This is a presentation for a speaker to present the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to a group or congregation. It explains the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the original miraculous image and the Missionary Image and its journey with the signs, wonders and healings that accompany the image. It is approximately 45 minutes long and may be edited if there are time constraints.
The Missionary Image and Its Journey with Its Signs, Wonders and Healings
On behalf of Dan Lynch Apostolates who sponsor this Visitation and my Team, I thank you for coming to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe in her Missionary Image that you see here before you.
This Missionary Image is one of only four images in the world commissioned by the Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City to journey as a Missionary Image on a mission to bring conversions and a Culture of Life and Civilization of Love, for which St. John Paul II prayed.
So, this image is rare, special and extraordinary! Because of her special commissioning and it has traveled the world bringing miracles, conversions and signs and wonders such as manifesting tears of oil and holy glitter.
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico as the pregnant Mother of God to Saint Juan Diego, a Chichimeca Indian, on December 12, 1531. She left a Miraculous Image of her appearance on his tilma (a cloak), which still exists today for all to see in the Basilica Shrine in Mexico City. The Missionary Image is an exact size and color replica of the original miraculous image.
St. John Paul II asked Our Lady of Guadalupe “to ‘visit’ as a ‘pilgrim of faith’ each and every diocese, parish and family in America.” In response to this, the Missionary Image has journeyed on Visitations throughout the world and to each state of the United States to over 1000 parishes. It has received the venerations of hundreds of thousands.
The image visits churches and wherever else Our Lady’s motherly love is needed. The image brings works of mercy to convents, prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, schools and abortion centers. Because of the presence of the image, many abortions have been prevented and over twenty abortion centers have closed through Our Lady’s intercession.
Many signs, wonders, conversions, healings and graces have been reported. The Image has manifested signs such as detections of a heartbeat of an unborn baby in her womb, confirmed by doctors and nurses with stethoscopes and the shedding of tears of oil and holy glitter. God manifests these signs at his pleasure and delights to give them to help to strengthen our faith and our confidence in the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe had a Mission hundreds of years ago, just as she does today. In 16th-century Mexico, the Aztec Indians practiced human sacrifice as an offering to their false gods. In 1521, Hernando Cortez and the Spanish conquered and evangelized them.
After the Conquest, in 1531, the Spanish rule of the natives was so severe that a bloody revolt was imminent. It is believed that Bishop Zumarraga, the New World’s first Bishop, prayed for Our Lady to intervene to prevent an uprising, to bring conversions, to end the remnants of human sacrifice and to bring a culture of life to the natives and reconcile them with the Spanish in peace. It is believed that he asked that he would receive roses native to his homeland of Castile, Spain, as a sign that his prayer would be answered.
Ten years after the Conquest on Saturday, December 9, 1531, fifty-seven-year-old St. Juan Diego began his nine-mile walk to church from his home in to Mexico City. As he walked at dawn near Tepeyac Hill, the former site of worship to the Aztec goddess Tonantzin, he heard the music of singing birds.
Then, from the top of the hill, he heard a sweet feminine voice affectionately call him by name, “Juan, dearest Juan Diego.” He quickly climbed to the top of the hill to see who was there. He saw a beautiful young lady. Her dress shone like the sun and transformed the appearance of the rocks and plants on the barren cactus hill into glittering jewels. The ground glistened like the rays of a rainbow in a dense fog.
The lady identified herself to him and entrusted to him a mission to request that Bishop Zumarraga to build a church on the hill so that she could manifest her Son to all of the people. She said,
Know for certain, dearest of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the one true God, through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of heaven and earth. I ardently desire that a sacred house be built here for me where I will show Him, I will exalt Him and make Him manifest, I will give Him to the people and offer all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection. I am your merciful Mother, the merciful Mother of all who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows, and I will remedy and alleviate their sufferings, necessities and misfortunes. Therefore, in order to realize my intentions, go to the house of the Bishop of Mexico City and tell him that I sent you and that it is my desire to have a sacred house built here. Tell him all that you have seen and heard. Be assured that I shall be very grateful and will reward you for doing diligently what I have asked of you. Now that you have heard my words, my son, go and do everything as best as you can.
