October 22, 2020  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  


–Pilgrim images will visit parishes and cemeteries throughout the Archdiocese leading up to the 89th Procession and Mass honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 6–

The annual pilgrimage of the images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego kicks off today, the feast of St. John Paul II, with a special visit with farmworkers who harvest vegetables for the consumption of families around the county at Muranaka Farms in Moorpark. The pilgrimage of the images to parishes and cemeteries throughout the Archdiocese of Los Angeles serves as spiritual preparation for the faithful leading up to the 89th Procession and Mass honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 6 which is the oldest religious procession in Los Angeles.

Father Juan Ochoa, pastor at Christ the King parish in Los Angeles and president of the Commission for Our Lady of Guadalupe, led the procession of the images on to the field and blessed the farmworkers recognizing their important contributions in nourishing families in California and beyond especially during the current pandemic. The images were serenaded by a mariachi band and were decorated with harvest from the farm including kale, radishes, parsley and leeks, as they made their way their way through the field on a flatbed truck.

“During this unusual year where COVID-19 has changed how we live, work, pray, and socialize this is an opportunity to celebrate and thank the farm workers,” said Father Ochoa. “These essential workers touch all our lives, wherever we live or whatever we do. It is about how we feed our own families, and the whole human family. It is about how we treat those who put food on our table and those who do not have enough food. Fundamentally, food and agriculture are about life: life for the hungry and for all who depend on farmers and farmworkers for what we eat every day.”

Fourth and 6th grade students from St. Joseph School in La Puente participated in the visit to Muranaka Farms as part of a virtual field trip which also recognized the feast of St. John Paul II as he had a special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and canonized St. Juan Diego in 2002 in Mexico City.

“Today’s lesson and visit with the farmworkers intertwines the topics of social studies and social justice, economics and equality, science and faith,” said Mark Padilla, 6th grade teacher at St. Joseph School who also serves as a volunteer to transport the images during the pilgrimage.

“I hope that our students will gain an appreciation for those essential workers who are the backbone of our society; those who work in the fields, transport the produce, work in the warehouses, stock the local markets, all in the effort to bring food to our homes. This is an important lesson which reaffirms our beliefs as we see the dignity of those who do the difficult work that brings sustenance to our families.” 

This is the first visit of the pilgrim images to a working farm made possible through a partnership with the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) and Muranaka Farms. About 40 farmworkers, many who mainly pick radishes currently, participated in today’s celebration which included lunch for all 150 of the Muranaka Farms farmworkers provided by the Catholic Cemeteries & Mortuaries of the Archdiocese.

“Two-thousand years ago, our Blessed Mother visited her cousin Elizabeth, almost five-hundred years ago she visited the native people of this continent as Our Lady of Guadalupe, and today she continues to visit her people,” said Father Ochoa. During her apparitions to St. Juan Diego, our Blessed Mother interceded for the healing of his uncle Juan Bernardino. During this time of pandemic, in which people are suffering physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially, our Blessed Mother wants to continue to visit her children. 

After the visit to Muranaka Farms, the images will visit Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Oxnard until Oct. 24. The images will make their way to newest Minor Basilica in the U.S., Mission Basilica San Buenaventura in Ventura from Oct. 25-26, and then will visit Our Lady of the Assumption parish in Ventura until Oct. 28. The pilgrimage will then head south to St. Peter Claver parish in Simi Valley until Oct 31. The images will visit Calvary Cemetery in East LA and Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City for Día de los Muertos Vigil (Nov. 1) and All Souls Day Mass (Nov. 2) celebrations. Following the All Souls Day celebration, the images will visit St. John Chrysostom parish in Inglewood from Nov. 3-5 and Holy Spirit parish in Los Angeles from Nov. 6-7.

La Peregrina, a pilgrim image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, is an exact digital reproduction of the original image in Mexico City’s Basilica, which has been blessed and touched to the original image. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and one of St. Juan Diego were gifts hand-delivered to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Monsignor Diego Monroy, then Rector of Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica in Mexico City. Her image has been a symbol of unity, peace, compassion, and hope for people around the world.



About the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is thelargest Catholic Archdiocese in the United States with approximately five millionCatholics, serving the three counties of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara. For the latest news, events and to subscribe formedia alerts visit us on social media using @LACatholics on FacebookInstagram andTwitterVideo footage and photographs (credit: Angelus News) of Massescelebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomezare also available.