Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
The other day, I mentioned that the image of Our Lord upon the Shroud of Turin leaves no room for doubt. Those who deny its authenticity simply deny the incontrovertible proof. It is either a miraculous fraud perpetrated by someone in the Middle Ages or it is a miracle produced by our Lord upon His Resurrection, just as it claims to be. To this day, modern science can not reproduce this image.
The same is true of the astonishing image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I’m not using the word “astonishing” lightly. Clearly this is a miraculous image no matter from what angle you look at it. It is incontrovertible!
You know the story, Our Lady appeared to St. Juan Diego and his uncle in 1531. She left this image as proof of the authenticity of her appearance and the Bishop was convinced. So, he had a Temple built upon the site of her appearance.
So, what’s so astonishing about the image?
Remember, this was 1531. The science of photography was not conceived, yet. The best that people could do in that era were shadow boxes. Microscopy had not been invented. That wouldn’t happen for 50 more years. Much less the combination of the two.
The combination of the two?
Yes, photograph and microscopy. I’m not talking about the Image proper. Which I believe to be a miraculous photograph of Our Lady as seen by St. Juan Diego on Mount Tepeyac.
According to the specialists of Kodak Corporation in Mexico, the Image is smooth and bears more resemblance to a color photograph than anything else. The Image has consistently defied exact reproduction, whether by brush or camera.
But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the image within her eyes. An image of which no one was aware, until:
In 1929, Alfonso Marcue, who was the official photographer of the old Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, found what seemed to him to be a clear image of a bearded man reflected in the right eye of the Virgin. Initially he did not believe what was before his eyes. How could it be? A bearded man inside of the eyes of the Virgin?. After many inspections of many of his black and white photographs he had no doubts and decided to inform the authorities of the Basilica. He was told that time to keep complete silence about the discovery, which he did.
More than 20 years later, on May 29, 1951, Jose Carlos Salinas Chavez, examining a good photograph of the face, rediscovers the image of what clearly appears to be a bearded man reflected in the right eye of the Virgin, and locates it on the left eye too. (Sancta)
THAT is astonishing, to me.
But maybe I’m just easy to surprise. You know, I still can’t get over the fact that someone made a “rotten egg” flavor jelly beans.
So, if the photographic, microscopic images in her eyes are not astonishing enough for you. How about this?
Here’s what a secular web site has to say about iridescence in art:
Iridescent Colour: From Nature to the Painter's Palette
For centuries artists and scientists alike have been fascinated by the iridescent colours displayed in the natural world. However, colour as dazzling as the metallic-like hues of tropical birds, beetles, fish and butterflies has never been encountered in the art world. Unlike and unmatched by the chemical pigments of the artist's palette, these oscillating rainbow hues are created by transparent, colourless nano- structures which, like prisms, refract and reflect light. Thus making spectral colours visible via the optical phenomenon of light interference.
Until now artists have tried in vain to capture these 'natural jewels'. Now, for the first time, scientific advancements in the production of commercial 'pigment' technology, offer artists the exiting, yet challenging, potential opportunity to accurately depict iridescence….
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is iridescent
Iridescence was not possible to draw until today. The image is from 1531.
Here’s the finding:
The tilma also presents a iridescent effect. Callahan notes "It is a simple fact that if one stands close to the painting, the face is very disappointing as far as depth and coloring are concerned. At a distance of six or seven feet, however, the skin tone becomes what might best be termed Indian-olive (gray-green) in tone. It appears that somehow the gray and "caked" looking white pigment of the face and hands combines with the rough surface of the unsized hue. Such a technique would be an impossible accomplishment in human hands. It often occurs in nature, however, in the coloring of bird feathers and butterfly scales, and on the elytra of brightly colored beetles ... By slowly backing away from the painting, to a distance where the pigment and surface sculpturing blend together, the overwhelming beauty of the olive-colored Madonna emerges as if by magic. The expression suddenly appears reverent yet joyous, Indian yet European, olive-skinned yet white of hue." This effect is verified by Dr. Tonsmann.
Then there are the stars on the image.
I didn’t understand this, at first. So, I was disappointed when I looked for the stars that they are talking about and didn’t see them. The Crown, the Virgin, the Lion and the Dragon.
Why are these important to me? Because of the story in Revelations 12. There, St. John describes the Woman in heaven being crowned with 12 stars. The number 12 is, in Scripture, a mystical number meaning “plenitude”. So, keep that in mind.
As the vision unfolds, the Woman is being crowned, she is with Child and the Dragon is sitting around waiting to devour the child. When the Child is born, He escapes to His Throne in heaven.
As Catholics understand the vision, the Woman being crowned with stars is Mary, ever Virgin, mother of Jesus Christ who is also known as the Lion of Judah. The Dragon is, of course, Satan, waiting to destroy the Child.
Now, as I said, the stars which are called the Crown, the Virgin, the Lion and the Dragon are not visible. But, when placed on the image in relation to the surrouding stars which are visible, they would be found on the head (crown), on the chest (virgin), on the belly (Lion) and on the right side of the belly (dragon), just as they appear in the account of the birth of the Messiah in Revelations 12.
The Crown, also known as Corona Borealis is basically known for 7 visible stars. But actually consists of bunches more. Here’s the entire list in wikipedia.
And here’s the sketch of where these stars would be on the image relative to the position of the visible stars on the mantle. The Corona Borealis is the Crown, Virgo is the Virgin, Leo is the Lion and Draco is the dragon.
Is your mind blowing yet? Let me know, below.