Thousands honor Mexico’s Virgen of Guadalupe on anniversary of 1531 apparition
December 14, 2023 | by b1og.net
On the 492nd anniversary of the apparition of Mexico’s Virgen of Guadalupe in 1531, thousands of people gathered at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City to pay their respects. The faithful sang the traditional Mexican birthday song, “Las mañanitas,” and authorities estimated that over five million people visited the Basilica during the days leading up to the celebration. Despite the dangers and risks that came with the journey, such as cold temperatures and long walks, the pilgrims remained undeterred in their devotion. Many had traveled from distant villages, some even barefoot or on their knees, to express their gratitude and ask for help from the patroness. The event also attracted international visitors who were in awe of the Mexican faithful and the atmosphere of reverence.
Thousands gather at Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Every year, thousands of people gather at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe on the anniversary of her apparition in 1531. This year, on the 492nd anniversary of the event, over five million faithful visited the Basilica, making it one of the largest religious pilgrimages in the world.
Traditional Mexican birthday song sung
As part of the celebration, thousands of people joined together to sing the traditional Mexican birthday song, “Las mañanitas,” to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe. The song is a cherished tradition and a way for the faithful to express their love and devotion to the patroness of Mexico.
Five million faithful visit the Basilica
The sheer number of people who visited the Basilica during the celebration is a testament to the deep devotion and faith of the Mexican people. Despite the cold temperatures and long walks, the faithful traveled from distant villages to be present at this important event. Many arrived on foot, while others rode bicycles or took buses to reach the Basilica’s enormous patio.
Pilgrims travel from distant villages
For many pilgrims, the journey to the Basilica is not an easy one. They come from distant villages, sometimes walking for days, to pay their respects to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Their dedication and devotion are an inspiration to others and a testament to their unwavering faith.
Dangers and risks of the journey
However, the journey to the Basilica is not without its dangers and risks. This year, tragedy struck when three pilgrims were run over and killed on a highway leading from Mexico City to the city of Puebla. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers that pilgrims face as they travel long distances to reach their destination. It is a somber reminder of the risks involved in such a journey.
Tragic incident on the pilgrimage
Three pilgrims run over and killed
During this year’s pilgrimage, tragedy struck when three pilgrims were run over and killed by a pickup truck. The incident occurred on a highway leading from Mexico City to Puebla, where many pilgrims walk or ride on their way to or from the Basilica.
Driver arrested at the scene
Immediately following the incident, the driver of the pickup truck was arrested at the scene. The authorities are investigating the incident further to determine the exact circumstances and any potential charges that may be filed.
Pilgrims on highways in December
It is not uncommon to see groups of pilgrims walking or riding on highways during the month of December. This is the time when many people make their way to the Basilica to pay their respects to the Virgin of Guadalupe. While it is a sight that is deeply rooted in Mexican tradition, it is important to remember the risks involved and always prioritize safety.
Pilgrims’ dedication and devotion
Cold temperature and long walks do not discourage
Despite the cold temperature and the long walks, the pilgrims’ dedication and devotion are unwavering. They are willing to endure any hardship to reach the Basilica and pay their respects to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Their unwavering faith is truly inspiring.
Carrying flowers and paintings of the Virgin
As the pilgrims make their way to the Basilica, many of them carry flowers or large paintings of the Virgin of Guadalupe. These offerings are a symbol of their love and devotion to the patroness of Mexico. It is a beautiful sight to see as they make their way towards the Basilica, with their offerings held high.
Traveling the last stretch on their knees
In a display of extreme devotion, some pilgrims choose to travel the last stretch to the Basilica on their knees. This act of humility and sacrifice is a testament to their unwavering faith and their deep desire to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe. It is a powerful sight to witness and a reminder of the significance of this pilgrimage.
The significance of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Image imprinted on Juan Diego’s cloak
According to church tradition, in 1531, the dark-skinned virgin appeared to an Indigenous peasant named Juan Diego. Her image was miraculously imprinted on his cloak, known as the “tilma.” This cloak is now on display inside the Basilica and is a powerful symbol of the Virgin of Guadalupe’s presence.
Juan Diego made a saint
In recognition of the importance of the Virgin of Guadalupe and her role in Mexico’s history, Pope John Paul II canonized Juan Diego as a saint in 2002. This act further solidified the significance of the virgin and her apparitions in Mexican culture and the Catholic faith.
People seeking help from the Virgin
The Virgin of Guadalupe holds a special place in the hearts of many Mexicans and people around the world. She is believed to be a source of comfort and hope, and many people seek her help and guidance during difficult times. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe serves as a place of pilgrimage and prayer for those in need.
Personal stories of devotion
Praying for the release of a detained son
Sara Peña Montaño, a homemaker from the state of Morelos, traveled to the Basilica to pray for the release of her son, Silverio. He had been detained in the United States for crossing the border illegally, and she turned to the Virgin of Guadalupe for guidance and support. Her prayers were answered when her son was eventually released.
Emotion and excitement upon arrival
Upon arriving at the Basilica, many pilgrims are filled with emotion and excitement. The journey to reach this sacred place is a long and difficult one, and finally arriving is a momentous occasion. The sense of awe and reverence is palpable as they enter the sacred space.
Praying for the health of a sick baby
Evelyn Pilón, a young mother from Chiconcuac, walked overnight with her companion to pray for the health of her sick baby. Unable to bring her child along due to his illness, she carried an image of the Virgin carved from animal bone as a representation of her devotion. Her fervent prayers and faith in the Virgin of Guadalupe bring her comfort and hope during this challenging time.
International visitors join the pilgrimage
Praying for their own people
The pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is not just limited to Mexicans. People from all over the world come to pay their respects and seek solace in the Virgin of Guadalupe. Many international visitors join the pilgrimage as a way to pray for their own people and seek blessings for their loved ones.
Impressed by the Mexican faithful
International visitors are often impressed by the dedication and devotion of the Mexican faithful. The sheer number of people who participate in the pilgrimage and the unwavering faith they display leave a lasting impression. The devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe is a powerful testament to the importance of faith in Mexican culture.
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In conclusion, the pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a deeply significant and meaningful event for the Mexican people and visitors from around the world. The dedication and devotion of the pilgrims is awe-inspiring, and the stories of personal devotion and prayer are a testament to the power of faith. As thousands gather each year to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe, they are reminded of her presence and the comfort she brings to those in need.