Our Lady of Guadalupe Project

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20170702_123618-Copy-Copy-1024x372.jpg

St. Pope Paul VI

“Very rightly the fine arts are considered to rank among the noblest activities of man’s genius, and this applies especially to religious art and to its highest achievement, which is sacred art. These arts, by their very nature, are oriented toward the infinite beauty of God which they attempt in some way to portray by the work of human hands; they achieve their purpose of redounding to God’s praise and glory in proportion as they are directed the more exclusively to the single aim of turning men’s minds devoutly toward God.

Holy Mother Church has therefore always been the friend of the fine arts and has ever sought their noble help, with the special aim that all things set apart for use in divine worship should be truly worthy, becoming, and beautiful, signs and symbols of the supernatural world…

It is also desirable that schools or academies of sacred art should be founded in those parts of the world where they would be useful, so that artists may be trained.

All artists who, prompted by their talents, desire to serve God’s glory in holy Church, should ever bear in mind that they are engaged in a kind of sacred imitation of God the Creator, and are concerned with works destined to be used in Catholic worship, to edify the faithful, and to foster their piety and their religious formation.”

                                             St. Pope Paul VI’s 1963 “Sacrocantum Concilium” regarding Sacred Art

St. Pope John Paul II

 “…to all who are passionately dedicated to the search for new ‘epiphanies’ of beauty so that through their creative work as artists they may offer these gifts to the world.”

“Humanity in every age, and even today, looks to works of art to shed light upon its path and its destiny.”

“All artists experience the unbridgeable gap which lies between the work of their hands… and the dazzling perfection of the beauty glimpsed… the splendor which flared from a moment before the eyes of their spirit.”

                                                                  St. Pope John Paul II’s 1999 Letter to the Artists


Sister M. Paula Beierschmitt, was a religious in “The Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” (I.H.M.)

She was a highly talented artist. Sister was the first Catholic woman religious to graduate from the prestigious Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, at the University of Pennsylvania. One of Sister’s statues is prominently exhibited in The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. In 1993 Sr. Paula founded the American Academy of the Sacred Arts located at 1629 Porter Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in response to St. Pope Paul VI’s 1963 “Sacrocantum Concilium.”  Sister was further inspired by St. John Paul II’s “Letter to the Artists.” She strongly promoted the sacred arts and was an active defender of artist’s rights becaue she believed artists are often taken advantage of.  Sister was also a strong believer in the sanctity of life.

In 1997 Sister Paula asked artist Steven Kilpatrick, to serve on the board of her American Academy of the Sacred Arts. Over the years Sister Paula and Steve became trusted friends.


On August 3, 2008 while on retreat at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmetsburg, Maryland, Sister Paula photographed an outdoor mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe. When the photograph was developed it revealed a luminescent image of Our Lady of Guadalupe hovering in front of the mosaic. This luminescent image was not visible to Sister Paula or her companions when the photograph was taken. Professional photographers determined the “luminescence” on the photograph and the negative had not been modified or altered. With no viable explanation for this “luminescence,” Sister considered it a miraculous phenomenon.


Through prayer Sister Paula discerned the luminescent image was a sign from the Blessed Mother. The Blessed Mother wanted a statue created in the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas, artistically resembling the miraculous Saint Juan Diego’s Tilma.

While walking in front of a building on the heavily traveled South Broad Street in Philadelphia on Pentecost Sunday, the Blessed Mother told Sister She wanted Her (first) statue placed at that location, which was diagonally across the street from a hospital. Sister Paula entered the building and proceeded to tell the owner what the Blessed Mother wanted. He immediately agreed to have the completed statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe placed on his property for all travelers to see and to pray at – a prayer site.

