Digital technology is giving new leads for understanding a
phenomenon that continues to puzzle science: the mysterious eyes of
the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The image, imprinted on the tilma of a l6th-century peasant, led
millions of indigenous Indians in Mexico to convert to the Catholic
faith. Earlier this month in Rome, results of research into the
famed image were discussed by engineer José Aste Tonsmann of the
Mexican Center of Guadalupan Studies during a conference at
Pontifical Regina Apostolorum Athenaeum.
For over 20 years, this graduate in environmental systems
engineering at Cornell University has studied the image of the
Virgin left on the rough maguey-fiber fabric of Juan Diego's tilma.
What intrigued Tonsmann most were the eyes of the Virgin.
Though the dimensions are microscopic, the iris and the pupils of
the image's eyes have imprinted on them a highly detailed picture of
at least 13 people, Tonsmann said. The same people are present in
both the left and right eyes, in different proportions, as would
happen when human eyes reflect the objects before them.
Tonsmann said he believes the reflection transmitted by the eyes of
the Virgin of Guadalupe is the scene on Dec. 9, 1531, during which
Juan Diego showed his tilma, with the image, to Bishop Juan de
Zumárraga and others present in the room. (...)