Our Lady of Guadalupe is the "Star of Evangelization," so named by Pope John Paul II. She is also Patroness of the Unborn and Protectress of Children, Mother of the Church.
Our renewed study in greater depth of the miraculous image reveals a relevancy of the Message of Our Lady of Guadalupe pertinent to modern man now preparing in this Year of Jesus Christ to enter the third Millennium.
We see in both Fatima and Guadalupe a "reaffirmation of the Gospels," a call to the fullness of true faith and its practice as found in authentic Catholicism. There is the obligation of all disciples of Christ to share in the work of evangelization. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells parents they must first evangelize their own children. Pope John Paul II has also called for a "families to families" apostolate. That too is explained in this issue.
We urge all readers to obtain the updated Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate to assist families and individuals in this evangelization (see page 42).
We see in both Fatima and Guadalupe the call to faith and to respect the indissolubility of the marriage bond, the sanctity of the family and the right of the unborn to human life. Both of these major apparitions reaffirm the mission of the Fatima Family Apostolate.
"Fatima happened 80 years ago. We must move on." Such statements show that the speaker never understood Fatima as many never understood Guadalupe. Studying this issue will reveal the relevancy of Guadalupe for today, hundreds of years after its message was written by heaven itself in hieroglyphics (picture writing), now being rediscovered.
Five hundred years ago the Aztec Empire had embraced a bloodthirsty god, Huitzilopochtli, and yearly offered thousands of human sacrifices, children and for the most part infants. Our Lady appeared as Our Mother of Mercy and almost immediately the slaughter stopped. Mexico was converted to the true faith.
Today the goddess of secularism governs the thinking and acting of many. In the United States where many consider ourselves a civilized, compassionate and merciful people, over 4300 mothers each day have their unborn infants violently torn apart; a million and a half each year. Our Lady at Guadalupe appeared in 1531 as our Mother of Mercy and stopped the merciless murders.
We need Mary's merciful intervention again today to end abortive murders, to restore the sanctity of marriage and bring us to the fullness of true faith. Our Lady did it once at Guadalupe where millions were converted from pagan rituals to true Catholic faith in a short time. She can do it again. We now beg her to do so for time is short.
There have been attempts to minimize the importance of the miraculous Image of Our Mother of Mercy at Guadalupe. Even prestigious Catholic publications have reported that the sun, moon, stars, angel, etc. were later additions, thus giving suspicion to the miraculous origin of the Image. Msgr. Enrique R. Salazar, Postulator for the Cause of the Servant of God, Blessed Juan Diego, some years ago assured us that there have been no additions.
Trustworthy sources at Guadalupe gave your editor a summarized study of the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. A translation from Spanish follows:
1. The image found in the Basilica of Saint Mary of Guadalupe is the true image.
2. It does not have anything added. The rays, stars, flowers of the embroidery, moon, and the angel are all originals.
3. The nine flowers represent mountains, Tepetl-Yacatl, that are filled with flowers from heaven.
4. The small flowers with 8 petals, four thick and four thin, symbolize the planet Venus; the morning star, the only true God, the Creator of all things.
5. The only flower with four petals, Nahui Ollin, symbolizes the center of the universe, the only true God and Christ Himself who is about to be born.
6. She is surrounded by the light of the sun.
7. The stars from the mantle are correlated with the sky at the moment of the apparition, December 12, 1531, winter solstice.
8. The composition of the image is developed through the golden proportion, that is the summary of the most important aesthetic investigations of all cultures of mankind.
9. The volumes, forms, colors, and movement are conjugated with harmony and equilibrium of great beauty.
Pope John Paul II has referred to the power of evangelizing from the Image of Guadalupe. The study summary we received from Guadalupe spoke of her as "the Evangelizer who harmonizes the beauty of all the cultures and brings the Christ-centered message, for all times and to all the universe."
The Guadalupe message is not simply for Mexico. Nor is it simply for the Americas. Like Fatima, it too, is for the family, the world, a message ever relevant.