.- The Knights of Columbus is preparing to host a Congress on Our Lady of Guadalupe which not only will feature top experts on the miraculous image, but will also focus on its spiritual meaning for the world today.
The first International Marian Congress on Our Lady of Guadalupe will be held August 6 – 8 in Phoenix, Arizona and will include presentations by experts on Our Lady from the U.S. and Latin America.
In 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Saint Juan Diego, a poor Indian from Tepeyac, a hill northwest of Mexico City. She identified herself as the Mother of the True God and left an image of herself imprinted miraculously on his tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth. Although the tilma should have deteriorated within 20 years, it still shows no sign of decay over 470 years later.
The congress is co-sponsored by the Diocese of Phoenix and the Instituto Superior de Estudios Guadalupanos, and will be followed by the family-friendly Guadalupe Festival on August 8.
Featured lecturers will include Dr. José Aste Tonsmann from Peru, who is known for doing extensive research on the reflections visible in the image’s eyes. Also speaking will be Rev. Msgr. Eduardo Chávez, who oversaw the cause for canonization of St. Juan Diego and Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus.
In addition to addressing the scientific aspects of the image, the congress will also discuss the spiritual meaning of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s message of love and compassion and its relevance today.
“The centrality of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Americas as ‘the Christian Hemisphere’ is clearly evident throughout North and South America,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson in a press release. “Her message is one that has as much importance and meaning today as it did nearly 500 years ago.”
The only relic of St. Juan Diego’s tilma in the U.S. will be at the congress as well as an art exhibit featuring Guadalupe-related art works. On Friday, a night screening of the 2006 movie “Guadalupe,” will be presented by its producer, Pablo José Barroso.
More information about the congress can be found at www.mariancongress.org