Annual archdiocesan celebrations in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe will have a different look this year, with the two most well-known events being hosted virtually so that families can honor “la morenita” safely from home amid increased COVID-19-related public safety measures.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has announced that this year, the historic procession and Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be celebrated virtually on Sunday, Dec. 6, beginning with the procession at 10:30 a.m. and Mass at the Mission San Gabriel at 12:00 p.m. livestreamed via lacatholics.org/guadalupe.
The annual celebration, themed “Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of Healing and Hope,” is the oldest religious procession in Los Angeles. The theme reflects on the importance of the presence of our Blessed Mother in our lives, especially during these challenging times, Archbishop José H. Gomez told the faithful.
“During this time of pandemic, in which people are suffering physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially, our Blessed Mother continues to visit her children, bringing them God’s healing mercy and his message of hope,” said Archbishop Gomez in a letter inviting parish communities to the procession and Mass, established in 1931 by Mexican Catholics who fled persecution by the Mexican government during the Cristero War.
The archdiocese is launching its first “digital novena” on Dec. 2, which will lead the faithful virtually through nine days of prayer and reflection. For nine days leading up to her feast, new 10-minute videos in English and Spanish will be shared on facebook.com/lacatholics about the significance of Our Lady of Guadalupe and living the Catholic faith in the domestic church.
On the feast day of St. Juan Diego, Dec. 9, a projected image of Our Lady of Guadalupe will illuminate the highest point of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, just two days before its annual “Mañanitas” celebration. The cathedral is home to the only known relic of the tilma of St. Juan Diego outside of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.
“Each of us has a list of needs and intercessions that we’ve put forth to Our Lady of Guadalupe especially during this time of pandemic,” said Father David Gallardo, pastor of the cathedral. “So, we will gather virtually as a community of faith to celebrate the gift that she is to all of us from Jesus her Son.”
The celebration dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe hosted by the cathedral, which typically includes nightlong festivities, will feature several artists serenading Our Lady, a mariachi tribute, praying of the rosary and holy Mass livestreamed on Dec. 11 starting at 8 p.m. at https://www.facebook.com/olacathedral.
More than 500 years later, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe housed at the basilica in Mexico City remains untouched by age or decay. Traditionally, millions visit the miraculous image at the basilica on her feast day to celebrate her promise to help and protect all mankind.
In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, approximately 40,000 gather each year for the annual procession and Mass in her honor, and thousands more celebrate at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and other local parish celebrations.
While the pandemic has changed the way her feast day is celebrated this year, the fiestas continue because her words resonate loudly in the hearts of the faithful, Guadalupanos, to this day: “Let your heart not be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, I, who am your Mother?”
For up-to-date information and details on these events, visit lacatholics.org/guadalupe.