Faith and Reason: Miracles

(3 minute read)

Although my primary flavor preference is Goodness, the Truth and Beauty of the faith are still fascinating to me. I love to see how God works in so many ways to touch people of all flavor preferences, ages, and times in history. I love to see the convergence of faith and science, which are never really opposed because they are both based on the truth of God’s creation.

Each December, the Church celebrates the feast days of St. Juan Diego (12/9) and Our Lady of Guadalupe (12/12). The appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Juan Diego in Mexico and the subsequent miracle of the flowers growing in December and the image left on the tilma almost 600 years ago is pretty well known. 

Less well known, but fascinating to me, is the symbolism and the details in the image that could only be noticed with modern scientific methods. When I read about these details, I was amazed by the providential foresight of God.

Firstly, the tilma with the image, which was not made of durable material, is still intact today and pilgrims from all over the world still come to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City to view it.

In the image, Our Lady has the complexion of the indigenous people, which indicates that she is for all peoples. Her loose hair means she is a virgin, but the black ribbon around her waist demonstrates that she is expecting a child. The color of her mantle is the color of royalty. She stands before the sun and upon the moon symbolizing that she is greater than the Aztec gods of sun and moon. The angel holding her up has wings like an eagle, which appeared often in Aztec iconography. The image used symbols the indigenous people would recognize but related them to the truth of Christianity.

The symbolism is so rich! I’m only touching on it here.

But, even more mind-boggling, I remember reading about the reflection in the eyes of the Lady of Guadalupe. Modern microscopic exploration of Our Lady’s eyes shows 13 people reflected in them. Many believe her eyes show the moment when St. Juan Diego presented the flowers and the miracle of image on the tilma to the bishop and his companions. God knew that nobody in Juan Diego’s time would ever even know this was there – it’s teeny tiny!  But God also knew that someday we would be able to see that image with the help of technology, 500 years later. How astounding!

Do yourself a favor and look into the symbols and the mysteries of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. And praise God for His providence in the miracles of the image! Check out December 2022‘s  Good News for Families for suggestions to celebrate the feast days with your family.

Image of Juan Diego:

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe:

Written by Kathy DeVet


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