And so we have a winner.
A week ago we asked anyone with proficiency at editing on Photoshop or whatever software if they could reconstruct the famous image of the Virgin, but without the artificial embellishments (golden rays, stars, fleur de lis, etcetera) that some experts, analyzing it through infra-red and ultra-violet, say were later additions. Several folks responded with images.
You can read the article in detail here.
The one that seemed most compelling you see at the top, next to the famous version, and was sent to us by Michael O’Neill, the well-known expert on Marian apparitions and radio host who operates a website called The Miracle Hunter (one that lists approved and rejected apparitions through history; very useful).
At any rate, it is a neat picture. There are still folds on her dress (which some say are also additions), but it seems so much more of Mary’s essence — in line with the Shroud of Turin, that simply has Jesus’s head and body, not anything around Him or added at the bottom.
Others sent images such as those at the side — also interesting and worthy.
On his website, O’Neill notes, as far as the artistic additions, the following:
The 470-year-old image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is more than simply a picture. It contains symbols — in a sense, hieroglyphics, or a story in pictures — that reveal part of the message the Blessed Mother brought through Juan Diego to the Indians of Mexico and to all the people of the Americas. But the symbols had a special meaning to the Indians, who because of their culture could decipher the code in the Image.
The eyes of the image are looking down, a postion of humility, revealing that, as great as she is, she is not a god. Indian gods never looked down; they looked straight ahead.
The woman’s face shows great compassion. The Indians felt that the face was the window of the inner person, a means by which one could read who a person was — the way a person would act. A good woman to the Indians was one whose femininity showed in her face. The head of the woman in the image shows her with dark skin and dark hair like that of the Indians.
Her hands are not poised in the traditional Western style of prayer, but in an Indian manner of offering, indicating that something is being offered, that something is to come from her.
|4. Maternity Band
The maternity band around the woman’s waist was the sign of a pregnant woman, a mother who is about to give birth, it was a sign to the Indians that someone is yet to come.
The stars on the mantle are a sign that a new civilization, or era, is beginning. The Indian tradition recognized the end and the beginning of different eras throughout the ages, and the destruction of a particular civilization or era was always accompanied by a comet, or a body of stars.
|6. Sun Rays
The rays of sun in the image recalled for the Indians that the sun played a key role in their civilization. But the woman in the image is greater than even the sun. She hides the sun, and only the rays come forth. She hides the sun but does not extinguish it.
The predominant color in the image’s mantle is turquoise, the blue-green color reserved for the great god Omecihuatl. Although the Indians had many “intermediary gods.” Omecihuatl was considered the supreme god. It was a mother-father god who sometimes was represented as a man and sometimes as a woman. It was a source of unity for everything that exists.
The woman is standing on the moon, indicating that she is greater than the god of night, the moon god.
The angel at the bottom of the image was seen by the Indians as an “intermediary god” carrying in a new era, the beginning of a new civilization. One era was at an end — had died — and a new one was beginning, was being born.
|On December 22, 1981, at the Observatory Laplace Mexico City, Father Mario Rojas and Dr. Juan Hernández Illescas, a medical doctor and amateur astronomer, performed an astronomical study of the Image and analyzed the stellar arrangement that appear in the Mantle of Our Lady. They surprisingly discovered that the stars stunningly and accurately map out the various constellations of the Mexican sky. Even more remarkable is the “star map” on the mantle is in the reverse (the cardinal axis rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise): providing a view of the constellations from beyond them, as would be seen looking through them towards the earth. The constellations are consistent with what astronomers believe was in the sky above Mexico City on the day the apparition occurred – in the winter-morning solstice of December 12, 1531, Saturday, at 10:26AM.
Our Lady’s cloak has 46 stars: 22 on her right side, and 24 on her left side. These 46 stars are the most brilliant stars that surround the horizon of the Mexican Valley which have been identified. The main constellations of the Northern sky can be seen on the right of the mantle. On the left, the Southern ones which can be seen from the Tepeyac in winter at dawn. The East is situated in the upper part and the West in the lower part. The Mantle is opened and there are other groups of stars which are not marked in the Image, but they are present in the sky. The Boreal Crown is located above the Virgin’s head; Virgo is on her chest, in the region of her hands. Leo on Her womb, precisely above the sign of Nahui Ollin, with his main star Regulo, the small king. Gemini, the twins, is found in the region of the knees and Orion is located where the Angel is.