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A SPECIAL PHOTOGRAPH OF
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

 A TESTIMONY AND REFLECTION 

Picture #1
Click on the photograph for larger image

DECLARATION: This photograph of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was taken by me in the church at the Shrine of Our Sorrowful Mother in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., on August 15, 1991, the Solemnity of Our Lady's Assumption, without any anticipation of the appearance of additional images in the photograph and has been preserved ever since free of any additions, deletions, or other alterations. Also, the contents of this paper are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. The explanations and comments, especially regarding the meaning and significance of this photograph, are my personal discernments and convictions based on my conscience and the faith received from the Church and are subject to the official discernment by the proper authority in the Church.

 Benedict Sang M. Lee on September 28, 2010

 

Where and when this photograph was taken

The Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother in Portland, Oregon, where this photograph of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was taken on August 15, 1991, is a national shrine built by the Fathers of the Order of Friars Servants of Mary (the Servite Order in short) in 1924 in honor of Our Lady and her Seven Sorrows (www.thegrotto.org). This shrine is commonly called "the Grotto", as, at the foot of the 110-foot cliffs on the left side of the church and other buildings, there is a large grotto in which there is a replica of the Pietą in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. There also is a smaller grotto nearby with the statues of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette Soubirous. This 62-acre shrine is in the middle of a forest of tall coniferous trees in the north-eastern part of Portland and includes a church, the Stations of the Cross, a gift shop, conference rooms, and offices. The Servite Order monastery is located in the area above the cliffs and is reachable by an elevator. The whole shrine is filled with an air of beauty, peace, and holiness.

  

Left, Picture #2: The church at the shrine of Our Sorrowful Mother
Right, Picture #3: Inside the church, after the 10:30 A.M. Mass on August 15, 1991 when the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was on display in the front of the church. (The little boy praying in a back pew is Chris.)

On August 15, 1991, which was the Solemnity of Our Lady's Assumption, my family—my 84 year-old mother, my wife, Chris (our 11 year-old son), and myself—attended the 10:30 A.M. Mass in the church at the Grotto. The church was packed, especially because the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was on display in the church on that day. It was the last day of the Image's stay in Portland, having arrived at Portland International Airport two weeks earlier and having visited several other churches in northwestern Oregon. After Mass (at about noon), many people gathered before the Blessed Mother's Image to pray, to touch (the Image was covered with glass), and to take photographs. We also did the same with much joy and excitement, as it was a rare opportunity to be so close to the precious Image. This Image was one of the two photographic replicas of the original Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, gifted to the Church in the United States by the Mexican Bishops. As immigrants from Korea (I came to America in 1972), we had not known about Our Lady of Guadalupe, but, while living in this country, have gradually acquired the respect and love for her. We have learned about the enormous importance of her Image not only for Mexico but also for the entire Americas, Italy, Spain, the Philippines, and more. Twenty-five Popes in the past centuries issued official documents reconfirming the importance of the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Pope John Paul II visited the Shrine in Guadalupe in Mexico in 1979 and 2002. The Shrine of Guadalupe is visited by millions of pilgrims per year, more than at Lourdes, France. (In 2002, Fr. Aloysius Chang of Naju and Julio Kim, Julia's husband, made a pilgrimage to Guadalupe.) We were very happy to witness this sacred Image, which is such a powerful sign of the Blessed Mother's motherly Presence for all who recognize her Motherhood and rely on her help. (For more information on Our Lady of Guadalupe, please visit www.MaryOurMother.net/Guadalupe.html.)

After praying for a while before the Image, I took two photographs right before the Image and a few more from further back in the church. My intention of photographing the Image at a close distance was to have a good photographic copy of it in our home, but I was concerned about the reflection of the camera flash that would surely ruin the photograph, as the Image was covered with glass. There was no way I could avoid the reflection as long as I took the photograph directly before the Image. Feeling helpless, I took the photograph anyway. Then, I took another photograph at an angle so that the camera flash could be avoided. I knew this second photograph would not make an ideal copy of the Image because it was taken at an angle. Then, I took a few more photographs from greater distances for fuller views of the inside of the church.

