The Narthex Ceiling: “The Visions of Guadalupe”
The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and her message is a most beautiful gift of divine love in the Western hemisphere. From the first apparition to the fifth is rarely ever depicted in one setting. The narthex ceiling here at the Shrine offered such an opportunity.
This Visions of Guadalupe mural contains all the apparitions of Our Lady to Saint Juan Diego from his approach to the hillside to his witnessing the healing of his uncle Juan Bernardino. I can say that the entire design, can be based on the words of Mary to Juan Diego:
“Listen, place it in your heart, my littlest son, that what frightens you, afflicts you, disturbs your face, your heart, is nothing. Do not fear this illness, nor anything else which is painful or hurtful. Am I not here, I who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and watch? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the fold of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you have need of anything else?” (Nican Mopohua, nn. 118-119).
The Narthex Mural also contains the request of the Virgin to build a church on the site as either end is flanked with workers for the Faith. We see builders at work following the request of Our Lady that a chapel be built on the site of the apparitions. Thus, it is only appropriate that as Patroness of the Americas, Our lady has a shrine built in her honor here in the United States.