Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day: Celebration Worthy of Note

Here’s a heads up for next year since the day has passed. Still, since this is a month of holidays, I didn’t want this one to go unmentioned. December 12th is one of the most important holy days in Mexico and much of Latin America. The Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day is when people honor Mexico’s patron saint, the Lady of Guadalupe. She appeared in the 16th century to Juan Diego, a poor farmer in Mexico, and is thought to have been the Virgin Mary. His apron with her image on it remains.

Along with many church celebrations, processionals and ceremonies in Mexico and the U.S., December 12th is when hundreds of people make a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, thought to be on the site when Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared. Inside the church, the tilma (apron) that belonged to Juan Diego is on display. Several million come here every year for mass and to see the icon. By the looks of the crowds in this YouTube video, it’s quite the place to visit.

Here is another video from a church in New Jersey that begins to celebrate the feast day the Sunday before the 12th. There is an interview with the priest about the celebration’s significance and footage of the happenings. And, here is an article from today’s Courier-Journal from Louisville, Kentucky that also provides an overview about how this celebration is important to people who have immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico and those with Mexican heritage.

The photo was taken by Chantel Foster during the Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day procession in Albuquerque, New Mexico and posted on Flickr.