Coadjutor Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles presided at the 79th Annual Mass and Procession in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe before some 25,000 Catholics. He invited the attendees to lead lives of sacrifice and humility to help bring others closer to God.
At the Mass, held Dec. 5 at East Los Angeles College, Archbishop Gomez noted the fervent devotion that exists throughout the Americas to Our Lady of Guadalupe. “Millions of our brothers and sisters will direct their prayers and affection to her” in the coming days, he said.
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated each year on Dec. 12.
“Each one of us has a vocation, a personal call from God that involves our entire lives and upon which many good things depend,” the archbishop continued. He urged the faithful to embrace Advent as a time of hope and renewal and not to allow the commercial aspect of the season to overshadow its religious meaning. “During this time we once again have the opportunity to strengthen and deepen our personal relationship with Jesus,” he added.
“The celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe should help us to welcome Jesus into our lives as the Virgin Mary did, to open our hearts to the love of Jesus and prepare a place for him in our hearts through prayer and repentance,” he continued.
The pilgrim image of Our Lady of Guadalupe—a detailed copy of the original image preserved in Mexico City—was on display for the faithful during the celebration.