Several Holy Name parishes commemorated Mexico’s beloved the Virgin of Guadalupe, earlier this month. Among them were the parishes in Camden, N.J., Wilmington, Del., and Durham, N.C.
At St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden, a group of 100 faithful devotees to Our Lady of Guadalupe, shepherded by William “Jud” Weiksnar, OFM, gathered in the early morning of Dec. 12. They sang the traditional “Mananitas,” early-morning songs usually sung to people on birthdays in Mexico and in other Latin American countries, according to Octavio Duran, OFM
In Wilmington, the festivities for Our Lady of Guadalupe began on Dec. 1, with a novena to the Blessed Mother. On Dec. 6, the parish received the torch that was first lit in Mexico City, and its flame was carried out throughout Mexico and some United States cities with much influx of Mexican Immigrants, according to Pablo Sachez, chairman of the parish’s Guadalupe committee.
On Dec. 9, a Mass was celebrated at St. Paul’s Church by bishop Michael Saltarelli. The festivities continued on the evening of Dec. 11; hundreds paid homage to our Lady of Guadalupe until early in the morning when the Mananitas were sung. The feast concluded on the evening of the 12 with a Mass celebrated by Thomas Gallagher, OFM.
At Immaculate Conception Church in Durham, parishioners commemorated Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12 with their annual event. At 3:00 a.m., according to Steven Patti, OFM, a celebration of Las Mananitas, the traditional singing of early morning songs, was held. It was followed by a 4:00 a.m. Mass and a 7:00 p.m. Mass.
It is believed that Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico’s most beloved patroness, appeared one day to a poor Aztec Indian named Juan Diego near Tepayac Hill in Mexico where Our lady of Guadalupe spoke to Juan Diego and asked to go to the top of the hill and cut some roses, Octavio said. Juan Diego did what she asked. He cut and gathered the roses placing them in his “tilma” a poncho-like garment made of cactus fiber.
The Lady asked Juan Diego to give the roses to the bishop and upon Juan Diego’s return, as he took out the roses from the “tilma,” in his garment was an imprint of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In Mexico, where a Basilica of Guadalupe was built in Mexico City , hundreds of thousands of people gathered last week.