The faithful packed the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.
“We gather again this year in the presence of the holy relic of the sacred tilma of St. Juan Diego. When we look upon her beautiful face, her tender eyes, we know that Our Lady of Guadalupe still goes with us — sharing our joys and our hopes, helping us in our sorrows and troubles,” said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez. “As she did with St. Juan Diego, she still opens her arms to us with tender love, to give us comfort and guidance. So we thank God for this beautiful sign of his love in our lives.”
The event, presented by the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and the Knights of Columbus, was held on the eve of her Feast Day, Dec. 11, following a tradition in Mexico City where millions gather at the Basilica where the tilma, the cloth of St. Juan Diego where the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe miraculously appeared, is displayed. A half-inch square of the tilma, the only piece in the United States, is enshrined at a gilded chapel inside the cathedral.
The celebration began at 6 p.m. with ballet folklorico performers, Aztec dancers, and video projections of art of the Virgin of Guadalupe by artist Lalo Garcia. During this time, the faithful lined up to venerate the tilma.
At 10 p.m., the celebration moved inside the cathedral for a rosary. At 11 p.m., Mariachi Los Toros and guest singers serenaded the Virgin and sung “Las Ma√±anitas,” a traditional Mexican birthday song to honor the Blessed Mother on her Feast Day.
This year’s musical tribute included special guest singers Dasahev López Saavedra, Latin Grammy award winner popularly known as “El Dasa”; Latin Grammy nominees Trio Ellas; Best New Christian Artist nominee Jacky Ibarra; Adrian Cruz, a San Fernando Valley singer discovered by Vicente Fernandez; and María Elena Macías, a Santa Clarita performer from Tecatitlán, a town in Jalisco, Mexico, famous for mariachi music. The festivities concluded with a midnight Mass celebrated by the archbishop.