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Our Lady of Guadalupe - She Who Crushes the Head of the Serpent

By Fr. James Farfaglia
December 12th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The ancient temples of the Aztecs, interesting archeological sites of the past, have been replaced by the new temples of materialism, secularism and consumerism. On their altars the poor, the unborn and the elderly are forgotten, neglected and sacrificed by knives driven by greed, power and narcissism.  Mary will lead humanity back to her Son.  Mary will free us from the sins of our modern times.  Mary, Our Lady of Quatlasupe - She who crushes the head of the serpent, is leading the new evangelization.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - There is an amazing connection between the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception which is celebrated on December 8 and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe which is celebrated on December 12.  Actually, in many ways, these two beautiful Marian celebrations are one and the same feast day. 

And why is this so?

Let us focus our attention on the First Reading from the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception taken from the Book of Genesis.  In the reading we hear these words:

"The Lord God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; on your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life.  I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel" (Genesis 3: 14 - 15). 

"I will put enmity between you and the woman."  Who is the woman in this text from Genesis.  The woman is not Eve, but the new Eve, Mary.

"He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel." Scripture scholars over the years have debated regarding the word he.  Should it be translated he or she or even they?   But does it matter?  In another words, does the he refer to the Messiah who is to come?  Does the she refer to Mary?  Does the they refer to the descendants of Mary; i.e., Christ and the Church?

Interestingly enough, all three lead us to the same conclusion. Since it depends which original text is being used for the translation into our modern languages (the Septuagint or the Hebrew Bible), he, she or they do bring us to the same theological reality of the Messiah, born of the Virgin Mary who has come to free humanity from sin. (http://www.usccb.org/bible/genesis/3#01003015-g). 

The Old Testament of the Latin Vulgate Bible, famously translated by Saint Jerome, uses the Hebrew Bible and not the Septuagint.  It is Jerome who gives us the she that makes the point of this article easier to see. 

The Douay-Rheims Bible is an English translation of Jerome's Latin Vulgate Bible.  "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel" (Genesis 3: 15). 

A commentary for the Douay-Rheims says "Ipsa, the woman; so divers of the fathers read this place, conformably to the Latin: others read it ipsum, viz., the seed. The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent's head."

Genesis 3: 14-15 is called The Protoevangelium or The First Gospel.  "The statement of Genesis 3 is called the "Protoevangelium" because it has received its confirmation and fulfillment only in the revelation of the new covenant which is the Gospel of Christ.

In the old covenant this announcement was constantly re-evoked in different ways, in the rites, symbolisms, prayers, prophecies, and in the history of Israel as the "people of God" reaching out toward a messianic goal. But it was always under the veil of the imperfect and provisional faith of the Old Testament.

When the announcement will be fulfilled in Christ there will be the full revelation of the messianic and trinitarian content implicit in the monotheism of Israel.

The New Testament will then lead to the discovery of the full meaning of the writings of the Old Testament, according to the famous saying of St. Augustine: 'In the Old Testament the New lies hidden, and in the New the Old lies open'" (Blessed Pope John Paul II, General Audience, December 17, 1986).

So, how is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe connected?  Here is something that is really amazing. 

What would you think if I told you that Our Lady of Guadalupe is not really Our Lady of Guadalupe, instead she is really Our Lady of coatlaxopeuh which is pronounced "quatlasupe" and sounds extraordinarily like the Spanish word Guadalupe?  Coatlaxopeuh means She who crushes the head of the serpent. 

Saint Juan Diego was a Native American Aztec who spoke the native Nahuatl language.  Saint Juan Diego's Aztec name is Cuauhtlatoatzin, which can be rendered as "One who talks like an eagle" or "eagle that talks."  Juan Diego is his Christian name given to him at his baptism which took place between 1524 and 1525. 

The miraculous encounters between the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Juan Diego would have taken place in his own native language and not Spanish.  The Spanish word Guadalupe refers to another Marian event that took place in 1326 in a small Spanish village called Guadalupe.

Experts believe that title Our Lady of Guadalupe came from a misunderstanding of the translation into Spanish of the word Nahuatl coatlaxopeuh.  Thus, Our Lady of Guadalupe is in reality Our Lady of Quatlasupe - She who crushes the head of the serpent.

At that moment in history the Aztecs executed around 50,000 men, women and children as human sacrifices to their pagan gods.  A common symbol of the Aztec religion was the snake and their temples were richly decorated with snakes.  

Within a few years, around nine million Aztecs converted to the Catholic Faith. They understood the message of the miraculous image. 

The image is covered with stars which accurately map out numerous constellations of the Mexican sky.  The stars on the image are in reverse thus providing a view of the constellations from the vantage point of Saint Juan Diego looking towards the sky.  The stars on the image are consistent with what astronomers believe was in the sky above Mexico City on December 12, 1531. 

The colors of Mary's tunic are unique in Aztec culture and reserved only for the emperor. 

Mary appears in the miraculous image as a pregnant woman.  Over the place where the heart of the unborn child would be is the Quincunx which is an Aztec flower.  The Quincunx is an Aztec symbol of the Lord of the Universe. 

The proximity of the apparitions to the site of the temple of the Aztec mother-goddess Tonantzin had an amazing effect on the Aztecs because they saw that Tonantzin (Our Mother) or Teonantzin(God's Mother) was to replace the Aztec mother-goddess.  Thus, the Mother of God led the Indigenous people away from the Aztec religion to the Catholic Faith. 

The ancient temples of the Aztecs, interesting archeological sites of the past, have been replaced by the new temples of materialism, secularism and consumerism.

On their altars the poor, the unborn and the elderly are forgotten , neglected and sacrificed by knives driven by greed, power and narcissism. 

Mary will lead humanity back to her Son.  Mary will free us from the sins of our modern times.  Mary, Our Lady of Quatlasupe - She who crushes the head of the serpent, is leading the new evangelization. 

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Father James Farfaglia is a contributing writer for Catholic Online and author of Get Serious! - A Survival Guide for Serious Catholics.  You can visit him on the web at www.fatherjames.org. 

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