Our Lady had identified herself, stated her desire and gave Juan Diego his mission. This is the only apparition in which Our Lady identified herself, through her image and words, by all the privileges conferred on her by God: her Immaculate Conception, her Perpetual Virginity, her Motherhood of God and of the Church and her Glorious Assumption. Our Lady wanted to show her merciful love to all of her children. Juan went to the Bishop as he requested, but the prudent Bishop asked Juan to ask the lady for a sign. Juan did so and Our Lady promised to give him the sign.
On December 12, Our Lady again appeared to Juan on Tepeyac Hill. She said,
Listen and let it penetrate your heart, my dear little son, let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you. Let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? What else do you need?
She told him to pick the Castilian roses that miraculously appeared there in the winter and to bring them to the Bishop as a sign for him to believe her request. Juan gathered the roses into his tilma and brought them to the Bishop.
Juan opened the tilma to show the roses and, to everyone’s astonishment, the Image of Our Lady appeared on it. Our Lady had answered the bishops prayers and his request for a sign with the Castilian roses that were native to his homeland. This sign was augmented by the incomparable gift of her own portrait.
Two weeks after that, the Bishop completed the building of the church as Our Lady had requested. Our Lady of Guadalupe brought the natives faith, hope and consolation. Their hearts were melted. This was the greatest mass evangelization in the history of the world. Nine million natives were converted and baptized to the one, true faith within the next nine years. The Indians and Spanish reconciled, inter-married and became the Mexican people.
Bishop Zumarraga later wrote to Cortes, “In our day, God and His Blessed Mother deigned to shower the land which was won by you, with His great mercy.”
The Message of the Tilma
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that we see here was seen in different ways by the Spanish and by the Indians. Bishop Zumarraga, the first eyewitness exclaimed, “It is the Immaculata!” He saw her as the image of chapter 12 of the book of Revelation as the great sign that St. John the Evangelist saw in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars, which is now only faintly visible, pregnant with child.
The Indians saw the image as their spiritual mother, since she had told St. Juan Diego, “Am I not your mother?”. They had no written language. They could not read or write. So, God wrote for them in Our Lady’s image. The Indians communicated by painted images in pictographs or codices. The image communicated to them as a pictograph through its symbols. It was the Indian’s catechism. It taught them by picture-symbols that they could understand when they saw it.
They received Our Lady’s message to them through these symbols and through the oral explanations that St. Juan Diego gave to them.
The Indians understood that Our Lady was pregnant in her image which is visually obvious and which was symbolized by the only four-petal flower that is located over her womb. This flower symbolizes the center of the universe; the one true God and Christ Himself who was born through Our Lady. With its placement over Our Lady’s womb, the natives understood that the son of Our Lady of Guadalupe would replace their false god of the sun.
The sash that is wrapped around Our Lady’s body and tied high above her protruding pregnant womb is a piece of clothing that signifies both perfect chastity and pregnancy. From this and her message, the natives understood that she was the Virgin Mother of the one true God.
From looking at the tilma and listening to Juan, the Indians understood that they were not adoring Our Lady but honoring her as the pregnant Virgin Mother of the one true God. They saw that she came from heaven because she was surrounded by clouds and escorted by an angel, that we can see in the image. They understood, however, that she was not God because her head was bowed in humility and her hands were joined in prayer interceding for them to the one true God. They heard that this God loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for them and that His death was sufficient for all mankind to be saved from hell so that human sacrifice was totally unnecessary and absolutely evil. Human sacrifice in Mexico soon ended completely.
The Indians heard that Jesus died on the Cross, as shown on the brooch near Our Lady’s neck, so that they might have eternal life. (See Jn 3:16). They saw that this was the same Cross that they had seen with the Spanish Conquistadors and which they now embraced as their own.
They understood from the tilma that Our Lady, although not God, was very close to Him and was the vanquisher of the Aztec false gods of the sun, which she eclipsed and which radiated from behind her; the stars, which she wore on her mantle; and the moon, upon which she stood.
