Our Lady of Guadalupe

Dec 11th, 2010 | By | Category: Blog Posts

In the decade following the arrival of Hernando Cortez and the Spanish Conquistadors in the New World in 1519, the Aztecs were highly resistant to Christianity. But in 1531 an amazing miracle took place, and the missionaries were soon overwhelmed with requests for catechesis and baptism. This miracle precipitated the greatest flood of conversions in the whole history of Christianity. In the seven years following this miracle, approximately eight million Aztecs converted to Christianity. This miracle thereby facilitated the Christianization of Central and South America in the sixteenth century. For this reason, this miracle is undoubtedly one of the most important events in the history of Christianity in the Americas.

Tomorrow, December 12, is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, celebrating Mary’s appearances to a native American peasant named Juan Diego from December 9 through 12, 1531, and the miraculous appearance of her image on his tilma, shown above. Prior to this event, the Aztecs were offering thousands of human sacrifices per year in central Mexico, including child sacrifice. The conversion of the Aztecs to Christianity ended the brutal practice of human sacrifice, and helped bring Central and South America to Christianity.

The image above is the image that miraculously appeared on the tilma of Juan Diego when he opened it before the bishop. The image shows Mary as a humble but royal maiden. Under her feet is the Moon, which for the Aztecs represented the devil. In this way the image depicts Mary as crushing the head of the serpent, and corresponds to the description of the woman described in Revelation 12.

This past Wednesday, December 8, Professor Lawrence Feingold (Ave Maria University) gave a lecture to the Association of Hebrew Catholics on the subject of the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe. To listen to that lecture, click on the ‘play’ button directly below.


To listen to the Q&A following the lecture, press play directly below:


Download the mp3s for the lecture and the Q&A here.

To read a fuller account of this miraculous event see here, here, and here. Or read Warren Carroll’s Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness (Christendom Press, Front Royal, Virginia, 2002). On the miracle of the cloth’s preservation, see this talk by Dr. Aldofo Orozco.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us, that we may be more deeply united to your Son, Jesus. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


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  1. I am a Catholic (convert) and have a print of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which I love, on my desk. I am, however, curious to know if there are definitive proofs of the authenticity of the image. There are various articles on the web – the Wikipedia article is typical – which would seem to cast doubt at least on the supernatural nature of the image itself. I wonder if you could point me to anything that is clear about the possible objections to the supernatural character of the image.


  2. John,

    I recommended above the book by Warren Carrol titled Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness (Christendom Press, Front Royal, Virginia, 2002). See also Eduardo Chávez’s Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego: The Historical Evidence (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006), and the book he recently co-authored with Carl Anderson: Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love, (Doubleday, 2009). The book most critical of the authenticity of the image is John Moffit’s Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Painting, the Legend, and the Reality, (McFarland, 2006).

    In the peace of Christ,

    – Bryan

  3. Thanks, Bryan. I have – and have read with profit and pleasure – Carroll’s book. I would like to see the others and will definitely look them out.


  4. John:

    For matters like this, “definitive proof” is a unique concept. Just look at the Shroud of Turin debate. Science will never be enough to establish the authenticity of this or any miracle. What’s needed is faith.

    But not groundless faith. There are factors which make it reasonable to believe that such miracles–indeed, miracles generally–are authentic. It’s just that such factors cannot logically rule out naturalistic explanations for somebody determined to keep that possibility open. So faith is a choice, not an intellectual compulsion. But it’s a reasonable choice.


  5. Michael – I definitely agree and understand. I wasn’t looking for any sort of proof – only wondered what the responses might be to the various objections – in particular, to the analyses of the image itself. That ‘reasonable choice’ takes into account things on both sides. Nothing in my faith depends on the answer, but I am definitely interested in the issues.

    I have been quite interested for some time in the Shroud and think it far more likely to be a miraculous image than that anyone could have produced it by naturalistic means.


  6. The story of Guadalupe was one I had never even heard of as a Protestant. Now I love it. I can’t wait to read carrol’s book. By the way, the first apparition of our Lady in the U.S. was just formally approved over near Green Bay. It happened in ~1859. Also, check out my mantle above my fireplace. The Patroness of the Americas is prominent in my living room. Such an amazing image.

  7. I am looking forward to reading the books mentioned above. There are two books which provide an excellent evidence of the authenticity of the images (the Lady of Guadalupe and the Shroud of Turin) Didier Van Cauwelaert ‘Cloning Christ’ and “Apparition”. Unfortunately, none of them are translated into English yet. However, they can be easily obtained in French.
    What I have also discovered is that there is a remarkable lack of solid information on the internet about the Lady of Guadalupe.

  8. Another book that’s quite enjoyable on the topic (and other miracles) is Reason to Believe by Ron Tesoriero. I briefly covered scientific findings on the tilma today at Catholic Sistas.

    I’m a cradle Catholic and I only learned of the miracle in the last few years. It’s a shame that the Reformation, a man made skirmish, is better known today than a miracle of God’s leading eight million to Christ.

    Thank you for covering Our Lady of Guadalupe today!!

  9. I’m thinking the best evidence for the miracles authenticity is the wave of conversions. A fake, no matter how convincing, just could not keep the steam up for that long…

  10. Fr. Barron on Our Lady of Guadalupe:

  11. David,

    The image above my fireplace is one of the large ones to be bought from the Trappist abbey of our Lady of Guadalupe in Lafayette, Oregon.

  12. Our Lady of Gaudalupe:

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