“Who painted it?”

Guadalupe.jpgHillary’s first major gaffe as Secretary of State! It’s not fair, but this is a blog. And the icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most famous miracles in the church, the pride of Mexico (and beyond) and the second most visited Catholic shrine in the world. So hat tip to that naughty Andrew Sullivan

Clinton visited the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe during her visit to Mexico (when she said many other admirable things about our own responsibility for the drug trade, I might add), left flowers at the image–“miraculously imprinted by Mary on the tilma, or cloak, of St. Juan Diego in 1531″–then asked the rector, “Who painted it?” The rector responded, “God!” Or, as Sullivan put it, “Doh!”

The Catholic News Agency has the skinny.


Comments read comments(10)
post a comment

posted March 30, 2009 at 9:35 pm

This is a particularly tough one for me, after all, earnest people find comfort in Our Lady of Guadalupe. Even the clergy in Mexico know this a third rail issue as Father Schulenberg could attest to. In the Philippines too, Our Lady of Perpetual Help has a very strong devotion, although the icon was stolen from the Church of Cyprus. If you are honest with yourself, you know the answer to the question of who painted the tilma in your heart of hearts.

report abuse

Clare Krishan

posted March 30, 2009 at 10:17 pm

But Andrew was a bit slow out of the gates, your fellow BeliefNet blogger Rod Dreher posted yesterday (Sunday)
and now has a healthy 115-comment-long thread debating the merits of intercession for Hillary and portents against the rest of us (Butte plane crash wipes out abortion-entrepreneur’s family in a graveyard dedicated to his victims, irony anyone?
Butte features one of the world’s largest statues of Mary
perhaps the last thing the wee ones saw?
Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death,

report abuse


posted March 31, 2009 at 12:16 am

Mariological claims aside, who really did paint it?

report abuse

Charles Cosimano

posted March 31, 2009 at 2:41 am

This isn’t too bad. The worst one was in the 1950s when President Eisenhower went to India and remarked on the gun towers around the Taj Mahal and it had to be explained to him that those were minarets.

report abuse


posted March 31, 2009 at 7:42 am

Hilary is such a polarizing figure anyway that it makes reasoned discussion of this issue pretty much impossible (as the thread over on Rod’s blog proved). However, in all fairness, I have to point out that I teach RCIA and adult education in my parish, and there are an awful lot of cradle Catholics that don’t know the story of Guadalupe, or many other traditional stories of the saints (e.g. Francis and the wolf of Gubbio). My impression (anecdotal, admittedly) is that the generation that grew up after Vatican II was not exposed to the stories of the saints, the folktales, and the traditions (lower-case “t”) of Catholicism to the extent that their elders were.
Also, Hilary is Protestant, and once again, my on-the-ground experience here is that even intelligent, cultured non-Catholics are often astoundingly ignorant of even square-one Catholic doctrine, practice, etc. I have seen people who didn’t know what “Mass” or “Lent” mean. I’m sure Hilary knows more than that about Catholicism, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that she (or most other non-Catholics) doesn’t know about La Guadalupana.

report abuse

Steve T

posted March 31, 2009 at 9:34 am

I’m staying out of this one.

report abuse

Your Name

posted March 31, 2009 at 1:16 pm

I’m not sure why a Methodist should be au-courrant with Catholic mythology in the first place.
And will/can anyone answer Danny’s question above? Who DID paint it? (And, why is asking who painted it such a “controversy” anyway?) No one seems to have answered that question, either in the report or in the comments linked to it or in this thread? What gives?

report abuse


posted March 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Marcos Aquino, painted it originally. His initials, “M.A.” are present in an under layer of the present icon. The icon received a major reworking sometime around 1900.

report abuse


posted March 31, 2009 at 7:40 pm

It’s a non issue. What dumb things would I come out with if I visited a Shinto Shrine or a Synogogue?
Expecting a Protestant to be conversant with a Catholic tradition is like expecting me to be conversant with every detail in the Bhagavad Gita.

report abuse

Jim McCrea

posted April 2, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Alforo is right.
I hope that the ranters and ravers here are as familiar with Francis Asbury as they expect a Methodist to be with Mexican saints.
One person’s religious traditions are another’s non-relevant trivia.
Get over it, folks: not ALL of the world dotes on Catholic arcania.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Pontifications. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!   ...

posted 2:38:01pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Moving on, and many, many thanks... recent vacation and related absences also coincided with an offer from to cover religion for them, as editor Melinda Henneberger announces here in her roundup on the site's very successful first 100 days. That ...

posted 8:29:24pm Aug. 02, 2009 | read full post »

Calvin at 500, Calvinism 2.0
If you thought you knew John Calvin--who turned 500 last week--you probably don't know enough. For example, that he was French, born Jean Cauvin. And if he was in fact scandalized by dancing, he was also a lot more complex than that. I explored ...

posted 11:53:35am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

Apologia pro vita sua...Kinda
 In my defense, I've had computer outages and family reunions and a few days of single-parenthood, which is always a bracing reminder of what many parents go through all the time. And this weekend it's off for a week's vacation. Anyway, ...

posted 10:51:36am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

When Benny met Barry: "I'll pray for you!"
The first word via Vatican Radio and first image (that I saw) via Rocco: Speaking to Vatican Radio, Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi said "moral values in international politics, immigration and the Catholic Church's ...

posted 12:54:28pm Jul. 10, 2009 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.