Yesterday was the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Most of us probably remember the story but here’s a quick recap. In the 1500s, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego outside Mexico City. Mary asked him to build a church in her name, but when Juan Diego approached the archbishop about it, he refused. The archbishop needed a sign. When Mary appeared again, she instructed Juan Diego to fill his cloak (or tilma) with roses and to unfurl them when he saw the archbishop. When Juan Diego did, the inside of his cloak revealed a miraculous image of our Lady of Guadalupe.
We sometimes forget how awesome this story truly is. We often think of our miracles as only happening when Christ walked the earth. But, stories like this should make us wonder.
Sure, there are certainly skeptics and doubters, but at the very least, this story and the image on the tilma raise questions that everyone has to grapple with. You can’t just write all of them off. Here are some pretty amazing facts about Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The cloak shouldn’t still be around. Cloaks made of the same material only withstand 30 years. The tilma still exists 500 years later with almost zero signs of deterioration.
The existence of the image is still unexplained by art or science. There’s no evidence of brushstrokes, and no one has ever been able to recreate it on the same harsh material.
And, if that doesn’t get you…
The tilma has a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees,
When you examine Mary’s eyes magnified, you can see as many as 13 people the same way a human eye reflects an image. It appears to be a snapshot of when Juan Diego opened his cloak.
Finally, the tilma has survived spilled nitric acid solvent, and a bomb explosion. In 1921, an activist planted 29 sticks of dynamite in front of the image. The altar rail and windows shattered. The crucifix was gnarled, but the tilma was unscathed.
Talk about awe and wonder.
Be the Men.