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Letter from Fr. Peter Fehlner, F.I.

The following is Fr. Peter Fehlner’s e-mail of November 12, 2011 regarding the Special Photograph of Our Lady of Guadalupe taken at the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother in Portland, Oregon on August 15, 1991.

(Emphasis below added by Mary's Touch By Mail)

From: Fr Peter Fehlner

Subject: Sang Lee materials
To: "'R TENN'"
Date: Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ave Maria


Dear Roy,


Thank you for your patience.  Finally I have completed a careful reading of Mr. Sang Lee’s materials on Our Lady of Guadalupe and the miraculous photograph taken in 1991 in Portland, Oregon.


In an earlier e-mail I mentioned how the flyer on the apparitions in Naju is well presented and helps not only to put these apparitions in perspective, but also to see possible links between these apparitions and the miraculous photograph whose specific goal would then be to indicate the significance of the apparitions in 1531 in Mexico, via the image on the tilma of St. Juan Diego “not made by human hands” for the Church in the far east, not only in the Philippines (where devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe has been present almost from the 17th century one), but also in Korea, China and Japan.


After reading Mr. Lee’s account of the miraculous photograph and of its content I am personally convinced the photograph is miraculous, that it does not add to what was already in this miraculous portrait of Mary, but rather tends to point out aspects of it not previously noted or if noted, not understood.  In particular, the Eucharistic aspects, those pertaining to the Holy Spirit, and to the problems created today by contraception and abortion are especially important in relation to the resolution of problems of faith, not only in Asia, but throughout the entire Church.


I also agree with your comments on how these pointers in the miraculous photograph, like those already admitted in the image on the Tilma, also form part of the “via pulchritudinis” subject of Fr. Angelo’s conference here last month.  This phrase (way of beauty) coined by Pope Paul VI in 1975 has not received from theologians the attention it deserves as an integral and very important part of theological method, especially when it forms the basis of pastoral and catechetical practice.  Too often, it is relegated, like the apparitions of Naju, to the “wastebasket” of pious, uncritical thought.


I think it fortunate that Mr. Sang Lee included in his materials excellent selections from the Catechism of the Catholic Church with sound commentaries on the relevance of these selections in relation to the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe, still so relevant to the Church and the world today.


I do not need to add any special comments on the historical sections.  I think the most important points needed to grasp the past and the continuing importance of the 1531 apparition for the salvation, especially of the so-called “new world” and the continuing evangelization of the far east, are clearly stated.


I hope these comments will be of help in appreciating the practical, pastoral importance of Mr. Lee’s commentaries.


In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, 

Fr. Peter


(Note:  Fr. Peter Fehlner, Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin and a highly respected theologian and expert on the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is very pleased to hear about Archbishop Alexander K. Sample’s positive statement about the special photograph of Our Lady of Guadalupe in his letter of July 3, 2014.  Fr. Fehlner gave us permission toshare with individuals his e-mail to Mr. Roy Tenn of November 12, 2011 and also encouraged us to add one or more competent scientists’ opinions about the photograph before propagating his e-mail to general public.   – Benedict Sang M. Lee, 7-14-2014)

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