On December 12, some 2 million pilgrims trekked to the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Some simply walked, but others came crawling on their knees until they were bloody and raw. Everywhere Mexicans have migrated, similar fiestas were held on this day, dedicated to this 'Patroness of the Americas.'
No other Roman Catholic site is more visited except the Vatican itself. Inside the shrine, in a glass case, is a tilma, a cape-like garment worn by the Indian peasants of Mexico during the 16th century.
On the cape is an image of a pregnant woman clad in a shawl, standing on a crescent moon, surrounded by an aura. To the 90 million Mexicans, 90% of whom are Roman Catholic, this image is central to their worship and their culture, appearing on everything from candles to wall murals.
The cape supposedly belonged to an Aztec Indian, Juan Diego, who had converted to Catholicism in the early 16th century. At that time, the Spaniards had invaded Mexico and were looking for a way to convert the Aztecs. When Diego showed up at the bishop's house with the image on the cape, claiming a vision of Mary, the Aztecs took it as a sign that the Spanish god was bigger than theirs and 9 million 'converted' in just a few years. The Aztec god was a serpent and required tens of thousands of human sacrifices at a time to keep him happy, so in a way the conversions stopped the blood bath. On the other hand it introduced a more subtle form of paganism, which, 500 years later, has led hundreds of millions into hell who have trusted Catholicism's mother goddess to get them to heaven.
The Roman Catholic newspaper, The Wanderer, states that the interest in such pilgrimages is growing. "More than seven million pilgrims visit the 126 official sites of pilgrimage in the United States every year." Six of them draw between 500,000 and one million a year. Five of the six are places to go to worship Mary. The other one is a 55-foot cross with a seven-ton, dead Jesus on it. The Wander states that, "...the phenomenon of the pilgrimage has been universal and seems to answer a need in man."
Unfortunately for a billion souls who trust the pope for eternal life, they are being given a false answer. If the need was truly answered, they would not have to go back year after year to worship these dead images. The Bible says that Christ died once for all (Heb. 10:10-14) Can we be blameless before our Lord if we do not make every effort to warn them that they are deceived and give them the good news that we can know we have eternal life?