Today is the feastday of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
On the morning drop-off route, I just stopped by the parish that's the locus of the Hispanic ministry (St. Patrick's, founded for the Irish who were working on the railroads more than a century ago. The wheel turns.). I should have put my thinking cap on last Saturday instead of yesterday - of course, as the sign told me, their major celebration was Sunday. Harrumph. They'd also evidently been having a novena that ended this morning of course - at 5:30 AM, followed by cafe y chocolate and so on. Oh well...next year, perhaps.
Some Guadalupe-related news articles, and if you like, add your own experiences of any celebrations this week:
Sancta. org is the major umbrella website devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In Houston, a story of gratitude:
The work is his pleasure. Galvan believes Our Lady kept him alive during triple bypass heart surgery a few years back. She watched over two of his sons when they served in Iraq. He believes she will continue to watch over the young men when they return to the war-torn country next year.
"This shrine," said Galvan, 60, "represents the mother of God. She has pulled me through a lot of miracles."
The Arizona Daily Star has an overview, with some interesting photos
Here's kind of an odd column from the OC Register, which attempts to see the bright side. The columnist writes of an interesting parish tradition, in which a statue of Our Lady, purchased by parishioners on a road trip to TIjuana without the pastor's knowledge, goes from house to house. A marvelous compromise! Perhaps. The columnists comments on the
"austere beauty" of the interior in which there is hardly any statuary, except in a side chapel. So, basically - the powers that be don't want statues in the church. So, folks, keep it in your houses, okay? Ni-ice.
Oh, let's be positive, shall we?
The AP story on the Mexico City celebration.
Even though the warming weather created muddy conditions at Maryville's grass parking lot, cars continued to pour in through the evening. Organizers estimate that between 60,000 to 120,000 people will take part in the two-day celebration.
Des Plaines police had shut down Central Road at River Road starting 5 p.m. Monday to handle the crowds. It will reopen at 6 a.m. today.
"You do Maryville honor by coming here in such big crowds," the Rev. John Smyth said in his welcome address.
At times solemn and at times festive, Mass, which began at 8 p.m., was primarily in Spanish, as the celebration is largely attended by Hispanic parishioners. The ceremony was peppered with Mexican dancing and songs.
From the Arizona Republic, the perspective of Hispanic Protestants:
Twice a day, Jose Gonzalez used to pray to the Virgin of Guadalupe. But when he turned away from Catholicism, he let her go. Now, the Phoenix pastor speaks directly to Jesus.
"Traditionally, Mexican people believe that the Virgin of Guadalupe is a mediator between God and the people," said Gonzalez, 55, of Nuevo Nacimiento Church on 27th Avenue near Van Buren Street.
"We pray only to God, through Jesus Christ," he said. "The Virgin of Guadalupe plays no role. Not at all."
San Antonio, on the devotion crossing cultural lines:
The parish's Society of Guadalupanas, a ministry promoting devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, has grown from just 12 members, mostly Hispanics, to nearly 140 men and women, almost half of whom are Anglo, the priest said.
Nick Young was devoted to the Virgin long before he came to St. Mark's in 2001, having overcome his early skepticism about some Marian devotions.
But it was here that he first learned about Our Lady of Guadalupe.
"She has appeared in many different places, such as Lourdes and Fatima, and we have many devotions to her," Young said. "She's still Mary, the Mother of God. We can go to her and pray for her intercession under any of her titles."
He said the unusually deep devotion and dedication displayed by the parish's Guadalupanas attracted him to join the society. He said he'd never seen such devotion and reverence elsewhere.
"I'm doing OK, slowly," Martinez said, walking stick in hand, as he looked out over Las Cruces from the heights of Tortugas Mountain.
Martinez, born in San Miguel and now 81, is in many ways the embodiment of what the annual Tortugas trek is all about — faith, sacrifice and promises to a higher power.
Monday marked yet another occasion on which Martinez climbed Tortugas Mountain, also known as "A" Mountain. He was just one of hundreds who made the trip.
For 92 years the faithful have walked from Tortugas Pueblo to the top of the mountain in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, commemorating the day in the 16th century when the Virgin Mary appeared in what is now Mexico City.
Heredia has led the veneration, held on the eve of Dec. 12, the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, since she and her 84-year-old husband, Manuel, bought their now-sprawling Southwest Side home, which started out as a single-room brick dwelling more than 50 years ago.
"I have 11 children in all, and not one ended up in jail or gangs," said Heredia. "They've all been so good. For all that, I thank the Virgin."
The movie, produced by Dos Corazons films and distributed by Slowhand Cinema, was not reviewed by major newspapers even though it was released to 150 theaters nationwide in major markets such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Seattle and Miami.
Most of the marketing and distribution of the film was aimed at areas with high concentrations of Latinos and channeled through Spanish language radio stations and publications, said Sandra Eckardt of Sentir Marketing, a Newport Beach-based firm that promoted "Guadalupe."
The distributors were relying on word of mouth generated through e-mails and Catholic parishes, she said.
"The core audience are the Spanish-speaking Latinos that are religious," Eckardt said. "The movie has a lot to do with the Mexican culture and beliefs of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It has appeal to first-, second-, third- and fourth-generation Hispanics. It can help later generations tap into their culture and the way they were raised, especially from a religious standpoint."
The content of the movie could make it a big movie here," Carrillo said. "La Virgen is a very traditional symbol that at the same time is very contemporary and links Latinos in the United States to their culture and families in Mexico."
Constructed with documentary style and dramatic elements, the film introduces a modern plot surrounding two Spanish siblings who travel to Mexico for a scientific exploration of the 475-year-old story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It features some well-known Mexican actors including Eric del Castillo, Angelica Aragon and Pedro Armendariz.
The film's website (The trailer has a very DVC feel, btw.)
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Since today is her feast day, here's some more from Amy: