12 Facts that science has discovered about the tilma of the Virgin of Guadalupe
1. Ophthalmic studies made on the eyes of Mary detected that when the eye is exposed to light, the retina contracts, and when the light is withdrawn, it returns to a dilated state, just as happens with a living eye.
2. The temperature of Juan Diego’s tilma, made of a material that comes from fibers of the maguey cactus, maintains a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees, the same as that of a living human body.
3. One of the doctors who analyzed the tilma placed his stethoscope below the black band at Mary’s waist, and heard rhythmic beats at 115 pulses per minute, the same as that of a baby in the maternal womb.
4. No sign of paint has been discovered on the tilma. From a distance of 3-4 inches from the image, one can see only the maguey cactus fibers of the material: the colors disappear. Scientific studies have not been able to discover the origin of the coloration, nor the way the image was painted. They cannot detect vestiges of brush strokes or any other known painting technique. NASA scientists confirm that the paint material does not belong to any known element on earth.
5. When the material was examined under a laser ray, it was shown that there is no coloration on the front or the back of the cloth, and that the colors hover at a distance of3/10th of a millimeter (1/100th of an inch) over the cloth, without touching it. The colors actually float above the surface of the tilma. Isn’t that amazing?
6. The rough material of the tilma has a lifespan of no more than 20-30 years. Several centuries ago, a replica of the image was painted on an identical piece of maguey cloth, and it disintegrated after several decades. Nonetheless, during the almost 500 years of the miracle, the cloth with the image of Mary remains as strong as it was on the first day. Science cannot explain why the material has not disintegrated.
7. In the year 1791, muriatic acid accidentally spilled on the upper right side of the tilma. During the period of 30 days, without any special treatment, the affected fabric re-constituted itself miraculously.
8. The stars that appear on the Mantle of Mary reflect the exact configuration and positions that could be seen in the sky of Mexico on the day the miracle happened.
9. Thus, in their totality and proper places, the 46 most brilliant stars that can be seen on the horizon of the Valley of Mexico are identified.
10. In the year 1921, a man concealed a high power bomb in a flower arrangement, and placed it at the feet of the tilma. The explosion destroyed everything around it, except for the tilma, which remained intact.
11. Scientists discovered that the eyes of Mary have the three refractive characteristics of a human eye.
12. In the eyes of Mary (only about 1/3rd inch in size), minuscule human figures were discovered that no artist could have painted. The same scene is repeated in each eye.