Catholic Latinos across the United States celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the Americas, with great fervor yesterday. The celebrations saw the Virgen Morena showered with red roses, serenaded with the traditional "Las Mañanitas" and honored by matachine dancers.
"It's an opportunity to honor the Virgen and dedicate some time to her," Luisa Santana told the El Paso Times. In preparation for the feast day, Santana decorated the grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe at Sts. Peter and Paul Church with lights, despite her physical ailments.
"We need to be grateful for everything she did for us," Santana said. This is a sentiment expressed by many Catholic Latinos yesterday since many have a strong devotion to the Virgin and pray to her to intercede for them and watch over them.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the name given to the Virgin Mary who appeared three times to a humble Mexican Indian named Juan Diego in 1531 on a hill.
Fr. Hugo Cordova of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish explained to the El Paso Times how the feast is “a manifestation of our faith as a community” and a celebration of unity.
For some, the feast day is the culmination of a yearlong devotion and prayer. Rosa Inungaray of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish heads the Asociación Guadalupana, which has a mass celebrated in the Virgin’s honor the 12th of every month. She seeks to pray to the Virgin and do good deeds in her honor each day.