 

Pilgrimages to Lourdes, France (August 22-25, 1991)
and to Naju, Korea (October 19-20, 1991)

A week after the photograph was taken at the Grotto, Chris and I began our first ever trip to Europe for a pilgrimage to Our Lady's shrine in Lourdes, France, and my business meeting in Germany. The day we arrived in Lourdes by train from Paris was the early morning of August 22, which we realized was the Feast of Our Lady's Queenship. It also was the day when the three-day coup by the radical Communists in the Soviet Union failed and Gorbachev was released. We spent three days in Lourdes before going to Germany. This pilgrimage was an extremely blessed and uplifting experience for us, even though Chris lost appetite and could not eat any food during the whole trip. After Lourdes, we went back to Paris by TGV and, then, to Frankfurt in Germany. The business meeting with the marketing manager from a British company was not very fruitful, as she was not ready to make an agreement with us for cooperation in Korea and requested another meeting in the next month (October 1991) in Seoul, Korea. I had to agree to it. Because Chris was not eating any food, I tried to cut short the trip and return home early, but it was not possible to change the flight schedule. When we came home after the ten-day trip, Chris recovered instantly and began eating the food prepared by his mother. My business meeting with the British lady in Korea in October was not successful, either, as she was not sure about the Korean market for their products (kitchenware). This trip to Korea, however, was enormously meaningful to me, because it gave me a chance to visit Naju and witness what was going on there. This visit to Naju unexpectedly led us to begin the mission of spreading the Naju information. I was grateful to the British business lady after all, as she was an instrument leading us to Lourdes and Naju. In 1992, we started a non-profit organization: Mary's Touch By Mail and closed our family-owned business company because the increasing workload at Mary's Touch By Mail was demanding my full-time dedication.

 

An unexpected image of the Holy Eucharist and other images
in the photograph of Our Lady of Guadalupe

After our return from Europe, we had several rolls of film developed. Many of the photographs had been taken in Lourdes. In one of the photographs of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe taken in Portland on August 15, 1991, there was a reflection of the camera flash as expected, but, to our great surprise, there also was a small round image looking like the Eucharist at the tip of the Blessed Mother's fingers. We simply could not understand how this happened. Chris and I went back to the Grotto to see if there was anything in the church that might have caused this image. We could not find anything. Still, the idea of a possible miracle was remote from our minds, and we continued to think that there had to be some natural explanation. Nevertheless, the fact that an image looking like the Eucharist appeared exactly at the tip of the Blessed Mother's fingers continued to amaze us. I showed this photograph to several people at a local Marian center and they were amazed, too. Then, over the next few months, some more images were found in the photograph (See Picture #4), sometimes by us and other times by others. These images were not obvious at first glance, but, after they were recognized, they were evident. As more images were found, we were puzzled over the question of how all these images occurred simultaneously in one photograph. They did not seem to be random or trivial, because the theme that these images seemed to be pointing to was the same: the Blessed Mother's opening a new age in which her Divine Son reigns through His Presence in the Eucharist and the Holy Spirit renews the world. The possibility that the devil did this had to be rejected, because God would never allow the devil to mess with the sacred, miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe or the Image of the Eucharist.

 

A lady in Arizona found an image of the Holy Spirit in the photograph!

Above Our Lady's right shoulder, there is a reflection of a window of the church and some tree leaves outside the window. In fact, before the lady in Arizona told me about the image of the Holy Spirit, I had been thinking how wonderful it would be if there was an image of the Holy Spirit instead of the reflection of the window and tree leaves. After I heard from the lady in Arizona, I looked more carefully at the reflection of the window and tree leaves and was greatly surprised by recognizing the image of the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove. Even more surprisingly, the image of the Holy Spirit was looking at Our Lady and also looking at us with a fig leaf in his beak.

Picture #4
Click on the picture for larger image

It seems so appropriate that the Holy Spirit is looking at the Blessed Mother, because the Holy Spirit fills the Blessed Mother as her Spouse. At the same time, it is so consoling and encouraging to see that the Holy Spirit is looking at us, as He can enlighten, strengthen, and sanctify us.

 

Even Our Lady of Naju is seen in the photograph!

