Our Lady of Guadalupe
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12, when people from across Mexico and other countries make a pilgrimage to see an image of Mary (Virgen Morena), believed to be authentic, in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
According to legend, a man named Juan Diego encountered the Virgin Mary twice in Mexico City, on December 9 and December 12 in 1531. Mary told Juan to ask the bishop to build a church on Tepeyac Hill. The bishop however, needed proof of Juan’s encounter and asked for a miracle. When Juan returned to the hill, there were roses in a spot where cacti previously grew. He showed the roses to the archbishop and revealed an image on his cloak of the Lady of Guadalupe. The bishop was convinced of the miracle and built a church in honor of the event.
The popularity of this feast has grown particularly in the southwestern United States, particularly among Americans of Mexican descent. Dancers, drummer, banners, and parades are all a part of the feast day. Children dress in traditional costumes and are blessed in churches. Many Episcopal Churches, especially those with Latino parishioners, celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Collect of Our Lady of Guadalupe:
O God, Father of mercies, who placed your people under the singular protection of your Son’s most holy Mother, grant that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe may seek with ever more lively faith the progress of peoples in the ways of justice and of peace; through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
[from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops]