.- The Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Knights of Columbus announced plans today for a massive “Guadalupe Celebration,” to be held at the 93,000-seat L.A. Coliseum on Aug. 5, 2012.
“At certain times, the Church gathers together for an event that provides the opportunity for the expression of faith in a very public way,” Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gómez said in an announcement made on the Dec. 12, 2011 Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
“In this celebration we will renew our devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and our commitment to continue the process of evangelization that she began on this continent nearly 500 years ago,” said the leader of the five-million member archdiocese.
Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, head of the Knights of Columbus, said the Catholic fraternal and charitable order was “pleased to be able to cosponsor this event with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” featuring prayer, music, and speeches honoring the Virgin Mary.
“We strongly believe that Our Lady of Guadalupe has an important message to share with all of us and has an important role to play in unifying the faithful of this hemisphere,” he said.
Anderson, co-author of the 2009 bestseller “Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love,” said the Guadalupe Celebration will be “an opportunity for us to bring Our Lady’s message to a large audience joined together in prayer and celebrating the great gift she has given this hemisphere.”
The Supreme Knight and his co-author Monsignor Eduardo Chavez will be among the event's speakers, along with Archbishop Gomez. Msgr. Chavez oversaw the canonization cause of St. Juan Diego, who received the Virgin Mary's miraculous image on his cloak when she appeared to him in 1531.
Los Angeles' Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is home to the only relic of St. Juan Diego's cloak – or “tilma” – in the United States. The portion imprinted with the miraculous image resides in Mexico City's Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the most-visited religious shrine in the Western hemisphere.
The Knights of Columbus co-sponsored a U.S. tour of the L.A. archdiocese's tilma relic in 2003, and held their first International Marian Congress in Arizona on the 2009 Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. That event concluded with its own Guadalupe Festival that drew 22,000 people.