In 1531 in Mexico, Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, an Indian farmer in a few apparitions. She asked Juan to ask his bishop to build a shrine to the Virgin Mary. The bishop ignored him. Finally, Juan asked Mary for a sign that would convince the bishop. He was directed to pick a boquet of roses that did not grow in that area. He did so, wrapping them in his cloak or tilma, and delivered them to the bishop who, on seeing them, believed Juan.
The Guadalupe Tilma was found to contain an image of the Virgin. The Tilma and image have been found to express a number of properties that are inexplicable. The same is true for its provenance historically. Here’s the image:
The story of the Tilma is described in the video below (21:20 minutes).
Here’s a second video discussing the relic’s amazing properties (9:48 minutes):
K. V. Turley gives a more detailed background of the story around the relic or Tilma in Deciphering the Guadalupe Code.
In summary, no one has been able to determine how the image was created nor explain its extraordinary durability. The Shroud of Turin is another relic with similar properties.
The 1548 Escalada Codex was a parchment with a set of images or pictograms produced to explain the meaning of the image on the Tilma. The article titled Codex Escalada / Codex 1548 deciphers the codex. The codex itself is the earliest document analyzing the significant aspects of the image on the Tilma.
A Brief Commentary
I decided to include an article on this important catholic relic because it comes up in other articles and videos and I knew nothing about it. It is not a prophetic apparition but one designed to facilitate the propagation of Christian belief in a pagan culture. In addition, the relic or Tilma has what might be a number of supernatural aspects, the not the least of which was how a 16th century Indian peasant farmer could generate an image that cannot be duplicated today.
Articles in This Series
Refer to the series index in Notes on a Spiritual Journey.
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