Thursday, December 25, 2008
Guadalupe pilgrimage inspires faithful
photos © Mark M. Hancock for The Texas Catholic
Alfonso Bustamante of Santa Clara Catholic Church in Dallas blows a conch shell at the beginning of a pilgrimage from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish to San Juan Diego Parish in Dallas on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008.
Leslie Cruz (left) dances with other members from the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Denton before the pilgrimage. The 15th annual pilgrimage was coordinated by Pastoral Juvenil Hispana for Hispanic and Latin-American immigrants.
Luis Jimenez of Saint Ann Catholic Church in Coppell prays the rosary during a pilgrimage from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish to San Juan Diego Parish.
Member of Santa Clara Catholic Church in Dallas participate in the Marian Pilgrimage in Dallas. The dancing troupes are known as Matachines.
Celebrants wear ornate, hand-made costumes during the pilgrimage. The pilgrimage is in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the Americas.
Celebrants walk past the Love Field airport during the pilgrimage in Dallas. About 1,000 faithful participated in the pilgrimage.
Teresa Jordan (right) and Robert Duron (left) of Our Lady of the Pilar Catholic Church participate during the pilgrimage. Four trucks were decorated to represent the different times the Virgin Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego.
Osito Del Valle (right) of the Indio Apache Tribu (Nativos de San Miguel) drums during a pilgrimage from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish to San Juan Diego Parish in Dallas.
Celebrants pass Crown Hill Memorial Park on Webb Chapel Road during the pilgrimage in Dallas.
Celebrants costumes match the turning leaves as they pass Crown Hill Memorial Park during the annual pilgrimage.
Yvonne Martinez (center) of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church rests momentarily during the eight-mile-long pilgrimage from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish to San Juan Diego Parish.
Celebrants dance on Monroe Drive in Dallas as they near the end of the pilgrimage.
Alejandro Sanchez, 13, of Dallas carries a statue of Juan Diego during the pilgrimage.
Deacon Abel Cortes (left) and Father Alberto Frausto (right) await the arrival of pilgrims near San Juan Diego Parish in Dallas.
Vicky Cueto sings during an outdoor mass at San Juan Diego Parish.
Monsignor John F. Meyers looks up after kissing the alter during an outdoor mass at San Juan Diego Parish in Dallas.
Father Alberto Frausto speaks to celebrants during an outdoor mass at San Juan Diego Parish in Dallas.
Father Alberto Frausto prepares for communion during an outdoor mass at San Juan Diego Parish in Dallas.
Celebrants pray during an outdoor mass at San Juan Diego Parish in Dallas.
In 1531, many native Mexicans were persecuted during the Spanish conquest.
On Dec. 12, 1531, an Aztec peasant was walking near present-day Mexico City. A brightly-clothed woman appeared and spoke to Juan Diego in his language. She said she was the Virgin Mary and wanted a church built on the site. Juan Diego took this information to the Spanish bishop.
The bishop demanded proof. She appeared again. Although it was winter, Spanish roses appeared for Juan Diego. She instructed him to collect roses in his cloak as proof.
When Diego went to the bishop, he opened his cloak and the roses fell to the ground to reveal an icon of the Virgin Mary on his apron (Tilma).
The church was built by 1536, and Catholic conversion took hold across Mexico.
Today, about 20 million people visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City each year to see the original miraculous apron. It hangs on display behind bullet-proof glass.
Please read, "Young Hispanics gather to strengthen Catholic identity" by María del Carmen Uceda and Jesús Gras for Texas Catholic.
Please read more about the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.