The 46 Stars of Guadalupe 

The mantle of Our Lady of Guadalupe has 46 stars, scattered on the surface of the cloth.  The Enciclopedia Guadalupana says the stars are not randomly put, but correspond to the positions of the constellations at the winter solstice of 1531.  As you view it, it shows the Southern Cross on the right side, where the mantle folds over her arm and goes down to the side.  The Great Bear is shown on the opposite side, but if they mean to show the Big Dipper which is part of that constellation, it doesn't fully conform to the shape of the Dipper as we see it.
       From a piece on the internet, it says that the stars reflect the exact positions in the sky of Mexico on December 12th, 1531, which differs ten to thirteen days from the solstice.  It shows the Southern Cross in the same place as the Enciclopedia does, and above it,  the inclined square of  Centaurus.   Below it, in the triangular  shape made by the folds, it identifies the star as Sirio,  Spanish for Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens, but the constellation it's in doesn't match what the other account says. 
       There is another possibility about the stars, and it's about why there are 46 of them.
 And this doesn't mean the constellation thing couldn't be true, even though  the accounts don't square in every respect.  But in the context of the times, I wonder whether a visual statement was being made with that number.   It has to do with the Old Testament and the Reformation in Europe.
       The Protestant reformers accepted the version of the Old Testament that had 39 books, whereas the Catholics accepted 46.   I wonder whether the number of stars on Mary's mantle, was affirming that the 46 books the Old Testament are the correct number.  
       Martin Luther's posted 95 theses to the church door in Saxony, on October 31, 1517.   These theses are thought to be the beginning of the Reformation, and while the movement  may've ended with Peace of Westphalia in 1648, its effects continue down to the present time.  
       The name Protestant dates from the diet at Speyer, Germany, in 1529 where supporters of Luther protested actions imposed on them.  In 1530, the Lutherans presented the Augsburg Confession to the diet at Augsburg, Germany, which became the basic statement of Lutheran doctrine.  In 1534, the monarch was made the head of the church in England.   In the midst of these events, Mary appeared at Guadalupe in 1531 with her 46 stars.
       Guadalupe is not the only case where the figure of a star appeared on the clothing of Mary.  At Fatima in 1917, when Mary came on the 13th of several months, a star was seen on her gown. 
       The star upon Mary's apparel was there for a purpose, and what makes sense to me, is that it was pointing to the Biblical Book of Esther, who became the Queen of Persia.  The name Esther is said to be the Persian word for star.  In the Bible, Esther saves her Jewish people from annihilation: they were scheduled for death on the 13th of the month of Adar.  
    At Fatima Mary asked for the Rosary and sacrifices, and somewhat  paralleling this, was Queen Esther asking the Jews of Susa to pray and fast, because of the danger she was being placed in.   She herself prayed and fasted along with her handmaids. 
      If the star served a meaningful purpose in the Fatima message, then why couldn't the 46 stars on Mary's mantle serve a meaningful purpose?

                                                                                            John Riedell

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