Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
On December 12, we celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who was declared the “Queen of Mexico and Patroness of the Americas” by Pope Pius XII in the 1940s, a title affirmed by Pope John Paul II in 1999, who made her feast day an obligatory memorial on liturgical calendars in the Americas, meaning it would be celebrated each year.
The feast day commemorates the appearances of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac outside Mexico City in 1531. Juan Diego, a humble Aztec Indian who had converted to Christianity, was on his way to Mass when he encountered the Blessed Mother. She asked him to tell the bishop to build a church on the hill to assist in the conversion of the nation and to be a source of consolation for those in need. Juan Diego did as he was asked, but the bishop was skeptical and wanted some sign or assurance of the Blessed Mother's appearance. It came in the forms of roses, which appeared on the hill in the middle of the winter and were arranged by Our Lady on Juan Diego’s tilma, or cloak. When Juan Diego met with the bishop, the roses spilled out and an image of Our Lady could be seen imprinted on the tilma. The bishop fell to his knees and believed the message and a temple was built as Our Lady had wished.
That church remains today, and each year, thousands of people make a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City for the feast day.
“The Latino community venerates her in a special way, especially as she is the patroness of Mexico,” said Father Michael Sevigny, OFM Cap., the director of the Office of Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Portland.
Celebrations in the Diocese of Portland
CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, PORTLAND
Bishop Robert Deeley will gather with members of the Hispanic community and others for a Mass on Sunday, December 10, at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress Street in Portland. A reception will follow in the cathedral's guild hall. [More details]. The celebration at the cathedral is sponsored by the Office of Hispanic Ministry.
ST. MICHAEL CHURCH, CHERRYFIELD
A potluck lunch will be held following the 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Michael Church, 51 Elm Street in Cherryfield, on Sunday, December 10. [More details]
Prayer for the intercession of St. Juan Diego, who was canonized in 2002, and whose feast day is December 9.
Maine Celebration -- An annual celebration of the feast day, sponsored by the Office of Hispanic Ministry, began in 2021 and brings together members of the Hispanic community as well as others from around the state.