Another amazing finding was an image of the Blessed Mother kneeling, weeping, holding a rose in her hand, and praying in the lower part of the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This smaller image of Our Lady itself is filled with several images of unborn children, which alerts us to the true nature of abortions, which is murder of human persons. The reason why we think this is the image of Our Lady of Naju is that tears, unborn children, and roses are some of the main distinguishing features of Our Lady of Naju and these are seen in the smaller image of Our Lady who is kneeling and praying in the photograph. The large bright light radiating in all directions above the head of Our Lady of Naju is, of course, a reflection of the camera flesh, but could represent Jesus born of Mary and also may signify the approaching official recognition of Naju by the Church, as this light shines so brightly right above this image of Our Lady. Actually, the contours of this smaller image of Our Lady had always existed in the original Image except the head. Now, one of the rays of light from the camera flash was bent to form the Blessed Mother's head completing the whole image of the Blessed Mother. To us, this is a small but powerful evidence of the miraculous nature of this photograph, because we cannot think of any natural explanation of how one of the rays of light from the camera flash was bent to form the round contour of the Blessed Mother's head. Maybe no one since the beginning of the miracle in Guadalupe in 1531 had imagined that the lines so visible on the Blessed Mother's dress in the original Image were actually the outline of the back and leg of Our Lady kneeling and praying. It may also be said that this photograph had been planned and anticipated in Heaven from the time the miracle occurred in 1531. This smaller image of Our Lady (of Naju) in this photograph may also be a sign of the connection between Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Naju. Such a connection seems highly appropriate, because the miracle of the Image in Guadalupe in 1531 opened the climactic Marian era, while Our Lady of Naju since 1985 may complete this era through the Blessed Mother's Triumph over the Red Dragon. The beginning and the end are meeting at one point as the hands of a clock come back to the same point at the completion of their cycles. The messages and miraculous signs in Naju have strongly indicated that Naju is the conclusion of all of the Marian messages and signs in the past centuries since 1531.

 

There also is the Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart!

When we look at the Blessed Mother in her original Image in Guadalupe, we can see her blue mantle touching the ground on her right side (left from us), but, on her left side, the mantle is not touching the ground because it is lifted up and folded around her left arm. The Blessed Mother is forming a hollow area with the folded portion of her mantle over her left arm, and, now, in the photograph, this portion of the mantle is forming the shape of a large heart, a little tilted leftward from her standpoint. I believe that the Blessed Mother intentionally lifted the left side of her mantle and folded it over her left arm to form the image of her Immaculate Heart and carry and protect her children including the little unborn babies (shown above her left shoulder) in the refuge of her Heart. In her message to Juan Diego in 1531, she said, "Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. 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? Is there anything else you need?" From this message, we can understand the reason for the Blessed Mother's folding her mantle around her left arm. In her messages in Naju, Korea, she has said that her Immaculate Heart is larger than the universe and can carry all her children in the world and keep them safe from dangers and disasters. If we look even closer at this image of her Heart, we should be able to see another heart, located a little above the Blessed Mother's Heart and is partially overlapping with her Heart side by side. This second image is a little harder to recognize than the Blessed Mother's Heart, but will be quite obvious once it is recognized. This second shape seems to be the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It has been known that the new age will be one of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary united as One.

Picture #5

The Blessed Mother giving her message to Juan Diego (December 12, 1531)
 

Picture #6

The original image of Our Lady of Guadalupe as it appears today.
(Click image to enlarge) 

Our Lady in the original Image is on the way to her destination

In the original Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we can see that the Blessed Mother's right foot is visible under her dress and is firmly placed on the ground. On the other hand, her left leg is bent and lifted, as indicated by the lines and shades on her dress on her left side. This means that the Blessed Mother is in the process of walking toward some place. In the photograph taken in the Grotto, in contrast, the bottom portion of the Image is not included in the photograph and not visible. The lines and shades on her dress are not clear, either. The implication is that the Blessed Mother has completed her journey and is now standing on the ground at her destination. Also, the photograph shows that the Baby has been born already (in the form of the Eucharist). This may indicate that we are at the end of the old era of preparation and are about to enter a new era of accomplishment. Also, in the original Image, the Blessed Mother was supported by an angel under her feet, but, in the new photograph, the angel is not seen. It seems that the Blessed Mother now receives more than sufficient energy directly from her Son Who has been born of her and from the Holy Spirit Who is above her right shoulder and energizing her. The images in the photograph seem to indicate that the Blessed Mother is no longer in the process of waiting and preparing but is about to complete the work of crushing the power of Satan and his forces and opening a new era for her Divine Son. This photograph, therefore, must be a sign of enormous hope and joy to all the faithful who have been waiting for what this photograph signifies.

