Claims about the Tilma and the Image

Maguey fiber cannot last more than 20 or 30 years. Several centuries ago, a replica of the Image was painted on similar maguey fiber cloth, and it disintegrated after a few decades. 

Basically, this is true, although with a few inaccuracies. Let’s begin by remembering that it is agave or ixtle fiber, and not maguey. However, in 1787 Dr. Jose Ignacio Bartolache did make two copies of the Image, trying to recreate the original as accurately as possible. He placed two of these copies in Tepeyac, one in a building called El Pocito, and the other in the sanctuary of St. Mary of Guadalupe. But these copies did not even last 10 years, underscoring the astonishing incorruptibility of the original Image. (cf. Jose Ignacio Bartolache y Diaz de Posadas, Manifiesto Satisfactorio u Opúsculo Guadalupano, In Ernesto de la Torre Villar and Ramiro Navarro de Anda, Testimonios Históricos Guadalupanos, Ed. FCE, Mexico 1982).

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