Wednesday, Dec. 12, is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
On Dec. 9, 1531, the Blessed Virgin Mary made the first of several apparitions to Juan Diego, an Indian convert, at Mount Tepeyac. She left him with an image of herself imprinted upon his tilma (cloak).
Devotion to Mary under the title Our Lady of Guadalupe continues to increase, and today she is venerated as patroness of the Americas. Millions of conversions to the Catholic faith are attributed to Our Lady’s 1531 apparitions and continued intercession.
Pope St. John Paul II in 2001 canonized St. Juan Diego, the man to whom the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe near Mexico City is the most celebrated place of pilgrimage in the Americas.
Several activities are being planned to celebrate the feastday this year in the Jefferson City diocese. Celebrations often include Las Mañanitas, the traditional serenading of the Blessed Mother, usually before dawn. Here are some scheduled events in the diocese.
California — Mass in Spanish, Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m. in Annunciation Church
Columbia — Daily novena, Dec. 3-11 at 6:30 p.m. in Sacred Heart Church; feastday celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 6 p.m. to midnight, with traditional dances at 6 p.m. and Mass in Spanish at 9 p.m., followed by Las Mañanitas in Sacred Heart Church
Cuba — Mass in Spanish, Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. in Holy Cross Church
Jefferson City — Mass in Spanish and dramatic presentation of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. in St. Peter Church, followed by a dance and pot-luck reception; Las Mañanitas on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 10:30 p.m., followed by Mass in Spanish at midnight, St. Peter Church
Lake Ozark — Celebration with prayer, music and traditional devotions, Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. in Bestgen Hall, with Mass at 7 p.m., followed by fellowship
Louisiana — Mass in Spanish, Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 5:30 p.m. in St. Joseph Church
Macon — Mass in Spanish, Thursday, Dec. 13, at 6:30 p.m. in Immaculate Conception Church
Marshall — Las Mañanitas at 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, in St. Peter Church. Dramatic presentation of the Our Lady of Guadalupe story at 6:30 p.m., followed by Mass in Spanish at 7 p.m. in St. Peter Church
Mexico — Mass in Spanish, Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. in St. Brendan Church, followed by procession, Las Mañanitas and reception in the parish hall
Milan — Las Mañanitas, Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 11 p.m. in St. Mary Church; Mass in Spanish, Saturday, Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m. in church, followed by a fiesta in the community center
Moberly — Mass in Spanish, Monday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m., St. Pius X Church
Palmyra — Mass in Spanish, Saturday, Dec. 8, at 8 a.m. in St. St. Joseph Church
Perry — Mass in Spanish, Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. in St. William Church
Sedalia — Mass in Spanish, Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. in St. Patrick Church, followed by Las Mañanitas and dramatic presentation of Our Lady of Guadalupe story
Shelbina — Holy Hour, Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. in St. Mary Church