The annual celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is once again expected to draw thousands of faithful Catholics to the cathedral in downtown Dallas. The celebration at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, 2215 Ross Avenue, will begin on Friday night, December 11th with a Rosary at 6:30 p.m., Novena Mass at 7:00 p.m., presentation of matachines at 8:30 p.m., and a serenade to the Virgin at 10:30 p.m., followed by the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe Midnight Mass celebrated in Spanish by Bishop Kevin J. Farrell. Mariachis and matachines will perform throughout the evening. Matachines, also called the soldiers of the Virgin, dress in elaborate Aztec-inspired costumes and dance in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
On Monday, December 12th, hundreds are expected to join in singing Las Mañanitas to the Virgin at 5:00 a.m. Spanish masses will follow at 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. Closing Mass.
The annual observance of the feast day recalls the miraculous apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Saint Juan Diego at Tepeyac, Mexico, in December 1531. Because she appeared to a humble, indigenous man and left her image on his “tilma” or cloak, the Virgin of Guadalupe has been a symbol of compassion and hope for people around the world. Bishop Farrell notes the importance of the day, “The Virgin of Guadalupe continues to be a symbol of dignity, hope and compassion for all who are marginalized. Let us pray that she continues to unite all of God’s people to strive for understanding, peace and human dignity for all.”
The Virgin of Guadalupe is the official patroness of the Americas, and the annual event is always an important observance for the more than 300,000 Hispanic Catholics in the Diocese of Dallas. This year, the event falls on a weekend which is expected to draw an estimated 35,000-40,000 up to 50,000 people, a considerably larger crowd from last year’s 23,000. While the cathedral observance is by far the largest celebration of the feast in the diocese, the feast day is also observed at numerous other area parishes, as well.
For more information, visit the Cathedral website at www.cathedralguadalupe.org.