A great sign appeared in the sky,
a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars
By: Maripaz Ramos
Santa Maria de Guadalupe de México
Each December 12, the Mexican Catholic community of the Diocese of Reno, celebrates the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This celebration commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to the native Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac in 1531. The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most important dates in the Mexican Americans Calendar. It has also become an important day to celebrate their religious and cultural identity.
In preparation for the feast day, many families in the community erect altars in their homes. In many cases, altars are made of a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe that is surrounded by candles and flowers. A larger temporary altar for her is put up in most of our parishes. In preparation for the Feast Day, the faithful is gathered for a novena, which consists to say the rosary on a nightly basis. The night before the Feast Day, in some parishes, the community gathers for a vigil. Outside of the church, they gather and recite prayers and recount the story of the appearance of Mary to Juan Diego. After completing the prayers, they move into the church to sing the mañanitas.
There are many groups of dancers and musicians that have come to offer their art to the Virgin. Matachines and folkloric groups dance to Our Lady, then, a mass is officiated, and it is at this moment that I could really feel the warmth and spiritual richness of the people. Let everyone come to this feast; with joy let us celebrate in this beautiful environment of Advent, the beginning of joy for the whole world!
Let us wish our Blessed Mother a warm welcoming to our hearts because, by doing so; we discover a new reason for rejoicing in her loving motherhood and her constant intercession for us. Desde el cielo una hermosa mañana, la Guadalupana bajó al Tepeyac/from heaven one beautiful morning, the Guadalupana came down to Tepeyac.