A holy relic --- a piece of the tilma of Saint Juan Diego where the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe miraculously appeared almost 480 years ago --- will be publicly displayed in the archdiocesan celebration in her honor on Dec. 4.The 80th annual Procession and Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe will begin at 11 a.m., at the corner of Cesar Chavez Avenue and Ford Boulevard in East Los Angeles, where thousands of Catholic faithful from diverse ethnic communities will gather to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe at the oldest religious procession in Los Angeles. Following the procession, Archbishop José Gomez, Los Angeles auxiliary bishops and participating clergy will celebrate Mass at East Los Angeles College Stadium.The annual celebration recalls the miraculous apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Saint Juan Diego at Tepeyac, Mexico, in December 1531, when she left her image on his “tilma” or cloak.“The Virgin of Guadalupe is part of our history as a Church here in Los Angeles,” said Archbishop Gomez. “Not only is there a great love and devotion for our Blessed Mother, but we are also blessed to have a holy relic, a piece of the Tilma of Saint Juan Diego.”The relic, the only known piece of the Tilma outside of Mexico, was given in gratitude and friendship from the Archbishop of Mexico City to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1941 after Archbishop John Cantwell made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.In addition, the 2011 Guadalupe Committee has organized a pilgrimage of the Peregrina (Pilgrim) Image of the Virgin of Guadalupe starting Nov. 4. The Peregrina, an exact digital reproduction of the original in Mexico City, Mexico, is visiting 21 parishes throughout the five regions of the Archdiocese leading up to the Procession on Dec. 4.Parish groups from different ethnic communities within the Archdiocese, decorated floats and indigenous dancers will escort the Peregrina image at the procession on Dec. 4. The Mass following the procession will feature mariachis, bandas, dances, hymns and poems typical of celebrations in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.East Los Angeles College Stadium is located at 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., East L.A. For more information, call Resurrection Church, (323) 268-1141. 

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