 

Our Lady's dark hair with no veil may indicate that she is ready to be crowned

Another finding in the new photograph is that the color of the Blessed Mother's veil, which was greenish blue, the same as the color of her mantle, in the original Image, is now darker like hair implying that the Blessed Mother removed her veil and is now ready to receive the glorious crown from God. This again coincides with other signs mentioned above that indicate the conclusion of one era and the opening of a new era of Our Lord's reign. On the front wall behind the altar in the church at the Grotto, there is a huge and beautiful drawing of the Holy Trinity crowning the Blessed Mother. In this drawing, the Blessed Mother is not covering her hair with a veil or the mantle. This is the only image of the Blessed Mother in the church at the Grotto that shows Our Lady not covering her hair. There are more than 20 drawings or statues of the Blessed Mother in this church, and, in all of them except this one on the front wall of the church, she is covering her hair with a veil or the mantle. The Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was placed right below the large drawing on the front wall of the church on August 15, 1991 when this photograph was taken. It seems to be more than a random coincidence that both the large drawing in the church and the photograph depict the Blessed Mother's imminent coronation.

 

By accident, the original film was torn in the machine at Costco in Seattle!

During the weeks and months after the photograph of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe had been taken in the Grotto, we were ordering more prints of the photograph from Costco in Portland. At that time, the prints of photos were made at Costco in Seattle. Then, one day, we were shocked to be informed that the original film of this photograph was torn in the machine. They apologized and said that they made a new film from a print. We were dismayed and sad. We were also wondering how this film could be ruined, if it really was a sign from above. Then, we found that the Costco staff also enclosed a print made from the new film, and, surprisingly, it looked quite good. Actually, it was better than the previous prints, as it was brighter. There were no changes or damages to the details of the Image, but the new print looked more beautiful than the previous ones. The color of the Blessed Mother's mantle, especially, was brighter and, therefore, looked fresher and filled with energy. Now, when we look at this photograph of Our Lady, we feel as if we are looking at the real, live Blessed Mother. I do not think this perception is mistaken, because this Image was not drawn by any human being but came directly from God in 1531, and, therefore, cannot be perceived in the same way as the pictures of this world. Also, when the original Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was examined by Dr. Jose Tonsmann, a scientist, in 1981, it was found that the Blessed Mother's eyes contained the images of several people, most likely the reflections of Bishop Zumarraga and others looking at the Blessed Mother's miraculous Image on Juan Diego's tilma in 1531. At the moment Bishop Zumarraga and others were looking at the Image, the Blessed Mother was not present before them in the same manner as when she was standing before Juan Diego on the hill at Tepeyac. Nevertheless, the Blessed Mother's eyes in the Image on the tilma had the reflections of the Bishop and others looking at her image on the tilma. This implies that there was a live presence of the Blessed Mother through this Image. This reasoning probably can be applied to the reality surrounding the photograph as well. The Image in this photograph is not a human product at all, although the acts of taking the photograph and making prints were done by humans (despite their unworthiness as instruments of God). The Blessed Mother in the original Image or in the photograph does not move physically, but she can powerfully influence and move the minds and hearts of those who look at her with love and trust, as her faithful and humble children. Of course, this improvement in the film and photograph after the accident had nothing to do with any knowledge or intention of the staff at Costco or anyone else on earth. It was a simple consequence of a potentially disastrous accident. The images in the previous prints were darker as shown in Picture #7, which is a photograph taken at an angle on August 15, 1991. We can only thank and praise God for drawing good out of bad.

 

Is this photograph a sign separate from the original Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe?

The answer is "No". Even if the new images seen in this photograph are officially confirmed to be of the supernatural origin, they cannot be separate from the original Image. The new images can only be a continuation or extension of the original Image and a blossoming of the contents of the original Image that had been hidden since 1531. As already indicated above, the Blessed Mother is seen to be pregnant and going toward her destination in the original Image. Now, in this photograph, she is seen to have given birth to the Child Jesus, Who is about to begin His glorious Reign over the world through His Presence in the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Spirit is also with the Blessed Mother and with us and about to cleanse and transform the whole world. The original Image in Guadalupe was already a most marvelous, detailed pictorial presentation of God's Love and Mercy that the people in Mexico in the 16th Century, who were mostly illiterate, easily understood. Through this original Image, nine million Indians in Mexico converted to the Catholic Faith during the first few years, and this conversion spread to all other nations in Latin America in the subsequent years. Now, it seems possible that God wills to expand the role of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the evangelization and transformation of the whole world.

