The Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe Defies Scientific Explanation

See why almost 500 years later, scientists have still not been able to explain the following mysteries of the tilma of Juan Diego.

An unforeseen patroness

I was pretty much raised by my grandma while both my parents were working to support our family.

Like most Mexicans, my grandma was a devotee of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

She would visit the Basilica in Mexico City almost every year, and would invoke her for any trouble that came up in her personal life.

Unbeknownst to me, I was baptized at a church named after Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The monastery where my husband discerned that the religious life was not for him was – lo and behold – named after Our Lady of Guadalupe.

After I met my husband and our period of courtship turned into engagement, I began preparing the documents needed for our upcoming wedding.

What a surprise it was to me when I found out my fiancee at the time was ALSO baptized in a church named after Our Lady of Guadalupe!

I knew from that moment that Our Lady was a special patroness of mine, watching over me and taking care of me throughout my entire life!

It was from that same church where I was baptized that I bought an exact replica of the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

It hung at our wedding reception and has been hanging in my home ever since, and we use it for special occasions like for a procession on her feast day, December 12.

A story every homeschooling Catholic family should know

Traditional Catholics – and ALL people everywhere – would benefit to learn more about this miraculous story.

To spare you the details, and if you don’t know the story yet, I will point you to two beautiful documentaries that tell the story of how this tilma came to be.

The first is in Spanish – a lecture given by Dr. Brito who received his doctorate after a dissertation on the Shroud of Turin.

The second is a documentary in English, featuring prominent clergy from Mexico and experts on the tilma.

The third and most important source is that of the Nican Mopohua, the foremost primary source we have, written by a friend of Juan Diego and indigenous Mexican scholar Antonio Valeriano, circa 1560.

Grab a nice hot cup of tea or coffee, enjoy these documentaries, and come on back to recap some of the interesting facts.

The main mysteries of the tilma

Scientists have no explanation for the following supernatural mysteries:

  1. The colors of the image have no natural animal or mineral origin
  2. The image was produced in one stroke, much like a photograph
  3. The cloth itself is estimated to last only 20 years before decaying – it stands to this day perfectly preserved
  4. When magnified 2500 times, the eyes of the Virgin show a reflection (with exact proportions to human eyes) of the witnesses present during the miraculous revealing of the tilma to the Bishop Zumárraga
  5. The image is a codex of hieroglyphic symbols understood by the Aztecs by that time – the sun, the flowers, the brooch, the black sash only worn by pregnant women
  6. The stars on Our Lady’s mantle show the constellation exactly as it was on Dec. 12, 1531
  7. The image has miraculously survived an accident of nitric acid being spilled and a bombing less than 150 meters away (the glass class enclosing the tilma was unharmed)

Long story short – the real miracle is that the events of Juan Diego and the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe brought about 9 million conversions of Aztec natives in only 7 years, where in the years previous it was near impossible to gain converts to Catholicism.

Before the apparition, Bishop Zumarraga was said to have written back to Spain after various occasions of infighting between the Spaniards and clergy saying that “it would take a miracle” for their missionary effort to be a success.

When we approach Our Lord with our own necessities and believe with the eyes of faith, truly, we can say like St. Paul – “I can do all things in Him who strengtheneth me” – Philippians 4:13

Sources:

  1. Kosloski, Philip. “Scientists Can’t Explain Why Guadalupe Tilma Hasn’t Decayed.” Aleteia, 11 Dec. 2022, https://aleteia.org/2022/12/11/scientists-cant-explain-why-guadalupe-tilma-hasnt-decayed/.

2. Darcy, Peter. “Why the Stars on Guadalupe’s Mantle Are Miraculous.” Sacred Windows, 12 Jan. 2022, https://sacredwindows.com/why-the-stars-on-guadalupes-mantle-are-miraculous/.

3. “Our Lady’s Image on the Tilma: Our Lady of Guadalupe.” Our Lady of Guadalupe | Catholic Church in Macedonia, OH., 15 May 2021, https://olg.cc/about/about-our-patroness/our-ladys-image-on-the-tilma/.

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