Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the Americas. I believe there are two primary miracles associated with this apparition of Mary as Our Lady of Guadalupe.

OLG bookFirst is the mystical imprint of the Blessed Mother on Juan Diego’s tilma; an image that is preserved today since the miracle occurred in 1531. You can see the original tilma on display at the Basilica in Mexico City.

The second miracle is the conversion of over 9 million people to Christianity following the apparition. These people were worshipping other gods and offering human sacrifices to appease them. Our Lady’s appearance changed the people of Mexico forever.

An excellent read on the apparitions of Guadalupe and the environment into which it came can be found in Manuela Testoni’s book, “Our Lady of Guadalupe: History and Meaning of the Apparitions.” Another good book is by Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus. It’s entitled “Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love.”

I became interested in learning more about Our Lady of Guadalupe following a talk by a young holy priest, Fr. Tim Oudenhoven, who has take high resolution images of the tilma in Mexico City and photographically documented the image imprinted in her eyes. In this reflection you can see Juan Diego appearing before the Bishop when the miracle occurred and Our Lady’s image was imprinted upon his tilma. Yes, she was in the room observing it all as the reflection in her eyes clearly shows.

A few years ago I taught a class at St. Mary of Athens in the days leading up to today’s feast. I offer you my presentation in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe on this wonderful feast day.