Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 12th, last week was the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe (The image of Mary on the easel in the St. Joseph room.) This feast gets overshadowed sometimes by the Immaculate Conception Holy Day on December 8th, and the fact that we are in the midst of Advent busyness. But let us not underestimate the importance of the happenings in Mexico in 1531. (I don’t have the space to rehash the whole story, but if you have never read it or researched it, please do so.) Not only did Our Lady appear to (now) St. Juan Diego, but she converted millions of souls to Christianity, ended the human sacrifice that was present in the Aztec culture at the time, and left us a visible gift from heaven that is still unexplainable by even the best of modern science.
The “Tilma” of Juan Diego was imprinted with an image of Our Lady that has endured to this day. Even though it naturally should have disintegrated after 30 or 40 years—as do all cloths made from cactus fiber. Aside from discussion of the miraculous nature of the image and the amazing symbolism that lies therein, one can simply marvel at the miracle of the Tilma simply existing still in the year 2014. I will quote from an article from the Catholic News Service in 2009 that covered the presentation of researcher and physic Dr. Adolfo Orozco at the International Marian Congress:
“…there is no scientific explanation for the 478 years of high quality-preservation of the Tilma or for the miracles that have occurred to ensure its preservation. Dr. Orozco began his talk by confirming that the conservation of the Tilma ‘is completely beyond any scientific explanation. All the cloths similar to the Tilma that have been placed in the salty and humid environment around the Basilica have lasted no more than ten years,’ he explained. “
“Before concluding his presentation, Dr. Orozco made mention of two miracles associated with the Tilma. The first occurred in 1785 when a worker accidentally spilled a 50 percent nitric acid solvent on the right side of the cloth. ‘Besides any natural explanation, the acid has not destroyed the fabric of the cloth, indeed it has not even destroyed the colored parts of the image,’ Orozco said. The second miracle was the explosion of a bomb near the Tilma in 1921. Dr. Orozco recalled that the explosion broke the marble floor and windows 150 meters from the explosion, but ‘unexpectedly, neither the Tilma nor the normal glass that protected the Tilma was damaged or broken.’ The only damage near it was a brass crucifix that was twisted by the blast. He continued, ‘There are no explanations why the shockwave that broke windows 150 meters afar did not destroy the normal glass that protected the image. Some people said that the Son by means of the brass crucifix protected the image of His Mother. The real fact is that we don’t have a natural explanation for this event.’”
Dr. Orozco thanked the audience for listening to his presentation and closed by reassuring them that Our Lady visited Mexico 478 years ago, but she remains there to give Her Love, Her Mercy and Her Care to anyone who needs it, and to bring Her Son, Jesus Christ to everyone who receives Him.’”
May the Peace of Christ through Mary be with you always!
Merry and Blessed Christmas to You!
I’ve heard so many people say they feel time is moving too fast and that they just weren’t ready for it to be Christmas again already! I agree. Time is marching on too quickly. But in another sense, every day on earth is another day closer to the fullness of the Kingdom of God.
The coming of the Kingdom began about 2,014 years ago. Jesus came the first time- Humble, a little child. And to use Dr. Peter Kreeft’s analogy, it was as though “he was silently dropped in behind enemy lines-” The enemy being the kingdom of darkness and sin; the kingdom of hell. He had a mission to destroy the enemy, but not through violence; through humble obedience to the law of love, the will of the Father. The kingdom of light, truth, goodness, justice, and true love began with him.
The light can seem very dim these days. But the light has never been extinguished. This season reminds us of our only hope: Jesus. May we grow in professing his name with confidence and trust that the kingdom of light always wins.
May the grace of Jesus come to your hearts in a profound way this year and may His true peace be with you always!