles connected with it?
Just one example, as we reported back in 2007,
when we wrote: "An apparent communique from Dr.
Jean-Pierre Dickes, president of the Association of Catholic Nurses
and Doctors in France, reports what may have been an unusual luminosity
in the famed image of Mary at the Shrine of Guadalupe in Mexico City
immediately after that city legalized abortion.
The event is said to
have occurred on April 24 -- the day legislators okayed termination of
the unborn up to twelve weeks. At the end of the Mass, which was offered
for the aborted children, the assistant of the Basilica was asking
herself what the Most Holy Virgin of
Guadalupe was demanding of her," reported Father Luis Matos, superior
of La Communaute des Beatitudes.
"While many of
the faithful were taking photographs of the [tilma] of Tepeyac, exposed
and venerated in the Basilica and at the foot of which the crowd of
pilgrims filed past on a moving carpet, the image of the Virgin began to
erase itself, to give place to an intense light which emanated from
her abdomen, constituting a brilliant halo having the form of an
embryo. With a centering and an important enlargement it is possible to
appreciate the position of the light which truly comes from the stomach
of the Holy Virgin and is not a reflection, nor an artifact."
We offered it for
discernment. Such a light had been seen on a previous occasion. Our
headline: "Strange Light Claimed In
Guadalupe Image After Mexico City Okayed Abortion."
"An engineer, Luis Girault, who has studied the
picture thus produced, has confirmed the authenticity of the negative,
and has been able to specify that it had not been either modified nor
altered, by superimposition of another image for example," stated Dr.
"He discovered that the image (the picture produced) does not
come from any reflection, but literally comes from the inside of the
image of the Virgin. The produced light is very white, pure and
intense, different from habitual photographic lights produced by
"This light is encircled with a halo and appears to float inside
the abdomen of the Virgin. This halo has the form and measurements of an
embryo. In effect if we again examine more precisely this picture by
making it turn in a sagittal plan, we perceive inside the halo some
areas of shade that have the characteristics of a human embryo in the
The image -- responsible for the conversion of
twelve million Indians -- is now largely used as a symbol of "pro-life"
causes in the Americas because Mary appears pregnant in it. Our little
prophecy: its role in America is about to become greatly
pronounced. Can't wait to return there!