On the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe it’s appropriate to remind ourselves that it was before the image of Our Lady that Hillary committed one of the great cultural gaffes of her time as Secretary of State.
Hillary visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and was shown the image of Our Lady kept there and asked this question:
After observing it for a while, Mrs. Clinton asked “who painted it?” to which Msgr. Monroy responded “God!”
Now you might think that the smartest woman in the world would know the story about the single most significant cultural and religious icon of not only the country she was visiting but of North America, of the seemingly impossible facts concerning it, such as these four via Big C Catholic
1. There is no under-sketch or under-drawing on the image.
Infrared photography has demonstrated that there is no sketching on the image whatsoever. Dr. Philip Callahan, a research biophysicist from the University of Florida explains: “It is inconceivable that an artist in the 16th Century would paint a portrait without first doing a drawing on it.” Making an under-sketch prior to painting a portrait goes back to antiquity. Such an exquisite depiction on textile made from cactus fiber is inexplicable given the lack of sketching.
2. The image has lasted and shows no signs of deterioration.
Juan Diego’s tilma is made of a rough cactus fiber which normally disintegrates in 15 to 30 years. Yet, the image of Guadalupe has remained intact for 484 years without fading or cracking. Moreover, it was subjected to candle smoke for many years, which should have accelerated the process of deterioration.
In 1778, a worker accidentally spilled strong nitric acid onto a large portion of the image. To everyone’s astonishment, only slight stains appeared which can still be seen in the upper right side. Additionally, in 1921 a bomb concealed in some flowers was placed on the altar directly under the image. When the bomb detonated, the marble altar rail and windows 150 feet away were shattered, a brass crucifix was twisted out of shape, but the image was left unharmed.
3. The stars that appear on the image are astrologically correct.
In 1983 Dr. Juan Homero Hernandez and Fr. Mario Rojas Sánchez discovered that the stars on the image correspond precisely to the constellations of the winter sky on December 12th, 1531. Incredibly, the constellations are shown as viewed from outside the heavens, in other words in reverse. It is as if we have a picture from someone looking at it from outside the universe, it is a snapshot of heaven and earth from the very moment that Juan Diego saw Our Lady.
4. Mary’s eyes are astonishingly life like.
Of all the characteristics of the image, this is perhaps the most astounding. The microscopic likeness of a bearded man was discovered in the pupils of the Virgin; first in 1929, and again in 1951. The bearded man corresponds to contemporaneous pictures of Juan Diego. No human painter could have foreseen putting infinitesimally small images of Juan Diego in the eyes of the Virgin so that later advances in human technology could detect them. Furthermore, it is impossible for any human to have painted the images because they are simply too miniscule to produce.
Jose Aste Tonsmann, a Peruvian ophthalmologist, examined Mary’s eyes at 2,500 times magnification. He was able to identify thirteen individuals in both eyes at different proportions, just as a human eye would reflect an image. It appeared to be the very moment Juan Diego unfurled the tilma before Bishop Zumárraga.
Dr. Jorge Escalante Padilla a surgical ophthalmologist considers these reflections to belong to the type which have been described by Cherney on the back surface of the cornea and by Watt & Hess at the center of the lens. Such reflections are very difficult to detect. Dr. Escalante also reported the discovery of small veins on both of the eyelids of the image. In the 1970s, a Japanese optician who was examining the eyes fainted. Upon recovering he stated: “The eyes were alive and looking at him.” [Janet Barber, Latest Scientific Findings on the Images in the Eyes, page 90.] Incredibly, when Our Lady’s eyes are exposed to light, the retinas contract. When the light is withdrawn, they return to a dilated state.
You might think she would have known some background and quit while she was behind.
The version in the Mexican press is yet more cringe-inducing: After being told it was an apparition, Clinton apparently persisted, asking, “But who painted the painting, the roses,” before being informed again that God was the artist in question.
But given that even 8 years after said Gaffe NBC is spinning the lady of Guadalupe into a patron of liberalism vs a path to her son that’s not a big surprise.
Closing thought, I wonder how many voters of mexican ancestry in swing states remembered this gaffe on election day?