For us today in the third millennium, we can see that Our Lady of Guadalupe is truly the Star of the New Evangelization, as St. John Paul II named her. We see in the image that she is stepping out in prayer on the path of evangelization with her praying hands and her bent left knee leading us to a Culture of Life and a Civilization of Love, for which St. John Paul II prayed.
St. John Paul II said, “Now is the time of the New Evangelization to lead the People of God in America to cross the threshold of the third millennium with renewed hope.” He entrusted to Our Lady of Guadalupe, as the Star of the New Evangelization, the “future path of the Church on the great continent of America.”
He concelebrated Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe with hundreds of bishops and priests. He preached, “May the Continent of Hope also be the Continent of Life! This is our cry: life with dignity for all! The time has come to banish once and for all from the Continent every attack against life. Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of Peace, save the nations and peoples of this Continent!”
The Tilma and Science
The tilma is a miraculous image. It Is not a painting. There is no under-drawing, sizing, or over-varnish. An infrared study concluded that there is no way to explain either the kind of color pigments utilized or the maintenance of color luminosity and the brightness of the pigments over the centuries. It is scientifically inexplicable.
Scientific studies of the eyes of the tilma revealed 13 people in the iris and scientific studies of the stars on her mantle revealed that they coincided with the stars as they appeared on the date of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12, 1531!
In 1979, Dr. José Tonsman, a Peruvian engineer, used computer technology to magnify the irises of the eyes in the tilma 2500 times and, through mathematical and optical procedures, was able to identify at least 13 people imprinted in the eyes. Some of these people have been identified as St. Juan Diego, Bishop Zumarraga and his interpreter, a family, including various children, and a woman carrying a baby on her back, which was common in that time and region. It would have been impossible to have painted so many people in the eyes of the image!
Father Mario Sanchez and Dr. Juan Illescas of Mexico reproduced a map of the stars as they appeared in the sky on December 12, 1531. This star map was inverted and overlaid as a translucency over the stars on Our Lady’s mantle on the tilma. The stars on the tilma exactly coincided with the stars on the star map from the point of view of someone looking down upon the stars from heaven. It would have been impossible to have painted the stars on her mantle so as to match the stars in the sky from the point of view of heaven!
God reserved these phenomena for the modern world to demonstrate to scientific skeptics that the tilma is not a painting, but God’s miraculous gift to humanity. These are the crowning scientific validations of the miracle of the tilma.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Health of the Sick
St. John Paul II called Our Lady of Guadalupe “Health of the Sick” and said, “The Church, in her pastoral concern for those who are suffering physically, is close to them with the tenderness and love of Christ. Sickness is a cross, sometimes very heavy, but when united with Christ’s Cross it becomes a source of salvation, life and resurrection for the sick person himself and for others. This is why I invite all those who are suffering to offer this trial generously in union with the suffering of Christ and with Mary. St. Juan Diego heard the Blessed Virgin say, ‘Am I not your health?’ ”
On the Journey of the Missionary Image, Our Lady of Guadalupe has interceded to heal the sick and the dying, to prevent abortions and to heal mothers who suffer from post abortion stress syndrome.
A four-year-old girl named Alex lay dying in a Kentucky hospital of a rare lung disease in which the airways scar down so that the patient cannot breathe and eventually suffocates. A Guardian brought the Missionary Image to Alex’s hospital room on the day that doctors had predicted that she would die. Alex was lifted up to the Image and she tenderly touched and kissed Our Lady.
The next day, the doctors went to Alex’s room and were shocked to find her playing and eating a hamburger! Her x-rays showed no signs of scarring at all of the bronchial airways. Alex recovered and went on to win the Presidential Fitness Award. Her mother credits this saving healing to Our Lady of Guadalupe through her Missionary Image.
Shortly before his 17th birthday, Devin attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself through the neck with a crossbow. He was despondent because his girlfriend broke up with them. The arrow went through his neck and partially destroyed his brain stem. Devin was placed on life-support systems.
