Our Lady of Guadalupe has her hands together in prayer close to her heart. She wears a singular star-spangled mantle. This is an image seen in Catholic churches across the world. Partly why she is recognized as the “Empress of the Americas.”
Mayra Lopez is a parishioner at El Santuario De Nuestra Señora De Guadalupe, a Catholic church in Mecca. She said her mother suffered a tragic accident, but she believes her family’s faith helped her recover.
“I am forever grateful to her, I love her with all my heart, I firmly believe in her,” Lopez said.
Father Francisco Valdovinos, the parish priest at El Santuario De Nuestra Señora De Guadalupe, said the faith the community shows to Our Lady of Guadalupe goes beyond any man-made border.
“This celebration gives courage and joy to the hearts of our immigrant community,” Father Valdovinos said.
It is believed that Our Lady of Guadalupe made an appearance in 1531 in a mountain known as El Tepeyac, now Mexico City.
“She told Juan Diego she wanted a church built for her, which is where the basilica of Guadalupe is located in Mexico City,” he said. “She wanted to offer her protection to the humblest, the helpless, and the poorest just like Juan Diego.”
Based on Catholic teaching, the bishop did not believe Juan Diego and asked him for proof of what he was saying.
“Juan Diego went back with our Lady of Guadalupe,” Father Valdovinos said. “She gave him flowers., and he put them on his blanket, and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared on the blanket.”
El Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in Mecca is honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe with lots of flowers and musical performances.
The love and faith that families show to our lady of Guadalupe go beyond just celebrating her on December 12th. Families have passed down traditions that honor her all year round.
“Our faith to Our Lady Of Guadalupe means so much,” Lopez said. “We pray the rosary everyday, and even my kids know how to pray it now.”