Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our Lady Of Guadalupe, Part 2

For part one, you can go here.
Updated: Thre is also a previous post earlier this week on Our Lady of Guadalupe and the painting of the Mona Lisa. It can be found here.

Let us look at the image of Guadalupe as an icon, for that is how the Aztecs saw the image that our Blessed Lady left us. They saw that the the image had many messages that spoke to them, and could just speak to us today in our world that reflects theirs in so many troubling ways.

1. In front of the Sun. Our Lady is standing in front of the Sun. The god Huitzilopochtli was the Sun god (It was to Huitzilopochtli that people would be sacrificed to, children included, by having their hearts torn out while alive, and then stuffed into the mouth of Huitzilopochtli). Huitzilopochtli was the one of the highest ranking gods, yet Our lady is standing right in front of the Sun, indicating that she is greater than the sun god. Read Apocalypse 12, where it talks of the lady clothed with the Sun. This leads directly into #2...

2. Orientation of the eyes. The Aztec gods would typically be looking right at you in the statues that were built of them. They had this fearsome look that directly reflected their brutality. Our Lady is standing in front of a fearsome god, yet she is looking down. When a statue of an Aztec god looked down, it was because there was a greater god present. Our Lady is telling us that even though she is greater than Huitzilopochtli, there is one even greater than herself, and sh is in the presence of him. Her eyes also appear to be gentle, loving. There will be more on the eyes later.

3. On top of the Moon. The hill on which Our lady appeared is called Tepeyac, and had been dedicated to the Moon goddess Tonantzin. She was a goddess that would on the surface would seem to be sympathetic, as she lamented that so many of her children were lost. She was also the goddess of corn and was one of the very few Aztec gods or goddesses that was satisfied with the sacrifices of doves, swallows, and other birds. Again, refer to Apocalypse 12, with regards to the woman with the moon beneath her feet.

4. The Angel. The Aztecs also believed in messengers from the gods, what we would call angels. In the Aztec culture, only a King, a Queen (who were seen as living gods), or another royal dignitary would be carried upon the shoulders of another. That an Angel would carry someone who is not a God was seen as bringing a new age. She is being carried by an angel, yet she is in supplication to another. She is seen, however, as royalty. After all, we know that her son is the King of the Universe.

5. The Hands. Her hands are held together in supplication, in prayer. Certainly this was not a typical Aztec posture. One god may have yielded to another, but it was not because they wanted to. They did it because the other god was much stronger. Our lady's hands are in supplication to one who is greater.

6. Her belt. This belt or girdle would be seen by the Aztecs as a sign of virginity. However, the way that it is tied wold make it seem like the four petaled flower called Nahui Ollin. This flower was called the Flower of the Sun, and was used in the ceremonies to end the 52 year Aztec calendar cycle. Every 52 years, the world would be born anew. In other words, the way the belt looks, it indicates that a new age is coming, and that Our lady is pregnant by the position of the belt and the Nahui Ollin.

7. Her Mantle. We are used to having Purple referred to as the royal colour. To the Aztecs, turqouise, or the Teal she is wearing is the royal colour. That she is wearing this colour indicates that she is of royalty. Although the Aztecs would wear gold as jewelry, to have it on clothing was very special. It was yet another sign of nobility.

8. Her Mantle pt. 2. Some have speculated on what the stars on the mantle would look like if one were to take the Mantle of our Lady and spread it out. With the aid of computers, this can now be done. The stars appear to be in a pattern. The stars appear to be arranged in a pattern that would be consistent if one were to view the sky above Mexico City on December 12th, 1531, right around 5 AM (This is the time that Juan Diego would have seen Our Blessed Lady right before he went to Bishop Zumarraga). As this was before the Gregorian revision of the Calendar several decades later, this day would have been the Winter Solstice.

9. The eyes of our Lady. In 1929, the photographer for the Basilica of Guadalupe, Jose Marcue, took close-up photographs of the entire image. When he photographed the left eye of the Virgin, he noticed that there was an image of an old, bearded man in it. As some extreme persecutions had just reached its zenith a few years earlier, the Episcopal Conference and the Archbishop of Mexico, Pascual Diay y Barreto decided to keep this silent. In the eyes can also be seen other figures, which would match those who would have been in the room with Juan Diego when he came into the presence of the Bishop upon showing him the sign he wanted. That would be Bishop Zumarraga, his translator Juan Gonzalez, St. Juan Diego himself, and an unknown woman. The images are even distorted to account for the curvature of the eye, just as one would see something slightly distorted if one were to look closely at the eyese of another. There is a video below in Spanish of a study done by Dr. Jose Aste Tonsmann.
The image was formed on the tilma of Juan Diego, the outer garment of the Aztecs. The coarse fabric, made of ayate fiber, was derived from the threads of the maguey cactus plant. It is dired, flattened, and then woven into thread. It is a bit sturdier than fabric derived from cactus in northern latitudes, but not by much. The normal life span of the ayate fiber is approximately 20 years. Yet, after 477 years as of 2008, this tilma still shows no sign of decay, has maintained its vivid and fresh colors, in spite of having been displayed for more than 100 years, unprotected, in a damp, open-windowed chapel located in the yet undrained marshes of Mexico. For the first 100 years, the Tilma had been exposed directly to ceaseless smoke and incense, myriad of votive candles with their excess of ultra-violet light. It hand been handled, touched, kissed, by millions of devout pilgrims.

It has even survived a bombing. On November 14, 1921, a bomb was placed right underneath the Tilma by a government agent by the High Altar in the old Basilica. The Tilma was covered only with glass. The Altar was destroyed, and this Crucifix that was right in front of the bomb was bent over to a 30 degree angle by the force of the bomb. The Tilma, however, was untouched, and the glass right in front did not shatter. This Crucifix is now in the museum of the Basilica.

No comments:

Post a Comment