Sister Paula chose Steve Kilpatrick, to create the divinely inspired and directed statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

In September of 2013 Sister visited Steve’s studio for the last time. Before the clay statue was fully completed Sister Paula told Steve the Blessed Mother wanted the statue replicated many times and placed throughout the United States and beyond because the statues (prayer sites) would create a resurgence in the protection of life and because the people don’t know Her (The Blessed Mother) and soon they would need to come to Her. Sister said, “Many miracles will come from these.”


On September 28, 2013 Our Lord called Sister Paula to her heavily home. Although Sister Paula did not see the statue completed before her passing she did give her approval for what was completed. Sister’s directives as given to her by the Blessed Mother were meticulously implemented in the creation of this divinely inspired and one of a kind, three dimensional expression of the Holy image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Sister’s friends, family, and academy board members resolved to continue her Academy of the Sacred Arts and to complete the (first) Our Lady of Guadalupe statue for the South Broad Street prayer site.


Once the statue was sculpted in clay, it was blessed and then delivered to Laran Bronze, INC. in Chester, Pennsylvania where a mold of the clay statue was made, from that mold the first finished bronze casting (statue) was produced.

In the spring of 2015, Steve Kilpatrick received a surprising email informing him the nearly completed first bronze casting of Our Lady of Guadalupe statue was to be temporarily placed in the magnificent Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia for the upcoming World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis’ visit.

On May 31, 2015 the first completed bronze casting of Our Lady of Guadalupe was installed in the sanctuary of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sister Paula loved the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul spending many hours there while she was assigned to Philadelphia. Shortly after the installation and with the help of a couple of Sister Paula’s religious sister friends the statue was unveiled on May 31, 2015 but before it was, many in the pews saw the statue covering mysteriously and all of a sudden lift up, move about then return to its original position. There was no explanation for this movement. The rector of the basilica, Father Dennis Gill blessed the statue before hundreds of guests. A luncheon reception followed the Mass that was attended by people from across the country and beyond.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is OLOG1-768x1024.jpg

On September 26, 2015 before Mass started in the crowded Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis honored the Blessed Mother by going out of his way to stop at this divinely inspired statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, placing white roses there and praying to the Blessed Mother, asking for Her help.


An (abbreviated) historical reference:

On December 9, 1531, in what is now called Mexico City, The Blessed Mother appeared to the Aztec Indian convert to Catholicism, Juan Diego, asking him to tell his Bishop to build Her a church. On December 12, She directed Juan to take roses that grew on the hillside to the skeptical bishop as a sign that Juan’s message was from Her. When Juan released the roses from his poncho or Tilma in front of the bishop there appeared on the Tilma a miraculous image of the Blessed Mother, now called, Our Lady of Guadalupe. Immediately the bishop fell to his knees and subsequently built the church.

Our Lady’s image on the Tilma was powerfully significant to the Aztec Indians. She was dressed in a way that the native inhabitants, especially the Aztecs would understand. She was dressed in royal clothes they recognized. She had the symbol of the cross at her neck which was the same symbol of the Spaniard’s faith. The sash tied around her waist meant to the Aztecs she was with child and the four pedal flower design signified the source of life. To the Aztecs this flower was a symbol for the true God, the God above all gods. Additionally, She stood upon one of their most powerful gods, the moon god, while blocking their most worshiped god, the sun god. The Aztecs immediately understood that this was the mother of the true God, the Christian God.

This appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe dramatically changed the future of the Americas. The Aztecs and many of the other native peoples of the region were on the brink of war with the Spaniards. The Aztecs worshiped gods, to whom they would offer human sacrifices, often killing 50,000 or more innocents a year. The Catholic Spaniards were appalled by this. If a war occurred, Christianity might have been totally wiped out of that region. Mary’s appearance changed everything. It helped the native inhabitants to embrace Christianity and it helped the Spaniards to treat the people with greater respect. In the course of only a few years, nearly 8,000,000 native inhabitants in the Americas converted to the Catholic faith. Mary’s appearance put an end to the worship of pagan gods and the killing of innocents in the ritual of human sacrifice. Our Lady of Guadalupe became the Unifier, the Evangelist, and the Protector of Life.



