On Dec, 14 2021
Mexico City is the home of one of the most powerful proofs of God's existence for the modern world, Our Lady of Guadalupe's Tilma
The following is an open letter written to Our Lady of Guadalupe from the perspective of a modern-day college student.
Dear Mary (or should I say Lady of Guadalupe),
I recently learned about you when a friend returned from a visit to your shrine in Mexico City. She was so excited about seeing your image and couldn’t stop talking about its beauty, and all the miracles surrounding the Tilma - a centuries old cactus fiber bearing the image of a young native Indian girl. My first question was, “who painted it?” "It’s not a painting” she said. “It’s a living miracle," she followed with a deep breath that took in whatever ounce of grace is possible in appreciation of this heavenly gift.
You see, Our Lady of Guadalupe, I was born and raised Catholic, but it hasn’t been until recently that my faith has really become important to me. But, I find that I still don’t know how to convince either myself or others about the reality of a God who actually cares about us and wants us to be saved by Him, know Him and serve Him. I wasn’t even sure about you until I looked for myself into this image in Mexico City and what its message is to the world.
It’s tough for me to accept that just a few centuries ago children were sacrificed because of legendary myths about what pagan gods needed to stave off punishment on the world. These deaths were endless and only made real by our modern-day sacrifices of children in the womb – for the protection of the god of choice. I see that you came to put an end to that human tragedy and to reveal yourself to that present culture that denied the reality of one God, revealed to the world by Jesus. The Spanish missionaries came to these parts to give witness to a loving God, but the natives resisted. It wasn’t until you came that the floodgates opened and over 6 million conversions occurred – all because of you.
I wonder if we need to remind our modern world about you, why you came and what it is about your image that resounds MIRACLE OF THE PROOF THAT GOD IS REAL! Here’s what I think everyone on my campus needs to know about your Image:
- There is scientific proof that the material of the cloth the image is on should have disintegrated a few centuries ago.
- There is scientific proof that the colors of the image are not comprised of paint dyes normally used at that time
- There is scientific proof that the eyes of your image, reflect, under microscopic vision, the room where you first appeared to the local Bishop
- There is scientific proof that the Image is dynamic – suspended and maintained in a “living” form
We also have the symbolic meanings of the Image and what it represents…
Clouds — In the image, the Virgin is surrounded by clouds, showing that she is from heaven. The indigenous greeted people they believed came from God with the expression: “Among fog and among clouds.”
Sun — There are three suns represented in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The first sun, not visible in the image, is cosmic, casting light on the Virgin’s left side and creating a shadow. Golden rays from the second sun, behind her, signify that she is the “Mother of Light” and greater than the Aztec sun god, whom she eclipses. The third sun is represented by the four-petaled flower on her tunic, indicating that she is about to give birth to the “Almighty Sun.”
Cross medallion — Around her neck, Mary wears a gold medallion engraved with a cross. For indigenous people, the medallion symbolized consecration, so the medallion around Mary’s neck meant that she was consecrated to Jesus.
Hands — The indigenous people expressed prayer not only by the hands, but by the whole body. In the image on the tilma, Our Lady of Guadalupe is shown in a position of dancing prayer, with her knee bent in movement.
Mantle and tunic — Mary’s rose-tinted, flowery tunic symbolizes the earth, while her turquoise, starry mantle represents the heavens. The mantle also indicates that she is royalty since only the native emperors wore cloaks of that color.
Black ribbon — The black ribbon around Mary’s waist shows that she is expecting a child. For the Aztecs, the trapezoid-shaped ends of the ribbon also represented the end of one cycle and the birth of a new era.
Flowers — Nine golden flowers, symbolizing life and truth, adorn Mary’s dress. The flowers are made up of glyphs representing a hill and a river. The indigenous people considered hills the highest points of encounter between God and people. Viewed upside down, the flowers take the shape of hearts with arteries coming out, representing life, which originates from God.
Four-petaled jasmine — The only four-petaled flower on Mary’s tunic appears over her womb. The four-petaled jasmine represents the Aztecs’ highest deity, Ometéotl. While Ometéotl remained distant, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe shows that the one true God chose to be born of a woman, making himself accessible to all.
Moon — The Virgin stands on a crescent moon. The Aztec word for Mexico, “Metz-xic-co,” means “in the center of the moon.” The moon also symbolizes the Aztec moon god, fertility, birth and life.
Angel — An angel with eagle’s wings appears below Mary’s feet. According to Aztec belief, an eagle delivered the hearts and the blood of sacrificial victims to the gods. The angel holds up the pregnant Virgin, signifying that the child in her womb is the offering that pleases God.
My dear Lady of Guadalupe, please reveal yourself to the students at my campus. Tell them that the reason your head is bowed in the image is because you bow to a living God that cares and loves each one of us deeply.
And that it is important that we all recognize that human sacrificing continues in our modern day, as we live in a world that condones child sacrifice in the womb. Pray for us that we may open our eyes. And please...help me to be a witness to your loving image that calls us daily to love Jesus your Son.
Thank you for showing up Our Lady of Guadalupe – you are indeed the OG Pre-eminent Modern-Day Influencer! I love you.
R. B. E.University of …. Somewhere in the U.S.