The above coin demonstrates the double crescent motif of the Roman empress Severina minted 274 AD in Rome. There are actually two crescents present. The upper is the moon and the lower is the three dimension view of the sun as the moon traverses it during a solar eclipse. The Roman queens were to be feared and the main crescent motif was solar in origin. The Roman queen was represented as the moon herself. They were approachable as "intercessors" to the Roman emperor. This crescent portrait was only present with Roman queens and not the emperor. The first Roman queen to use this art form was Julia Domna and this was explained in a prior post.
Coin Photo Romae Aeternae Numismatics
Note a solar eclipse did pass over Rome one year prior to the minting of the above coin.
The similarities of the crescent motif on Roman coins and the Tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe are profound. Solar eclipse symbolism in the Roman Empire was not even known to the Spaniards. The image our of Lady has been equated with the vision from the Book of Revelation 12:1. The context of the Virgin Mary in 1531 AD , Mexico and the Book of Revelation appear to be very different. This crescent does not appear to be only lunar. The original color was black and was painted silver to make it appear to be lunar in later times. The photo below is an actual image of the Tilma of "Our Lady of Guadalupe." The silver paint has degenerated and now displays the original black color. Infrared photography of the Tilma shows two crescents imposed on one another in the same motif as Roman coins with Roman queens. One solar and one lunar. The crescents are also transparent with the rays of the Glory of God behind it. The Moon is not transparent with a solar eclipse. The European view of the Tilma was not understood in terms of its Roman symbolism. The mistake of interpreting the crescent as only lunar and not solar lends additional credence that her message is from a first century Galilean Jew well acquainted with Roman symbols of fear and terror. The rays of light behind the Virgin is the Glory of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God must be represented on the Tilma and the sun rays are not our star. Mary is an intercessor and not God.
Note also the Lady of the Tilma has an enlarged left parotid gland. Her lips are puckered slightly to demonstrate this focal swelling. Our Lady had healed the uncle of Juan Diego, Juan Bernadino before revealing the Tilma. Only Juan Diego would have known if his uncle was suffering from smallpox and mumps when he first saw the Tilma. The bishop and his aides may not have noticed these lesions on her face. She bears the physical suffering of the Aztec people. Mumps was an extremely common viral disease brought to the Aztecs by the Europeans. The Aztecs understood she cared for them by identifying with these newly acquired plagues that decimated Native American cultures. Mumps has the ability to make males infertile or sub-fertile. Infertility is rare in modern populations. Ancient populations that had never seen the virus must have been far more susceptible than what we see today. This new European plague likely made infertility a serious problem to the Aztec population. It may have caused many Aztec women to seek European males for children. It has been said the Lady of the Tilma is a mixture of European and Native American heritage.
A closer look at the face of Our Lady also demonstrates smallpox lesions. The smallpox disease killed more Native Americans than any other disease and was most likely the reason Cortez was able to defeat the Aztecs. She clearly shows that she bears these wounds like her Son Jesus in the Shroud of Turin. The theology of "co-redemption" is present in the Tilma.
So why did 9 million Aztecs convert to Christianity in such an abrupt short time period and without mass violence? I venture to say it was a last and final effort to preserve their people. The Aztec religion was dead and their society and culture revolved around it. In the end we only come to Jesus Christ thru His will, His mercy, His compassion, and His sacrifice. The only way for the Aztec and Central American cultures to survive smallpox and mumps was to intermarry with Europeans for their immunity. Our Lady displays limited forms of these diseases. Her complexion and face display features of both cultures. If we are to survive in the next life we must become one with Jesus Christ. Mary is our co-redemptorix, mediatrix, and advocate.
Before Our Lady of Guadalupe the Roman method of conquering and destroying prevailed. It should be mentioned the message of Our Lady was directly aimed at the bishop. The Spanish Conquistadors were abusing and enslaving the Aztecs. The Roman Empire's economy was based on conquering and enslaving people. One of the glaring omissions in the New Testament relates to the absence of speaking out against human slavery. Roman citizens would be sentenced to decapitation for capital offenses. Crucifixion of Roman citizens would be reserved for inciting slave rebellions. The Romans fought several civil wars over this issue and speaking out against slavery in any form could get you crucified quickly. I believe this is one of the reasons the issue is not addressed in more depth in the New Testament. The Romans would have devoted tremendous energy to removing writing which would have affected the Roman economy. If one follows the basic teachings of Jesus Christ there is no question human slavery is an abomination before God. Servitude and slavery are separate issues. The Romans used human life for the sadistic pleasures and whims of their masters. We clearly see the inverted Roman military standard as a message to the Spanish government to stop Romanism. As a result of this icon many European societies formed to address the humanity of Native Americans.
The largest mass conversion in the history of the world was performed by a Galilean girl who remembered the genocide and slavery experienced by her Jewish people at the hands of the Roman Empire.