His mother testified, “We were told that he probably wouldn’t live through the night. Three weeks after he was in intensive care in a full coma at the hospital, the Missionary Image was brought to his room. He reached up from his coma two different times and touched the Image and it was very smooth. It was not a jerk and I was speechless. I was really, really speechless when that happened. I remember having cold chills run down my spine just thinking maybe Our Lady’s going to help him, maybe all of these medical setbacks are going to be turned around. And he did turn around to the point where he regained his ability to walk and talk.”
A year after his healing, Devin stood next to the Missionary Image at the Louisville Marian Conference and told Dan Lynch, “How could I ever forget what she did for me! Most people who have not recovered after a few months in a coma, just never recover. I believe that Our Lady of Guadalupe was definitely helping me through because I survived and I’m prospering now and there must have been some sort of force behind me to hold me and to carry on for that long in such a physically stagnant place as I was.”
Care for the Dying
Saint Juan Diego gave us a great example of the Christian attitude toward those with a terminal illness. We are called to care and not to kill. His uncle, Juan Bernadino, lay dying on his sickbed from a deadly disease. Juan cared for his ordinary bodily needs and comforted him. He also cared for his soul and went on a ten-mile walk to get a priest to administer the last rites to him. On his way, Our Lady of Guadalupe intercepted him and interceded for the great miracle of the healing of his uncle. She also appeared to Juan Bernadino and revealed her name to him.
Like Our Lady of Guadalupe’s visit to Juan Bernadino, the Missionary Image has visited many patients as they lay dying and brought them comfort. Some have been healed.
Unfortunately, today many people who are gravely ill are not valued and the opportunity to end their life is wrongfully considered an act of mercy. They are denied food, water and support for their ordinary bodily needs and they die.
In Virginia, Hugh lay in a coma after a car accident. The court decided that his wife could end his feeding as well as his medical care. Marlene from Human Life International brought the Missionary Image to his room. A priest gave Hugh the last rites and Holy Communion, his last food on earth. The priest testified that Hugh was responsive and tracked his movements with his eyes. Sadly, Hugh died of forced starvation five days later.
As Hugh lay dying, St. John Paul II met with the American Bishops in Rome. He talked about “the morally objectionable nature of campaigns for the legalization of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.” He said, “Euthanasia and suicide are grave violations of God’s law.”
The Holy Father highlighted the importance of clarifying “the substantial moral difference between discontinuing medical procedures that may be burdensome, dangerous or disproportionate to the expected outcome – and taking away the ordinary means of preserving lives, such as feeding, hydration and normal medical care,” as they did with Hugh. He stated clearly that the “omission of nutrition and hydration intended to cause a patient’s death must be rejected and . . . . the presumption should be in favor of providing medically assisted nutrition and hydration to all patients who need them.
“Sickness,” he said, “is a call to Christians to demonstrate true compassion . . . . Likewise, the handicapped and those who are ill must never feel that they are a burden: they are persons being visited by the Lord. The terminally ill in particular deserve the solidarity, communion and affection of those around them.”
In closing, the Pope said, “America must become, again, a hospitable society, in which every unborn child and every handicapped or terminally ill person is cherished and enjoys the protection of the law.”
Saved from Abortion and Post Abortion Stress Syndrome
A pregnant mother named Helena waited inside an abortion center to have an abortion. Outside, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and a group of pro‑lifers prayed the Rosary beside the Missionary Image. Helena looked out the window, saw Father Frank and thought, “There’s a priest out there! What am I doing in here?” Helena received the grace to change her mind, came outside and received help from the pro-lifers.
Helena said, “I looked to my right and I saw Caroline and she did like the best thing she could have done for me – she just hugged me. She just took me in her arms and she hugged me and I started crying.
She said, “That hug was so full of love, so full of light it was like . . . so warm. That hug told me that there were people out there that do care about you, you know, you’re not alone. Here’s someone hugging you, you know, someone you don’t even know. I felt so safe. I felt safe. I felt rescued actually. I felt rescued. Then Caroline said, ‘We’ll help you keep her or him.’ I said that’s what I want, I want to keep my baby. And she said, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll help you.’”
Helena later gave birth to her child, who was baptized by Father Frank and appropriately named Guadalupe. She told Father Frank, “You didn’t just save my baby’s life, you saved mine as well!”