Picture #7
The second photograph taken in the Grotto in Portland on August 15, 1991,
from an angle before the Image. Additional images did not appear in this photograph.

 

Do we have an obligation to publicize this photograph?

Even after we became convinced that this photograph was a gift from above, we were not sure if we had to propagate it to other people. Of course, we were happy to share the photograph with those around us, but doing it as a mission would be another matter. One attitude we could have was that this photograph probably was a private gift from God to our family so that we could become more devoted to the work we were starting at that time, which was the promotion of the information about the Blessed Mother's activities in Naju, Korea, especially because this photograph was taken just two months before my first visit to Naju.

 

 

Picture #8
People praying before the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the shrine of Our Sorrowful Mother on August 15, 1991. (The little boy on the right is Chris.)

 

On the other hand, we thought that God would not give a sign involving something of such importance, magnitude, and dignity as the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe for a private purpose only. Actually, in May of 1991, three months before the photograph was taken, my family consecrated ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in a small church in Portland, St. Birgitta's. We were serious about the consecration, but did not expect that the Blessed Mother would respond so quickly by giving us a work to do and a sign for it. We gradually became more aware that there was a mission that we were called to carry out regardless of our unworthiness. We are aware that God chooses for His work not the great and powerful but the lowly and weak. In the Bible, we also read that Jesus was very strict toward those who despised, ignored, or neglected the miraculous signs he had performed (Luke 10:13-15). If we keep this photograph to ourselves only, we would be disobedient to God, which would be a serious mistake by us. It appears that, since the original Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe has already been officially recognized by the Bishops of Mexico and many Popes, a new, separate official recogni-tion of this photograph may not be necessary. If this photograph is well received by many priests and lay people and its fruits are good, that may be quite sufficient. However, such a matter is not up to me to decide. We are keenly aware that whatever anyone says, writes, or does regarding faith and morals is always subject to the discernment by the proper authority in the Church.

So far, we have sent this photograph to several priests. One priest, who was the Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, responded very positively by saying in his letter that this photograph was a precious blessing. Another priest in Alabama also sent us encouraging letters several times. Mr. Daniel Lynch, the National Guardian and Director of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe Apostolate in St. Albans, Vermont, introduced this photograph in his book: Our Lady of Guadalupe and Her Missionary Image published in 1993. He also visited the Shrine of Our Sorrowful Mother in Portland a few years later. We have also sent out more than 20,000 prints of this photograph to the lay people and received many positive responses. One lady in Los Angeles, who received 200 copies of this photograph from us, asked us by phone if we had sprayed perfume on the photograph, as she and her husband smelled the fragrance of roses from it. Of course, we never spray perfume on anything we send out. Another lady said that she was smelling the fragrance of roses while talking to us on the phone about this photograph and Naju. More recently, a lady, a neighbor of ours in Gresham, Oregon, complained that she and her family were annoyed by strange noises in their house every night for several weeks. They heard heavy steps on the stairs, big noises of the shelves falling in the garage, and other unpleasant noises and phenomena. They were frightened and depressed because of these noises night after night and thought they were being harassed by some spirits or devils. We gave them some holy water and several prints of the photograph of Our Lady of Guadalupe to place one print in each room of the house. From the first night these photos were placed in their house, they have not heard any more noises. They are so relieved and happy. They are Presbyterians but are beginning to love the Blessed Mother. I think the devils or spirits feared the Blessed Mother's presence through her Image and ran away. Our Mother from Heaven could chase away the devils in our neighbor's house; and she can certainly chase away the devils from the whole world.

We believe that God intended this photograph as a loving gift and a powerful sign for everyone. We hope that those who receive this photograph will honor and cherish it as a special gift from Heaven and as the Blessed Mother's instrument of manifesting her presence and love for us. We carry one in our car, too. This photograph looks especially beautiful and alive under the sunlight.

