And the temple of God was opened in heaven and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple
(Apocalypse of St. John 11:19)
Ever since the general acceptance of evolution theory and the attendant long ages began to eclipse the traditional belief in a world-wide flood occurring thousands of years ago, certain Christians have thought that the discovery of Noah’s Ark could turn the tide against the mistrust in the sacred history of the book of Genesis, which leads many to atheism.
The most explored site for the Ark is Mt. Ararat in eastern Turkey. It has been held to be the landing place of Noah’s Ark since ancient times. Numerous eye-witness sightings have confirmed this belief. Pieces of wood, which are supposedly from the Ark, have even been recovered. One such piece of wood, supposedly given to St. Jacob of Medzipin by an angel and now set in a reliquary behind a cross having large gemstones, is on display at the Etchmiadzin Cathedral in Armenia to this day.
The modern-day search for Noah’s Ark started in the late 1970’s and has continued since then. Apollo 15 astronaut Jim Irwin (d. 1991) was involved in some of the expeditions and attracted considerable attention to the search. Although various potential sites have been explored, there is no one discovery that is generally accepted to be the remains of the Ark. The site recognized by the Turkish government, the Durupinar site on the lower slopes of Ararat, is thought by many to be only a geologic formation.
It is incredible that a 500-foot long boat has not yet been found on Mt. Ararat after all the searching, leading some to believe that it is not there. But it has likely broken up into several pieces which are buried in ice and snow for most of the year, making it difficult to see except during periods of extreme heat and dryness. There is also a local tradition that God is keeping it hidden until the end of time, when it will be revealed to prove that the Bible is true.
A Kurdish historian living near Ararat supposedly told French explorer Fernand Navarra (d. 1992) that the ark cannot be seen by the sacrilegious eyes of men, but can only be reached by one as pure as a young child, free of all evil. (from The Incredible Discovery of Noah’s Ark, 1995) Other than God, no one is free of all evil, except the Immaculate Virgin Mary.
The ships of Christopher Columbus’ 1492 voyage were named the Pinta, Nina, and Santa Maria, which in English is Painted, Child, Saint/Holy Mary. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is “painted” – although not by human hands – and is an image of Mary, Mother of God, as a young woman (traditionally 14 years of age when she conceived of the Holy Spirit). Our Lady appeared to St. Juan Diego less than 40 years after the discovery of the Americas by Columbus (1531). That would have been 80 years after the birth of Isabella I of Castile (b. 1451), who sent Columbus to the New World.
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe distinctly reflects the woman described in the first verses of Chapter 12 of the Apocalypse of St. John (Revelation). The verse immediately preceding those verses (11:19) mentions an ark in the temple of God. Many people miss the fact that the woman and the ark are the same thing. Our Lady is the Ark of the New Testament. The crown and dragon mentioned in the Bible verse do not appear on the tilma, but when the stars of her mantle are aligned with the constellations, they do appear as Corona Borealis and Draco.
Not only is she woman of the Apocalypse, she was called “woman” by Our Lord (John 2:4) and she is the woman promised in Genesis 3:15 who would crush the head of the serpent. Supposedly, “Coatiaxopeuh” in the Aztec language sounds like “Guadalupe” and means one who “crushes the serpent.” One foot of Our Lady is shown resting on the moon in the image on the tilma, while her other foot appears to be ready to stomp on the serpent as we can gather from her bent knee outlined by her robe.
The discourse on wisdom in the book of Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 24:11 says: “And by my power I have trodden under my feet the hearts of all the high and low,” fits this depiction as well. Chapter 8 of Proverbs is a further description of wisdom. Our Lady can also be thought of as the “valiant woman” of Proverbs 31.
With all that imagery, it would seem most fitting to put the search for Noah’s Ark under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ark of the New Covenant. In the final naval battle between Europe and the Ottoman Empire on October 7, 1571 (40 years after Guadalupe), Andrea Doria – one of the Christian commanders – kept a copy of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe given to him by King Philip II of Spain in his ship's state room. So having Our Lady of Guadalupe with you is a very good thing.
So, perhaps the Ark of Noah can be approached by sinful men if they are under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ark of the New Covenant. We can only hope so.
(see also: https://www.kolbecenter.org/the-search-for-noahs-ark/)