Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe planned for Wednesday at St. Therese
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor
Dec 09, 2012 | 1453 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Young girls place flowers in the praying hands of a statue of Mary on Saturday morning at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church. The children were occupying themselves while they waited for the 23rd annual Three Kings Feast. The parish opens the doors to the church to the community and invites them for a hot meal, warm blankets and toys for children. St. Therese served 800 meals in 2011 and were prepared for that many again this year. Some families began gathering at 5:30 a.m. to wait for the doors to open at 11 a.m. Banner photo, DAVID DAVIS
Young girls place flowers in the praying hands of a statue of Mary on Saturday morning at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church. The children were occupying themselves while they waited for the 23rd annual Three Kings Feast. The parish opens the doors to the church to the community and invites them for a hot meal, warm blankets and toys for children. St. Therese served 800 meals in 2011 and were prepared for that many again this year. Some families began gathering at 5:30 a.m. to wait for the doors to open at 11 a.m. Banner photo, DAVID DAVIS
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St. Therese of Lisieux is to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The feast begins Wednesday at 5 a.m. and reconvenes at 6 p.m. for a special processional, Rosary, Mass and reception. All are supported by mariachi music and it promises to be moving experience.

The schedule of events is: 5 a.m., Mañanitas (with Mariachi); 5:30 a.m., Misa (Mass); 6 p.m., procession and Rosary around the church; 7 p.m., Misa (Mass) and 8 p.m., Reception with Mariachi and folk dances.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is a celebrated Roman Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary.

Accounts published in the 1640s tell of a poor peasant, Juan Diego, walking from his village to Mexico City in the early morning of Dec. 9, 1531, to observe the Feast of the Immaculate Conception as it was celebrated in the Spanish Empire.

During his journey, Juan Diego saw a vision of a 15- or 16-year-old girl surrounded by light on the slopes of the Hill of Tepeyac.

Speaking to him in Nahuatl, the local language, she asked that a church be built at that site in her honor. From her words, Diego recognized the young girl as the Virgin Mary.

Diego told his story to Spanish Archbishop Fray Juan de Zumárraga, who instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill and ask the lady for a miraculous sign to prove her identity.

The Virgin told Diego to gather flowers from the top of Tepeyac Hill. Though December was very late in the growing season for flowers, Diego found Castilian roses on the usually barren hilltop. The roses are not native to Mexico. The Virgin Mary arranged the flowers in his peasant tilma cloak.

When Juan Diego opened the cloak before Bishop Zumárraga on Dec. 12, the flowers fell to the floor. In their place was the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, miraculously imprinted on the fabric.

The icon is now displayed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of the most visited Marian shrines. The icon is Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural image.

The queen of Mexico was once proclaimed Patroness of the Philippines, but that title was later revised by Pope Pius XI in 1935. In 1999, Pope John Paul II proclaimed the Virgin Mary as Patroness of the Americas, Empress of Latin America, and Protectress of Unborn Children under the Marian title.