1. Discoveries about the tilma of the Virgin of Guadalupe Empress of America Andre Fernando Garcia click anywhere on page to continue
2. Would you like to read something that will not only surprise you, but change your way of thinking forever? Then, read what science has discovered about the tilma of the Virgin of Guadalupe:
3. 1. Ophthalmalgic studies made on the eyes of Mary detected that when the eye is exposed to light, the retina contracts, and when the light is withdrawn, it returns to a dilated state, just as happens with a living eye.
4. 2. The temperature of Juan Diego’s tilma, made of a material that comes from fibers of the maguey cactus, maintains a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees, the same as that of a living human body.
5. 3. One of the doctors who analyzed the tilma placed his stethoscope below the black band at Mary’s waist, and heard rhythmic beats at 115 pulses per minute, the same as that of a baby in the maternal womb.
6. 4. No sign of paint has been discovered on the tilma. From a distance of 3-4 inches from the image, one can see only the maguey cactus fibers of the material: the colors disappear. Scientific studies have not been able to discover the origin of the coloration, nor the way the image was painted. They cannot detect vestiges of brush strokes or any other known painting technique. NASA scientists confirm that the paint material does not belong to any known element on earth.
7. 5. When the material was examined under a laser ray, it was shown that there is no coloration on the front or the back of the cloth, and that the colors hover at a distance of 3/10 th of a millimeter (1/100 th of an inch) over the cloth, without touching it. The colors actually float above the surface of the tilma. Isn’t that amazing?
8. 6. The rough material of the tilma has a lifespan of no more than 20-30 years. Several centuries ago, a replica of the image was painted on an identical piece of maguey cloth, and it disintegrated after several decades. Nonetheless, during the almost 500 years of the miracle, the cloth with the image of Mary remains as strong as it was on the first day. Science cannot explain why the material has not disintegrated.
9. 7. In the year 1791, muriatic acid accidentally spilled on the upper right side of the tilma. During the period of 30 days, without any special treatment, the affected fabric re-constituted itself miraculously.
10. 8. The stars that appear on the Mantle of Mary reflect the exact configuration and positions that could be seen in the sky of Mexico on the day the miracle happened.
11. On the right side of the Virgin’s mantle, the southern constellations are indicated: At the top are four stars that form part of the Orphiuchus constellation. Below it to the left, one finds Libra , and to its right, at what seems an arrow point, is the beginning of Scorpio. In the middle are the constellations of Lupus and to its left, an end point of Hydra . Further down, one can clearly see the Southern Cross ; above it appears the slightly inclined square of the Centaurus constellation.
12. On the left side of the Virgin’s mantle one sees the northern constellations: At her shoulder, a fragment of the stars of the Herdsman constellation; below it and to the left is the Great Bear . To its right is Berenice’s Hair ; below it, Hunting Dogs , and to its left, the Thuban , which is the brightest star of the Draco constellation. Below the two parallel stars (which still form part of the Big Bear), one finds stars from another pair of constellations: the Auriga and at the bottom, three stars of Taurus . Thus, in their totality and proper places, the 46 most brilliant stars that can be seen on the horizon of the Valley of Mexico are identified.
13. 9. In the year 1921, a man concealed a high power bomb in a flower arrangement, and placed it at the feet of the tilma. The explosion destroyed everything around it, except for the tilma, which remained intact.
14. 10. Scientists discovered that the eyes of Mary have the three refractive characteristics of a human eye.
15. 11. In the eyes of Mary (only about 1/3 rd inch in size), miniscule human figures were discovered that no artist could have painted. The same scene is repeated in each eye. Using digital technology, the images in the eyes were enlarged many times, revealing that each eye reflected the figure of the Indian Juan Diego opening his tilma in front of Bishop Zumarraga. Do you know the size of this scene? One fourth of a millimeter (1/100 th of an inch).
16. It is evident that all these unexplainable things were given to us for a reason: To catch our attention. Have they caught yours?
17. To close, let us look at three surprising facts: 1. In the Indian language, “Guadalupe” means to “crush the head of the serpent.” It properly refers to Genesis 3:15: Mary, the conqueror of evil. 2. The image also depicts a detail from Apocalypse 12: “And a great sign appeared in Heaven: A woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet.” 3. The Virgin wears a black band at her waist, which symbolizes pregnancy, to indicate that God wanted Jesus to be born in the three Americas, in the heart of each American. “ While I live I will praise the Lord: I will sing praise unto my God while I have any being” (Ps 146:2).
18. This presentation has the single purpose of demonstrating to you that the Virgin will be with you always, whenever you need her, that she will never abandon you, and that you will always be her special son or daughter. Never forget the words she spoke to Juan Diego : My little child, the smallest of all, let nothing afflict you. Do you not know that you are in my lap? Am I not here, I, who am your mother?
St. John of Damascus, not only taught that icons and other sacred artworks are permissible because they point to the incarnation of Jesus, but he also understood the rich value of every word to do the same. He is considered one of the Church’s most gifted poets. Every sacred image, whether in art, hymn, poetry can be a prayer that leads us deeper into the heart of God.
