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The portrait of Mary, showing the way she looks in heaven today, a mere teen, miraculously imprinted on the tilma of Juan Dieg, is one of the greatest continuing miracles of our time, side by side with the Shroud of Turin.

It is the only portrait of Our Lady that has the enigmatic power of converting the very cruel Aztec people into Catholicism despite the abuses of the Spanish Catholics who brought the Catholic religion.  It is the only portrait that has aroused the most fervent devotion and has often been used as a banner against abuses. 

It is said that, while Lourdes and Fatima strengthened the faith of Catholics, Our Lady of Guadalupe converted the hardest hearts to Christianity.  Surely Lourdes  converted many to the Catholic Faith.  In Guadalupe, Mary converted millions. 

During this our scientific era, the greatest proof of the Divine source of the image, often described as painted in heaven, is that Science cannot explain anything about the image. . .what paint was used, how it was painted, how come it is not deteriorating as all paintings do.  This is the same case with the Shroud of Turin.  This is not the case among the rest of the images of Jesus and Mary which are obviously painted or are pictures.   

One merely has to look at the tilma and at the people who look at the tilma to see that this is the only portrait of Mary that has elicited the greatest and most fervent devotion from the Catholic World. 

In fact, it seems that Mary, under her title of Guadalupe, is the only one declared by the Vatican as Patroness of whole American hemisphere as well as Mexico and the Philippines.  The Holy See thus implicitly designated the Guadalupe as the premier Marian image within the Catholic Church, for nowhere can her equal be found.

Lastly, let it be said that the Popes have described the portrait as coming from heaven and declared Juan Diego blessed (Juan Diego was canonized a saint by Pope John Paul II in July of 2002.)   When the Popes speak on such topics they never make a mistake.  Rome has spoken;  for us Catholics, that is more than enough.  Bishops and priests can preach any devotion to any saint but, over time, it is the laity who decide the success or failure and thus the authenticity of a devotion.  And since Guadalupe, after the Vatican, is the primary choice of pilgrimages, the faithful has spoken:  Our Lady of Guadalupe, where the true face of Our Mother is shown, is the premier image of the Catholic Church after the Shroud of Turin. 






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