Spirit Daily



The Incredible Eyes Of Guadalupe

by Michael H. Brown

       Catholics and Protestants alike are familiar with the image: down in Mexico City on the wall of a huge basilica is a likeness of the Virgin Mary, cloaked and looking down. It's a full-length image that materialized on the burlap cloak or "tilma" of a peasant Indian who saw her in apparition (from December 9 to 12, 1531). 

       The image is miraculous, of course, and its materialization -- first discovered when the Indian, Juan Diego, unfurled the cloak to show the bishop strange roses from the site -- led to the conversion -- the birth in Christ -- of an estimated eight million Aztecs. 

       Like the Shroud of Turin, scientists have been unable to explain how the image, in this case a detailed color representation, got onto the rough-hewn cloth. There are no outlines or brushstrokes on the cloth, it hasn't faded through the years, and the colors -- made of no known dye or pigment -- have never cracked and unlike paint do not fill the spaces between fibers.

       Like the Shroud, it is just there.

       And the colors are unearthly, more like the "surface-sculpturing" in the feathers of a bird -- nature's way of mixing hues -- than anything done with the brush of an artist. When viewed from different angles, the colors change and the image shifts in a way that's hard to explain.

       These facts many know. More are available in a remarkable book, The Image of Guadalupe, by a Protestant scientist named Jody Brant Smith.

       But many don't realize that when the eyes of the Guadalupe image are magnified and enhanced by computer, there are startling images (see below) in them: silhouettes of a man who fits the likeness of Juan Diego -- along with a woman, a bearded man, and the profile of what many believe to have been the bishop, Juan de Zummarraga.

       "The image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which has been given to me for study, contains in the cornea these reflections," noted an opthamaologist, Dr. Javier Torroella-Bueno, "In the images in question, there is a perfect collocation in the agreement with this principle, the distortion of the figures even concurring with the predicted curvature of the cornea."

       In other words like the eyes of a living person, those of the image photographically captured what may have been the scene of Juan Diego unfurling his tilma in the bishop's office!

       The image is often linked to a site in Spain that was also called Guadalupe (which in that dialect meant "hidden channel"). It was a spot southwest of Madrid where a statue of the Virgin had been buried to hide it from Muslim invaders. An apparition in 1326 revealed the hidden statue to a humble cowherd, and through the centuries the shrine saw visitors like Christopher Columbus. Later the Virgin appeared at Guadalupe, Mexico, to establish Christianity and to chase out Tonantzin, a pagan goddess.

click here for photos shown and explanation


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