The St. John Damascus site contains many of his writings…it’s fantastic!
“RIGHTEOUS JOHN OF DAMASCUS. He was raised in Damascus, Syria, the capital of the Moslem world. When he was ten years of age, his father found a learned monk in the secular studies as well as music and theology. He instructed John and his adopted brother, Cosmas, and John made great progress in theology. At last, the monk departed saying to their father, Sergius, that his sons had become remarkably wise. Sergius soon died, and John was chosen for his office of counselor to the caliph.
During this time, John wrote convincingly against the iconoclasts and Leo the Armenian, as well as the Moslems. He effectively used deductive arguments, history, and parables of the saints. Against the iconoclasts, he argued that since the shadows and handkerchiefs of the apostles healed the sick, why was it not appropriate to venerate their icons. His letters were circulated to strengthen and prepare the people to answer the attacks of the heretics. Seeing this, the emperor wrote a letter in John’s hand that had him condemned to the caliph for whom he worked. The caliph had his right hand cut off and hung in the market place. That night, John recovered his hand and prayed before an icon of the Theotokos, called of the three hands, promising that he would write hymns for Orthodoxy if he were healed. He slept, and she told him that he was healed and to write. The caliph freed him, and he became a humble monk. He wrote canons, troparia, idiomela, festal homilies for feast days of Jesus and the Theotokos, the saints and prophets. He established the Typikon, the order of services. He became the mouth piece of all the bishops of the east. He died peacefully at 104 years of age.” – from the St. John of Damascus Institute site – for a longer account go there
The video contains some of St. John Damascus’ teachings on the Blessed Virgin Mary
A Prayer of St. John of Damascus
I stand before the gates of thy Temple, and yet I refrain not from my evil thoughts. But do thou, O Christ my God, who didst justify the publican, and hadst mercy on the Canaanite woman, and opened the gates of Paradise to the thief; open unto me the compassion of thy love toward mankind, and receive me as I approach and touch thee, like the sinful woman and the woman with the issue of blood; for the one, by embracing thy feet received the forgiveness of her sins, and the other by but touching the hem of thy garment was healed. And I, most sinful, dare to partake of thy whole Body. Let me not be consumed but receive me as thou didst receive them, and enlighten the perceptions of my soul, consuming the accusations of my sins; through the intercessions of Her that without stain gave Thee birth, and of the heavenly Powers; for thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.
Deacon James Keating, PhD, the director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation, located at Creighton University, in Omaha, is making available to ”Discerning Hearts” and all who listen, his series of programs entitled “The Heart of Hope”.
This extraordinarily popular series explores the work of suffering in the Christian life and how God can use it to transform the heart of the individual and the world.
The “Heart of Hope” tackles a very tough subject…the gift of suffering in the Christian life. Deacon Keating guides us well.
In the persons who are going on intensely cleansing their sins and rising from good to better in the service of God our Lord, it is the method contrary to that in the first Rule, for then it is the way of the evil spirit to bite, sadden and put obstacles, disquieting with false reasons, that one may not go on; and it is proper to the good to give courage and strength, consolations, tears, inspirations and quiet, easing, and putting away all obstacles, that one may go on in well doing.
The 14 Rules for Discerning Spirits –
“The Different Movements Which Are Caused In The Soul”
as outlined by St. Ignatius of Loyola
can be found here
Father Timothy M. Gallagher, O.M.V., was ordained in 1979 as a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, a religious community dedicated to retreats and spiritual formation according to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Fr. Gallagher is featured on the EWTN series “Living the Discerning Life: The Spiritual Teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola”.
For more information on how to obtain copies of Fr. Gallaghers’s various books and audio which are available for purchase, please visit his website: www.frtimothygallagher.org
Jesus invites us to give the maximum….Join Teresa Monaghen, of Pro Sanctity, as she offers a “Personal Plan for Holiness”. Listen along with these short, but beautiful meditations which encourage us to continue on our journey as “saints in the making”!
Learn more about Pro Sanctity at www.prosanctity.org
Born Again in Baptism
Are you born again? It’s a question that Catholics aren’t quite sure how to respond to, but those who are living out their faith should answer with a whole-hearted Yes.
The term “born again” comes from John 3 when our Lord tells Nicodemus, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above,”1 or “born again,” as some translations put it. Nicodemus is confused, thinking that Jesus is referring to a 2nd physical birth, so Jesus clarifies that “no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.”2 The early Church unanimously interpreted this as a reference to the sacrament of baptism, 3 which is no mere symbolic ritual, but the normative instrument that Christ instituted for our spiritual rebirth.
Romans 6 says that in baptism our old natures are buried and we are raised to new life in Christ. 4 And 1 Peter 3:21 puts it plainly, “baptism now saves you.”
Salvation is a lifelong process, a race to the finish line. But baptism is where it all begins, where we are born again, if you will.
1 – Jn. 3:3
2 – Jn. 3:5
3 – See Catholic Answers website on subject: http://www.catholic.com/library/Born_Again_in_Baptism.asp
4 – Rom. 6:3-4