Published : Tuesday, November 21, 2017 | 2:23 PM
An image of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” that began its annual pilgrimage through Southern California in October will make several more parish stops in the coming days, including a stop at Pasadena’s St. Andrew Church on December 1.
The pilgrimage honors the 486th anniversary of the Marian apparitions to St. Juan Diego and will visit all five pastoral regions of the archdiocese.
Until November 22, the image of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” will be at the St. Louis of France Church in La Puente, followed by the stops at San Gabriel’s St. Anthony Church on November 23, at St. Andrew Church, and finishing at Our Lady of Solitude Church in Los Angeles on December 2.
This year also marks the 86th anniversary of the procession and mass held in honor of the feast of Guadalupe.
Started in 1931 by Mexican Catholics who fled the bloody Cristero War, the annual procession and mass will conclude at Weingart Stadium at East Los Angeles College on December 3.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe” or Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe or the Virgin of Guadalupe is the Roman Catholic title of the venerated image enshrined within the Minor Basilica of “Our Lady of Guadalupe” in Mexico City. The basilica is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world and the world’s third most-visited sacred site. Pope Leo XII gave the venerated image a canonical coronation on October 12, 1895.
The feast of “Our Lady of Guadalupe”, celebrated each year on December 12, commemorates the fourth apparition of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, a 57-year-old Aztec Indian peasant on the Hill of Tepeyac in 1531.
Official Catholic accounts state that the Virgin Mary first appeared before native Mexican peasant Juan Diego on the morning of December 9, 1531. According to accounts, Juan Diego saw a vision of a maiden at a place called the Hill of Tepeyac, which would become part of Villa de Guadalupe, a suburb of Mexico City.
According to Catholic accounts, the Virgin Mary spoke to Juan Diego in his native Nahuatl language and identified herself as the Virgin Mary, “mother of the very true deity” and asked for a church to be built at that site in her honor.
Juan Diego then reported the apparition to the local bishop. The bishop, however, did not believe him and instead asked for a miraculous sign. Juan Diego later returned with an icon of the Virgin Mary permanently imprinted on his tilma, or long cloak, where the Blessed Virgin had gathered roses.
Juan Diego, whose feast day is December 9, was canonized as Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin by St. Pope John Paul II on July 31, 2002.
According to Catholic accounts, the apparition on the Hill of Tepeyac is the only apparition where the Virgin Mary left a miraculous image of herself.
The apparition is also unique in that Mary appeared pregnant instead of holding the infant Jesus. “Our Lady of Guadalupe” is the patron of Mexico and the Americas.