Parishes Announce Mass Schedules for Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day
More than 55 churches and missions in the Diocese of Raleigh have scheduled Masses and celebrations in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which takes place December 12. The day marks one of the most important religious holidays in the Mexican Church calendar, commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary to (Saint) Juan Diego in 1531. Our Lady asked that a church be built in her honor at the site of the apparition. It was built two years later and replaced in 1976 by the current Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which hosts an estimated ten million pilgrims a year, making it the most popular Marian shrine in the world.
The feast day is celebrated in many Latin American countries and in many parishes in the United States. Celebrations begin as early as midnight and continue through the early morning hours with the reenactment of the apparition, prayer, songs and celebration of Holy Mass.