After nearly a month of traveling through cemeteries, parishes and schools in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, the pilgrim images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego are currently visiting parishes in Los Angeles County, ending the last leg of the pilgrimage throughout the Archdiocese, in preparation for the annual procession in East Los Angeles that will take place on Sunday, December 1, starting at 10:30 a.m., at the corner of Cesar Chavez Ave. and Ford Blvd. For more details on the remaining visits of the pilgrim images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego, please see full schedule.
The annual pilgrimage of the images around the tri-county Archdiocese serves as spiritual preparation for the 88th Annual Procession and Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Following the procession, Archbishop José H. Gomez, the Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese and local clergy will celebrate Mass at East Los Angeles College Stadium, 1301 Cesar Chávez Ave., Monterrey Park, CA 91754, at 1 p.m.
The Guadalupe Procession is the oldest religious procession in Los Angeles, and this year’s theme is “Our Lady of Guadalupe: Ark of Salvation”. It was established in 1931 by Mexican Catholics who fled persecution by the Mexican government during the Cristero War. The annual celebration commemorates the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which recalls the miraculous apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Saint Juan Diego at Cerro del Tepeyac (Tepeyac Hill), Mexico City, in December 1531, when she left her image on his “tilma” or cloak. Her image has been a symbol of unity, peace, compassion, and hope for people around the world.
The procession in East L.A. on Dec. 1, will feature floats decorated by Catholic schools and Parish groups from different ethnic communities within the Archdiocese, which will participate in the yearly float contest, and indigenous dancers will escort the “Virgen Peregrina” and St. Juan Diego images throughout the mile-long walk. The Mass following the Procession will feature mariachis, folkloric dances, hymns and poems typical of celebrations in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
La Peregrina, a pilgrim image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, is an exact digital reproduction of the original image in Mexico City’s Basilica, which has been blessed and touched to the original image. This year marks the 14th anniversary when the gift was hand-delivered to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Monsignor Diego Monroy, then Rector of Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica in Mexico City.
From LA Archdiocese.