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Full Version: The Effect And Symbolism Of The Image Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe
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From Spirit Daily:

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Mary appeared on Tepeyac Hill in 1531 to a new convert to Christianity, St. Juan Diego.  This was the site of the temple of the pagan mother-goddess Tonantzin. The fact that the Mother of the true God appeared on Tepeyac Hill told the people that Mary was to replace Tonantzin and that Christianity was to replace the Aztec religion.

The effect of the image on the Aztecs reinforced the teachings of the Christian missionaries who were largely unsuccessful in converting the natives. The Aztecs were a highly visual people and therefore understood the great visual significance of this Image.  They quickly understood that their religion was not the true religion of the true God and that they were now to embrace Christianity, brought to them by the Mother of God herself.
The image of Our Lady appeared on Juan’s cloak, or tilma, which was made of frail ayate material derived from the maguey plant.  Normally, this material rots after twenty years or so yet this image remains intact to this day.  It hangs in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, the most visited Marian Shrine in the world. 


*The Lady stood in front of the sun; the Aztecs therefore realized that she was greater than the dreaded sun-god Huitzilopochtli. 

*Her foot rested on a crescent moon, which represents another goddess, the sister of Huitzilopochtli.

*The blue-green hue (jade) of her mantle was the color worn by Aztec royalty; therefore she was a Queen.  Also jade was the stone that allowed the soul to reach the gods.  Because Our Lady wore this jade color, she was accepted as the one who leads us to the one true God.

*The stars strewn across her mantle told the Aztecs that she was greater than the stars of heaven, which they worshipped as gods.  Also, the constellation of stars on her mantle is the position of the stars in the sky of Dec. 12, l531.  The stars appear impressed on her mantle reversed, that is from Heaven looking down to Earth.

*The gold border on her mantle and on the edge of her robe and embroidered cuffs signifies her royal dignity.

*For the Spaniards, the rose-colored robe is symbolic of martyrdom for the Faith and of divine love.  For the Aztecs, this same color symbolized earth, blood and life.
It is lined with white ermine, which is the symbol of her purity and honor without stain (Spaniards).  For the Aztecs, these were white feathers, symbolizing closeness to the gods.

*The stylized leaf and rosette design on her robe symbolized for the Aztecs, hills and mountains.

*At her waist, her garment is fastened by a “cingulum”.  This was worn by unmarried women and removed only upon their marriage.  It is a symbol of perfect virginity. 

*The four-petaled flower over her womb was a symbol of plenitude, representing the four compass directions of the world, originating from the circle in the center.  Here, heaven and the underworld vertically encountered the earth in the center.  Placed over Mary’s womb, the four-petaled flower announced that even though their Fifth Sun had died, the Sixth Sun was to be born of Mary of Guadalupe; her son Jesus Christ.

*For the Spaniards, the angel’s red, white and green feathered wings are emblematic of loyalty, faith and fidelity.  His red tunic is a symbol of his love for her whose garments he holds.  His position proclaims that the Ever Virgin Mary has been raised above the angels.  However for the Aztecs, this figure did not represent an angel. The wings were seen as separate from the human image. These were seen as eagles’ wings, supporting the Woman. The eagle was the bird that represented the sun, the greatest of all the gods.  She comes riding on eagles’ wings.  Therefore, she comes riding on the wings of absolute truth.  The human figure in front of the wings is Our Lady’s messenger to us.  It is believed by many to represent St. Juan Diego.  In his right hand, he holds the starred mantle (from heaven) while in his left hand, he holds the red dress (from earth).  He is seen therefore as a messenger, linking heaven to earth.

*The black cross displayed on the gold brooch at her neck was identical to the one emblazoned on the banners and helmets of the Spaniards, as if telling the Aztecs to embrace the religion of their conquerors.

*Yet she could not be God herself since her hands were joined in prayer and her head was bowed in reverence, clearly to One greater than her.  Her eyes are also looking downward, not forward, as they would if she was a goddess.

*The Virgin’s head is inclined gracefully to the right, evading the center seam which would otherwise disfigure her face.

Thanks for posting this--it's an amazing miracle in so many ways.  I've also seen it repeated that the sash around her waste was a symbol of pregnancy and that the fact that she has one foot stepping forward means she is actively bringing her Son to the world.

The tilma is probably one of the most amazing miracles. If I remember correctly there's even an image of the bishop reflected in her eyes. The conversions after the miracle were pretty amazing as well.

The only other miracle that's as striking as far as I can remember is that one in Colombia, " Las Lajas" where the image is permeated within the rock face so well that it couldn't have been painted.

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Some of these miracles are just mind blowing and worth pondering. I've never been to Mexico, and with the cartel violence more sinister and horrific than anything ISIS has done I'm not going anytime soon, but it would be fun to see the Tilma someday...
Let us pray that Our Lady of Guadalupe would, as Empress of the Americas, convert our countries today, filled with the blood of innocent babies, the filth of lust, and a terrible neo-paganism that permeates even the "Catholic" countries of this hemisphere. May She once again crush the head of the infernal serpent that rules not only the AMericas, but pretty much the entire world.
This is really cool info, dcmaccabees.  I know tones about Our Lady of Fatima but Our Lady of Guadalupe is relativly unknown to me.