Friday, December 11, 2015

Learn More About Our Lady of Guadalupe {A Video Review and Science Activity Ideas, Too}

If you are looking to deepen your understanding of Our Lady of Guadalupe, might I suggest getting ahold of a copy of an informative new DVD our family has been blessed to review?  It's called Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message, and since my children watched it with me, my oldest, especially, has not stopped bringing up Our Lady and the miraculous image of her that appeared on Juan Diego's tilma in 1531.

The film, which is about an hour long, was produced by the Knights of Columbus and can be watched in either English or Spanish.  The English version is
narrated by Jim Caviezal, but also contains many subtitled segments with Spanish-speaking commentators.  So, be prepared to read while you view.  It's well worth doing so, since the documentary is packed with information.

This trailer can give you a flavor of what to expect:

(Note:  Some of the links which follow are affiliate ones.  Should you click through them to make a purchase - any purchase - we may receive income at no extra cost to you as per our full disclosure.  Thank you.)

Don't Let the Subtitles Hold You Back from Making This a Family Video

The Kids Watching a Non-Subtitled Portion

When my children saw the DVD cover of Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message sitting on our table the day after I had previewed the film, they asked to watch it.  I let them know it was not a kids' movie and had lots of parts we'd have to read together, but they said they wanted to see it anyway.  So, I went for it.  As I already mentioned, I am so glad that I did.  The film had a powerful impact on my oldest child, especially.

Of course, the general story of how Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, and, then, later, created a miracle with roses and a tilma is not new to any of my children, for we have been reading books, listening to a kids' CD, watching a DVD, enjoying feast day meals, and centering activities around Our Lady of Guadalupe for years.  What was new to us as we
viewed Guadalupe - The Miracle and the Message were details about the symbolism contained in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe as well as stories that corroborate how miraculous the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is

Spilled acid not destroying the image, the impact of a bomb not affecting it, paintings of other images on similar fabric decaying while the one on the 1531 tilma remains intact and vibrant...
Such stories captured my son's interests.  Related details moved us all.  Most certainly, as my children and I viewed
Guadalupe - The Miracle and the Message we found it true to its title, and each of us came away with a deeper understanding of both the miracle and the message of Our Lady brought in 1531, which has continued to reverberate into the present day.

Part of that understanding stemmed from how well
Guadalupe - The Miracle and the Message connects the dots between history, culture, faith, and science. In the past, my children and I have touched on the life and culture of Aztecs and Spanish conquistadors, have read many children's books about Our Lady of Guadalupe, have enjoyed the animated children's DVD Juan Diego: Messenger of Guadalupe, and have briefly explored topics in science, such as the natural process of decomposition and the affects of acid on other things.  However, we had not assimilated these experiences in the context of the miraculous apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe before viewing Guadalupe - The Miracle and the Message.  The video really helped us to do that.

Read What the Kids Thought

Nina Taking a Body Break to Imitate How the Pilgrims Go to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine

Luke, 10, has the following to say about the video:

It is an awesome video.  I think it's cool that the tilma survived through so much.  It's miraculous.  I think anyone would like this video, because it's super great.  Try giving it to people you know that are not Catholic and say, "This is a historical video, because it is.  It's historical and about God.  You an evangelize with it!"

Nina, 8, shared:

It was a good video.  I liked that they told details.  I thought it is was cool that, when there was an explosion, the glass covering the tilma did not explode.  It was a miracle.
I liked the video, but I think mostly grown ups would like it, not other kids because most of the time it was just people talking and talking and talking, sometimes in a different language.  So Mama read it to me.

Jack, 5, said:

I learned that when someone accidentally spilled acid on the tilma it did not destroy it.  It was a miracle...  (The movie) was just chatting, and chatting, and chatting, and chatting. (except for) the actor parts.  They acted out the Juan Diego thing, sacrifices, and the Aztecs.

As you can see, although my younger ones did not completely cotton to the subtitled documentary style of the film, they still took specific details away, and my oldest raves about the documentary and is ready to go evangelize with it.  After having viewed the film twice in one week myself, I can say that it blends narration, with dramatized scenes, with subtitled commentators well, offering a deeper understanding of Our Lady of Guadalupe than I previously had.

Learn More

I am thankful that a fellow Catholic blogger, Tracy, from A Slice of Smith Life, let me know about this review opportunity, because 
Guadalupe - The Miracle and the Message has proven such a welcome addition to the resources we have in our home. Tracy, too, reviewed the video. 

Image Credit: Holy Heroes
Image Credit: Holy Heroes
Image Credit:  CCC of America

As my oldest child's experience has proven, viewing Guadalupe - The Miracle and the Message after familiarizing yourself with the general story through resources geared to children can have a great impact.Truly, over the past few days, I have been impressed with how one viewing of Guadalupe - The Miracle and the Message has deepened my son's (and my!) understanding of Our Lady of Guadalupe and has sparked continued conversation and inquiry.

Get Hands-On After Viewing

As a former classroom teacher, current home educator, and forever lover of hands-on learning, I have found myself brainstorming science activities that
tie into my children and my viewing Guadalupe - The Miracle and the Message. Please enjoy bringing my ideas to fruition:

Our Lady of Guadalupe's Shrine Instant Challenge:  Tied to the fact that Our Lady asked that a shrine be build on Tepyac Hill, on Saint Juan Diego's feast day, I came up with an engineering-based instant challenge that my family has enjoyed.  We will be doing a different, yet similar activity with friends on Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast day.

Acid Test
: All of my children have brought up the acid spill discussed in the video a number of times.  Thus, at some future point, I would like to explore the affects of acids and bases on color using purple cabbage and inspiration from Steve Spangler and the Sci Guys.

Fabrics and Primers: My oldest son has been very curious about why base coats are used on fabric prints and why the lack of a primer under the image of the tilma is "so important".  So, I would like to gather a variety of natural fiber materials and have the kids experiment with paint, ink pens, etc., seeing which media "bleeds" more and which processes prevent colors from running.

Decomposition:  The kids have been questioning which fabrics can and do decay quickly and which do not, so I foresee an experiment where we expose different fabrics and paper types to the elements and track the changes that occur.

I would love to hear what you think of this video as well as what activities you connect to learning about Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Please do share in a comment here or on our Training Happy Hearts Facebook page.  Happy Feast Day!


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