November 18, 2019  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

Pilgrim images will visit parishes and cemeteries in the five pastoral regions of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Kicking-Off with Día de los Muertos Celebrations in Oxnard and East LA

The annual pilgrimage of the images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego kicks off with visits to Día de los Muertos celebrations on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Santa Clara Cemetery in Oxnard and then Saturday, Nov. 2 at Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles. Both events are free offering families a unique opportunity to experience an authentic Día de los Muertos celebration rooted in Catholic tradition uniting faith, prayer and cultural heritage to commemorate All Souls Day. The celebrations will include traditional altars in honor of the departed, folkloric dancers, Mariachi concert, activities for kids, and a massive community altar which all attendees are invited to commemorate their deceased loved ones (archla.org/diadelosmuertos).

The month-long spiritual pilgrimage leading up to the 88th Procession and Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 1 in East Los Angeles will visit 18 designated parishes throughout the Archdiocese, and two cemeteries, where there will be a series of activities to welcome the traveling images, including Masses, processions, rosaries, prayer services, veneration and music. For more details on the activities, please see full schedule attached.

The pilgrimage will begin at the Día de los Muertos celebration at Santa Clara Cemetery on Oct. 26, which begins at noon with Mass where the images will be welcomed by the community and Auxiliary Bishop Alex Aclan for the San Fernando Region. After Mass, the images will lead a procession around the cemetery and into the Chapel where they will remain until 4:30 p.m. for veneration by the faithful. Following this celebration, the images will make their way to St. Joseph Church in Carpinteria on Oct. 26, where they will be welcomed with a procession and bilingual (English/Spanish) Rosary. The images will remain there until mid-afternoon on Oct. 28 for veneration.

The faithful of St. Raphael Church in Santa Barbara will welcome the images on Oct. 28 at 7:00 p.m. and they will remain at the parish until Oct. 30 for veneration, rosaries, and performances by Aztec Dancers and Mariachi. On Oct. 30, the traveling images will make their way to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Paula, where they will be welcomed with Danza Tonantzin and folkloric ballet. The images will remain there until Nov. 1 when they make their way to East Los Angeles for the Día de los Muertos Celebration at Calvary Cemetery, for the very first time.

The annual pilgrimage of the images serves as spiritual preparation for the 88th Annual Procession and Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 1 in East Los Angeles. The Guadalupe Procession is the oldest religious procession in Los Angeles, and this year’s theme is “Our Lady of Guadalupe: Ark of Salvation”. It was established in 1931 by Mexican Catholics who fled persecution by the Mexican government during the Cristero War. The annual celebration commemorates the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe which recalls the miraculous apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Saint Juan Diego at Cerro del Tepeyac (Tepeyac Hill), Mexico City, in December 1531, when she left her image on his “tilma” or cloak. Her image has been a symbol of unity, peace, compassion, and hope for people around the world.

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. This year marks the 14th anniversary when the gift was hand-delivered to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Monsignor Diego Monroy, then Rector of Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica in Mexico City.


The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest Archdiocese in the United States with approximately five million Catholics. For the latest news, events and to subscribe for media alerts visit media.la-archdiocese.org. Follow us on social media at LACatholics on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Video archives and footage of Masses celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez are also available.