 

Why we love and honor the Blessed Mother

According to the Protestant teaching, each individual is to pursue and maintain his or her direct relationship with God without anyone else's intermediation. Thus, we are to pray directly to God only, to be forgiven sins directly by God only (without the Sacrament of Confession), to be enlightened on the divine teachings directly by the Holy Spirit only (without the teachings by the Church), and to receive all the spiritual and other help directly from God only. Of course, God alone is to be worshipped; He alone is the source of all that is good; He alone created the world and sustains it; He alone built the Church; and He alone will judge us and allow us into His Kingdom. However, to be fully correct and realistic, we need to consider not only the individual dimension of our life but its social dimension as well for the simple reason that God created us as individual persons as well as members of societies. God Himself is One but a Society of Three Persons. Therefore, we need to associate with God and with one another as individuals and as members of the societies we belong to. Thus, we are members of our families, neighborhoods, drivers on streets and highways, passengers on an airplane, schools, business companies, social clubs, military forces, cities, countries, the world, and the Church. God perceives and treats us as individual persons, and, at the same time, as members of societies, especially, His Family and Kingdom, which is the Church. In approaching God and interacting with Him, we must not forget either of the two dimen-sions. Also, when we profess the Apostles' Creed, we say: "we believe in the communion of the Saints". This concept: "the communion" is not limited to associating with other people on earth but also includes our relationship with the Blessed Mother, other Saints, and angels in Heaven and the suffering souls in Purgatory, as all these people are the children of God, whether they are in Heaven, purgatory, or the world. They all belong to the same Mystical Body of Christ, which is God's Family, Kingdom, and Church. Also, if we only recognize the individual dimension of the faith life and forget about its social dimension, we will be ignoring the teaching and pastoral authority of the Church that Our Lord bestowed on St. Peter and other Apostles and their successors and also the fact that, in the society of the Church, every member is an important part of Christ's Mystical Body and is assigned a particular and essential role to play for the good of the whole Body. In a kingdom, there are not only the king but also the queen, officers, and other individuals of varying levels of dignity and responsibility. Likewise in a family, there are not only the father, but also the mother and children forming a society of love and different duties. Thus, in sending the Savior to the fallen world, God the Father not only sent Jesus, as the Savior and King of all human race, but also gave the Mother and Queen to all the members of His Kingdom and other officers, too (the Pope, Bishops, and priests), to guide and administer His Kingdom, which is His Church. God could have sent the Savior to the world on clouds, as a totally independent individual, but He did not do so. The Savior came to our world as God and Man, and accomplished His saving work through the human context as well as His divine context. Thus, He was born of Mary as a Baby and raised by her and St. Joseph, associating with many other people around Him. When Jesus said to John before He died on the Cross: "This is your mother," and to His Mother, "This is your son", John was standing there as the representative of all the followers of Jesus. (The fact that Jesus entrusted His Mother to John indicates that Jesus did not have direct brothers or sisters. In the Bible, Jesus' several cousins were referred to as His brothers and sisters according to the old Jewish custom. It is obvious that it cannot be both true that Jesus had direct brothers and sisters and that He only had cousins but no direct brothers or sisters.) Also, as Eve assisted Adam in his commit-ting sin and leaving the stain of sin to all his descendents, Mary assisted Jesus, the Savior, as the Second Eve, by offering up her sufferings in union with the Sufferings of her Son for the salvation of her fellow humans, and, even after her Assumption into Heaven, by praying for them and protecting them from all dangers and helping them reach Heaven. Mary's sufferings cannot replace the infinite merit of Our Lord's sufferings for human salvation, but are participations in the Lord's sufferings as He asked all His followers to do so (Luke 9:23 and Colossians 1:24). Mary's role does not weaken our devotion to God but greatly strengthens it. Does a mother in any family weaken the children's love and respect for their father? Mary is the most effective handmaid and instrument of God used to facilitate His Work of converting, sanctifying, and saving the humans, who have frequently alienated themselves far from God, hardened their hearts, and needed the Mother's soft and loving persuasions to melt down their pride and humbly kneel before God. To us, the poor descendents of Adam and Eve, banished to the valley of many afflictions and tears, Mary is the greatest gift from God after the Savior and can enormously enhance our chances of being saved.

