In December 1531, the Blessed Virgin appeared four times to an Aztec Indian convert, baptized and renamed, 'Juan Diego'. She appeared on a hill outside of Mexico City called Tepeyac and requested a chapel to be built there in her honor. The Virgin sent the visionary to deliver her request to the local bishop - Juan de Zumarraga - but he was met with skeptism and speedily dismissed.
Five Remarkable Facts About the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe:
- The stars on the Blessed Mother’s mantle correspond to the constellations that were present over the Mexican skies in December 1531!
- In 1724, acid was accidentally spilled on the upper-right of the tilma, but rather than destroying the fabric, it only left a faint visible stain that did not mar the image.
- In November 1921, a bomb planted by an anti-clerical group exploded behind the main altar of the old basilica, directly beneath the image. The force of the explosion blew out several windows and twisted a large cast-iron crucifix, but the image and the glass covering over it suffered no damage whatsoever!
- In 1929, a photographer noticed the tiny face of a bearded man in the right eye of the Blessed Mother's image; a man resembling the oldest known portrait of St. Juan Diego! Other figures of individuals, who were present with Bishop Zumarraga during the miraculous appearance of Our Lady on the tilma, were also discovered captured in the eyes.
- A fairly recent analysis of the position of the stars and flowers on the Holy Mother's clothing determined they corresponded to musical notes. Astoundingly, when the notes were transcribed into sheet music, the result was a coherent and harmonious melody - a musical composition from Heaven! See the video below to hear an example of it.