Helena credited Our Lady of Guadalupe and called her the “Mother of Hope”. She said, “She brought hope to my life! What more can I say? I have a beautiful daughter and my life without her would be nothing. I could not imagine a day going by without my daughter and what more hope? That little girl brings hope to everybody. Everybody! You could be down on your luck sitting on the couch feeling depressed and she will come with her little smiling face, come up to you and say, ‘Mommy what’s wrong?’ She brings you hope!”
Through her Missionary Image, Our Lady has melted the hearts of many mothers who aborted their children and many have been healed from post abortion stress syndrome.
Cathy became pregnant in college. She was confused, hurt, misinformed and went to an abortion center for help. After being shuffled through some paperwork, tests and a “counselor”, she was told “It will be okay.” She was not counseled on the option of giving birth and adoption.
“It was not okay.” She said. “I felt a ripping torment, hurt and devastation beyond description for killing my baby. Days turned into months that turned into years and I continued to carry the burden of shame, grief and guilt for ten long years. Then I attended a Marian Conference as a free-lance journalist where a special blessing awaited me from Our Lady of Guadalupe through her Missionary Image. I went before her to pray and the next day I interviewed Dan Lynch.
“During the interview Dan talked about how Our Lady would stop abortion and I thought well that’s just silly, it’s just an image. An image can’t stop abortion. So then I asked Dan, “Well, how is Our Lady going to do that? How does an image stop abortion?
“He replied, ‘She will melt hearts and the melted heart of a mother would never consider killing her innocent helpless child, she will reverence the life within her and bring it forth.’ At this point I broke down crying and told Dan, ‘I had an abortion ten years ago. You are the first person in the whole world that I have told. I named my son Joshua and I have asked him to forgive me.’ I couldn’t believe that I had shared it with him because I had shared it with no one at all that this had happened. Our Lady placed in my heart God’s mercy.
“Dan quickly arranged for me to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist that day for the first time since my abortion. I felt great joy for responding to Our Lady’s call to come back to the Sacred Heart of her Son and His holy Church.”
A few years later, Cathy married and became pregnant. Her doctor told her that her placenta was damaged and that she would probably have a miscarriage. She called Dan Lynch Apostolates and asked for prayers to Our Lady of Guadalupe. When Cathy returned to her doctor, the ultrasound showed a healthy placenta! She later gave birth to a healthy son, Alexander.
These stories and many more can be read and viewed in Dan Lynch’s book and DVD, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of Hope. They are available at the religious goods table.
Veneration of the Missionary Image
Thank you all so much for being here. You are here for a reason. Our Lady brought you here because she needs your help to continue the mission to bring a Culture of Life and a Civilization of Love. You are the hands and feet of Christ.
There are many more stories of signs, wonders, conversions and healings in Dan Lynch’s book and DVD, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of Hope. Please visit the religious goods table and check it out. Consider buying something to share with your friends and family to spread the good news.
Please take the time to come forward now to venerate the Missionary Image, to show your love for Our Lady of Guadalupe and to ask her for her help. Bring her your joys, your sorrows and needs. Have confidence that they will be answered. She told St. Juan Diego, “I am the mother of all those who have confidence in me!”
There should be Petition and Donation Envelopes available in your pews. Please write out your petitions, enclose your donations for Our Lady’s Journey and drop the envelopes in the basket. Dan Lynch Apostolates will place your petitions in their chapel and pray over them.
Please don’t be shy about coming up to venerate the Missionary Image like Benny. He was a severe asthmatic who was healed through Our Lady of Guadalupe’s intercession. He went to visit the Missionary Image and testified, “After the Mass my wife asked me if I should go up and perhaps touch Our Lady and ask her for her help. I was very reluctant to go, but my wife said, “What do you have to lose you almost died three times!”
“So, I went up and I put my hand on her chest and I asked her to help me with my asthma. I told her, ‘I’ve been very sick and almost died three times.’ Then we left the church and I have not had any problems since then. I have to thank Our Lady of Guadalupe so much for that. It’s just been unbelievably wonderful. It’s all because I had faith in Our Lord and Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
May we all have such faith!
Thank you again for being here and for being faithful!