Now in our world so filled with problems and disorders, the Blessed Mother is intervening more actively than ever as the Advocate for sinners, constantly praying for them before God and anxiously pleading with all to return to God, even shedding tears and tears of blood. These anxious efforts by the Blessed Mother greatly intensified by her visitation to Guadalupe, Mexico, and working the miracle of her Image in 1531, and she has ever since continued her efforts through numerous visitations, messages, and miraculous signs in Paris (1830), Lourdes (1848), Pontmain, France (1871), Fatima (1917), Beauraing, Belgium (1932-33), Banneux, Belgium (1933), Akita, Japan (1970-75), and now Naju, Korea since 1985. The special photograph of Our Lady of Guadalupe taken at the Marian shrine in Portland, Oregon, in 1991 may be one of her many pleas and gifts that she gives to her children, calling them to listen to her advices and her Divine Son's teachings, to rely on her help and protection and to move away from sins and vain lures of the world, as the present time is the special, precious opportunity for receiving God's mercy and grace that are pouring down on us.

 

What is our mission?

The late Pope John Paul II said that the greatest act of charity one can perform for others is to help them know the saving truths from Our Lord. If we give others some gifts of this world, it can help them to some extent, but, if we give them the truths that can lead them to eternal life, this will benefit them more than anything else. God entrusted His saving truths to His Church for propagation to all, but, too frequently, these truths are taken for granted and ignored as irrelevant, because too many people are more concerned about their immediate needs, interests, and entertainments than about their most important and essential needs. Even many of the members of the Church have become quite insensitive to the Lord's teachings and are negligent in practicing them. St. Paul said that our life to gain the salvation is like a race. Winning the race requires full-scale efforts. In 1736, about 700,000 people died in Mexico because of typhus. Perhaps many of the people at that time became somewhat oblivious of the great miracle in Guadalupe and became negligent about their Christian duties 200 years after the miracle. Soon, in response to the civil authorities' desperate appeal, the Church leaders proclaimed Our Lady of Guadalupe as the National Patroness of Mexico, and the plague subsided immediately. Likewise, our present world is pathetically agonizing under the spread of all kinds of evils, disasters, difficulties, and disorders. While enjoying the fruits of modern technology, too many people are forgetting about the need for their spiritual nourishment and moral discipline and live without true inner happiness. To overcome this terrible crisis, we must return to the authentic Christian Faith and moral commandments, which the early Church Fathers taught and all the Saints in the Church history practiced. Heaven is now offering us a very special gift that can powerfully help us to return to the saving truths and the Sacraments in the Church. This gift is the help from Our Lady, who is the Mother of the Church and the Mother of each and every one of us who seeks her help as her child. Therefore, we at Mary's Touch By Mail encourage everyone who reads this paper to make the important decision to begin reforming their thoughts and lives according to the anxious advices and pleas by the Blessed Mother, which will never fail in leading us to Jesus and the true and eternal happiness as long as we make faithful efforts. More specifically, we suggest that Our Lady of Guadalupe be solemnly recognized and proclaimed by every individual and in every home as their true Mother, Queen, and Empress, not just for themselves and their families but also for their countries and the whole world, followed by their faithful adherence to her advices and the Lord's teachings in their daily lives. They will be pleasantly surprised at the precious progresses and fruits they make.

"It is the same pattern in all the world's Marian shrines. Mary leads the pilgrims to her Divine Son enthroned in the Eucharist. With open arms, she welcomes her suffering children, longing to embrace each one of them and to guide them to the feet of Jesus, who had also once lain in her arms. In this sense she can be called Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, 'the most theological of all Mary's titles after that of Mother of God,' to quote the words of Pope St. Pius X."  - Page 99, The Wonder of Guadalupe by Francis Johnson published by Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. in 1981.

"Hail, O Virgin of Guadalupe! . . . As long as you are recognized as Queen and Mother, Mexico and America will be safe." - Pope Pius XII in October 1945.

 

- Benedict Sang M. Lee
September 28, 2010


For more information on Our Lady of Guadalupe and her messages and signs in Naju, Korea, please contact:

Mary's Touch By Mail
P.O. Box 1668
Gresham, OR  97030
USA
Telephone: (503) 492-7979
Website: www.marys-touch.com

Mary's Touch By Mail is a non-profit organization with the goal of spreading the authentic Catholic Faith worldwide. We invite and encourage the faithful everywhere to participate in this mission with prayers and by spreading the information to others.

We rely on donations to finance this missionary work. Donations to Mary's Touch By Mail are tax-deductible under the Internal Revenue Code, Section 501(c)(3).


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