A new documentary film narrated by actor Jim Caviezel offers original insights into the details, story and impact of the 16th century apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe — one of the most recognizable religious icons in the American hemisphere.
The Knights of Columbus-produced film, Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message, paints a comprehensive and inspiring picture of the history, facts and legacy of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Being aired as part of ABC’s Visions and Values Series, the documentary’s broadcast window began Oct. 11 and runs through Dec. 10, depending on locations.
The film delves into the inexplicable existence of the image that appeared on the tilma (cloak) of an indigenous convert named Juan Diego, who, over the course of four days in December 1531, received a series of visions of the Virgin Mary. The indigenous people were amazed how the image revealed important elements of the Christian faith through native symbols — an actual codex — that they could understand. Most experts and historians affirm that the image miraculously imprinted on the tilmaresulted in the conversion of millions to the Catholic faith.
“The message of Our Lady of Guadalupe helped to build bridges between cultures and worlds and began the transformation of our continent into a Christian continent of hope,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, executive producer of the film. “The apparition helped to unite the entire continent in a way that didn’t exist before. Through her intercession, then and now, those throughout this hemisphere have found a deep and shared sense of faith, hope and identity.”
The image itself has long been puzzling to the scientific community, since it has been shown to exist without having been painted, has survived despite extreme age, adverse conditions and a bombing. The image also exhibits features reminiscent of photographs, such as reflections in the image’s eyes, even though it appeared hundreds of years before photography.
Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message brings this remarkable history to life through modern reenactments, 3D animations which allow viewers an unprecedented glimpse into the intricacies of the centuries-old wonder and interviews with leading theologians, historians and scientists.
The film also dispels popular myths, including that the image’s impact does not extend past Mexico’s border.
“Some see Our Lady of Guadalupe as a Mexican or as a Latin American, Hispanic phenomenon,” said Supreme Knight Anderson. “However, this understanding is incomplete. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of all of America and of the Philippines as well. She is loved and embraced across cultural lines throughout this continent and beyond.”
For more information about the film, including broadcast times and the DVD release, visit www.guadalupethefilm.com or follow the hashtag #guadalupethefilm.