Our Lady of Guadalupe Image: How has the 481-year-old Tilma survived so many years without decay?

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“All the cloths similar to the Tilma that have been placed in the salty and humid environment around the Basilica,” Dr. Orozco explained,“have lasted no more than ten years.”  A painting of the image on cloth which had been protected behind glass was discarded after only eight years, because the colors had faded and the threads had broken so badly.

The Tilma, meanwhile, was displayed unprotected for 116 years, exposed to the heat of tens of thousands of candles and to the harsh, humid and salty air; yet it remains vibrant.

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December 12 is the official commemoration of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

“When they (Hispanic Catholics) come to Canada or the U.S., they help to restore or save a Christian culture … they must bring and keep their religious identity, and enrich us with their faith.”

Vatican City, Dec 12, 2012 / 04:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The message of Our Lady of Guadalupe promotes a culture of life and is at the center of the New Evangelization of the Americas, said Cardinal Marc Ouellet at a conference in Rome.

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Editor’s note: It appears that Jesus sent his mother to Mexico in the 16th century, in order to shore up the dwindling faith of the 21st century North and South American Catholic Church.

L.A. Marian festival: The most palpable manifestation of The Great American Catholic Story of Our Time

Following a lengthy parade through the streets of the city’s east end, Los Angeles’ 80th annual homage to the Morenita de Tepeyac will culminate with the usual mega-Mass in an outdoor football stadium for a crowd traditionally in the range of 30,000 people.

Bolstered by continuing waves of an overwhelmingly-Mexican Hispanic migration said to comprise some 70 percent of the LA church, the SoCal fold has more than doubled in size since 1985 to some 5 million Catholics today, a population roughly equivalent to that of the entire Irish church. Not only is it the nation’s largest ecclesial outpost of our time, but — by a margin of some two million souls — it is the largest diocese in Catholicism’s five-century history on these shores.

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Editor’s note: Thursday, December 8th, 2011 is a Holy Day of Obligation, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Link to Vatican document on the Immaculate Conception