(Dallas) 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 Tuesday night, December 11, with a serenade to the Virgin at 10:00 p.m. in the sanctuary followed by Midnight Mass celebrated in Spanish by Bishop Edward J. Burns.
It is important to note that the Cathedral is currently under construction and the Cathedral Plaza will be closed as a gathering space and used only for egress. Worshippers can gather in front of the cathedral doors and on Ross Avenue. Ross Avenue will be closed around the cathedral beginning at 7 p.m. Monday. Mariachis and matachines will perform throughout the evening on Ross Avenue and inside the cathedral. Matachines, also called the soldiers of the Virgin, dress in elaborate Aztec-inspired costumes and dance in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
On Wednesday, December 12th, more than 15,000 are expected to join in singing Las Mañanitas to the Virgin at 5:00 a.m. Masses in Spanish will follow at 6 a.m., 5 p.m. and a 7 p.m. closing mass. The 12 noon English Mass will also be held as regularly scheduled.
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.
The Virgin of Guadalupe is the official patroness of the Americas, and the annual event is always an important observance for the more than 400,000 Hispanic Catholics in the Diocese of Dallas. This year, the event falls at the beginning of the work week which is expected to draw an estimated 23,000 people, a smaller crowd than last year’s 30,000. 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.