Just as the Aztecs killed millions of innocent children, sacrificing them to their gods, millions of preborn children are “sacrificed” today, through abortion, to the “gods” of lust and convenience.

To fulfill the Blessed Mother’s directive to Sister Paula to have this specific image of Our Lady of Guadalupe replicated many times, creating hundreds of prayer sites, we hope to establish, The Our Lady of Guadalupe America Apostolate. We are convinced these blessed prayer sites will help to facilitate Our Lady of Guadalupe’s presence and miraculous effect as Unifier, Evangelist and Protector of Life throughout the United States and beyond. We also believe these statue prayer sites will help to unite the many divisions in our culture, bring millions to Jesus Christ through Mary, and help to create a resurgence in the protection of life. This is the way of Our Lady of Guadalupe. These statue prayer sites should be placed most especially in poor neighborhoods, crime ridden areas, towns where people have given up hope, where people have turned away from Our Lord, where our young are homeless and orphaned, near hospitals and facilities that perform abortions, etc.

Additional Information about Sr. Paula and the Image

Sister was accustomed to dealing with many challenges during her religious life. While a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art for instance, sister was the victim of many hate filled attacks because she was a Catholic religious. Often she would find her class work destroyed. It became so bad that the school had to give Sister a locked compartment to store her work in between classes. Despite the animosity she incurred the gentle Sister Paula never cowered down by replacing her religious habit and crucifix for lay people’s clothing.

Shortly after Sister’s passing a small group of Sister’s board members entered the academy building to begin sorting things and to search for the miraculous photo with the luminescent image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Steve found the photo and was asked to take it home for safe keeping. “I remember the day Sister Paula called me telling me she picked up the photographs and asked me to come over to see what she discovered. There had been many times I saw and held that photograph before being asked to take it home but it wasn’t until that evening did I fully comprehend what I was in possession of. Throughout history millions of artistic expressions of the Blessed Mother have been created by artists in every medium imaginable. Some creations have been through inspiration, some from memory of a vision of the Blessed Mother as in the case of the image titled, ‘The Reconciler of People and Nations.’ The Blessed Mother appeared over 30 times to Servant of God, Maria Esperanza under this title. And some believe a painting called, ‘The Black Madonna’ was painted by St. Luke who would have seen the Blessed Mother in person. But I only knew of one image of Our Lady that was created by God and that was on the Tilma. It was only the evening I brought the pictures and negatives home that I realized I was in position of a Second image of the Savior’s Mother, created not by man but by God!!”

In March of 2016 Steve was a guest on “EWTN LIVE” hosted by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. in Irondale, Alabama where Steve Kilpatrick spoke about Sister Paula, her academy, and the Our Lady of Guadalupe statue. Steve mentioned how the Catholic author and lecturer, Brian Gail suggested that we should reach out to each diocese to attain at least one “angel” who would commission a recasting of the Our Lady of Guadalupe statue. He remembed Sister Paula’s words, “The Blessed Mother wants these (prayer sites) because they will create a resurgence in the protection of life and because people don’t know Her and soon they will need to come to Her. And many miracles will come from this.” Sister had also been on EWTN years earlier with Mother Angelica.

Once, while on a retreat Father Carl Pieber, then the director of the International Miraculous Medal Shrine in Philadelphia, asked Steve for an update on the Our Lady of Guadalupe project. He told him about petitions (miracles) that we had thus far heard were granted. He was impressed with the number we had. 

There are No Such Things as Coincidences

Sr. Paula said, the Blessed Mother wanted the statue replicated many times and placed throughout the United States and beyond because the statues (prayer sites) would create a resurgence in the protection of life. As of the end of 2021 three additional castings of the statue had been cast, two are outside of Philadelphia and one in the Harrisburg Diocese – a total of four. **On June 24, 2022 the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.**

Contact us for more information. Thank you.