Our Lady of Guadalupe (After Our Blessed Mother’s Original Rendering)
In my desire to become a better artist for Our Lord I turned to our Lady of Guadalupe, that I might learn from her in her work as an artist. I began studying a high resolution photo of her original image, but that only led me to want to see her work more clearly–beyond the seams/folds that have become more prominent with age, not to mention the buildup of soot and dirt that currently mar the image. For the face, I used a high resolution 1923 black and white photo that shows in order to go back to an unaltered image that illustrates most her beauty (not to mention the photo that most clearly shows the miraculous reflection of those present in the image’s eyes when St. Juan Diego first revealed the image before the Bishop).
Her message to St Juan Diego was as follows:
“Know, know for sure, my dearest, littlest, and youngest son, that I am the perfect and ever Virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the God of truth through Whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near us, the Lord of heaven and earth. I want very much to have a little house built here for me, in which I will show Him, I will exalt Him and make Him manifest. I will give Him to the people in all my personal love, in my compassion, in my help, in my protection: because I am truly your merciful Mother, yours and all the people who live united in this land and of all the other people of different ancestries, my lovers, who love me, those who seek me, those who trust in me. Here I will hear their weeping, their complaints and heal all their sorrows, hardships and sufferings. And to bring about what my compassionate and merciful concern is trying to achieve, you must go to the residence of the Bishop of Mexico and tell him that I sent you here to show him how strongly I wish him to build me a temple here on the plain; you will report to him exactly all you have seen, admired and what you have heard. Know for sure I will appreciate it very much, be grateful and will reward you. And you? You will deserve very much the reward I will give you for your fatigue, the work and trouble that my mission will cause you. Now my dearest son, you have heard my breath, my word; go now and put forth your best effort.”
“Listen to me, my youngest and dearest son, know for sure that I do not lack servants and messengers to whom I can give the task of carrying out my words, who will carry out my will. But it is very necessary that you plead my cause and, with your help and through your mediation, that my will be fulfilled. My youngest and dearest son, I urge and firmly order you to go to the bishop again tomorrow. Tell him in my name and make him fully understand my intention that he start work on the chapel I’m requesting. Tell him again that I am the ever Virgin, Holy Mary, the Mother of God, who is sending you.”
“Listen, put it into your heart, my youngest and dearest son, that the thing that disturbs you, the thing that afflicts you, is nothing. Do not let your countenance, your heart be disturbed. Do not fear this sickness of your uncle or any other sickness, nor anything that is sharp or hurtful. Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need anything more? Let nothing else worry you, disturb you. Do not let your uncle’s illness worry you, because he will not die now. You may be certain that he is already well.”
“Go up, my dearest son, to the top of the hill, to where you saw me and received my directions and you will find different kinds of flowers. Cut them, gather them, put them all together, then come down here and bring them before me.”
There is reason to believe that at Tepeyac Mary came in her glorified body, and her actual physical hands rearranged the roses in Juan Diego’s tilma, which makes this apparition very special.
“My youngest and dearest son, these different kinds of flowers are the proof, the sign that you will take to the Bishop. You will tell him from me that he is to see in them my desire, and therefore he is to carry out my wish, my will. And you, who are my messenger, in you I place my absolute trust. I strictly order you not to unfold your tilma or reveal its contents until you are in his presence. You will relate to him everything very carefully: how I sent you to the top of the hill to cut and gather flowers, all you saw and marveled at in order to convince the Governing Priest so that he will then do what lies within his responsibility so that my house of God which I requested will be made, will be built.”
After complying to the Bishop’s request for a sign, She also left for us the image of herself imprinted miraculously on the native’s tilma, known as the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Though there are no brush strokes and it is depicted on a poor quality cactus-cloth–of which the cloth itself should have deteriorated 20 years from when it was made–it is still displayed today, some 485 years later, in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe Villa de Guadalupe, Mexico City, Mexico.