Also on Sunday, a replica of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was enthroned in Turin and the two cities were twinned. Turin is the city where the infamous Shroud of Turin is kept — the cloth that shows an image of a crucified man, believed to be the shroud that enwrapped Jesus in the tomb.
The Shroud and the tilma of Guadalupe are similar in that neither depiction is considered the work of an artist, but rather images created miraculously.
What kind of signal does this send? There has been much less scientific examination of the the tilma whereas the shroud is widely considered to be the most scientifically analyzed artifact in history. The story of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is related to a reported vision or apparition, which must be taken on faith if accepted at all. The stories behind the image on the shroud are mere legends. The dissimilarities are numerous.
Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican Christians, in large numbers, are open to the possibilities that the Shroud of Turin is authentic. There are no such possibilities, as far as I can see, when it comes to Our Lady of Guadalupe. That is certainly how I feel about it.
As I see it, the historical and scientific evidence in support of the Shroud’s authenticity is overwhelming. I see nothing like this for what I imagine is probably a wonderful painting of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Recall that last year Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet of flowers “on behalf of the American people,” after asking Msgr. Diego Monroy, the rector of the Basilica, who painted the image. Her comment may have been “ill-informed,” but it reminds us that non-Catholics have very different beliefs about Mary.
What kind of signal does this send? Confusion. Keep the story tiny and buried.