OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE PILGRIMAGE LAUNCHED TODAY WITH SEA VOYAGE TO CATALINA ISLAND
–Pilgrimage takes place each year in spiritual preparation for the 85th annual Guadalupe Procession and Mass in East LA on Dec. 4–
In celebration of the 485th anniversary of the miraculous apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego, the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, known as La Peregrina, is beginning the annual pilgrimage to parishes through out the Archdiocese of Los Angeles today, with a first-ever visit to St. Catherine of Alexandria Church in Catalina Island.
Bishop Oscar Solis, Auxiliary Bishop for the San Pedro Pastoral Region, blessed La Peregrina, an exact digital reproduction of the original image in Mexico City’s Basilica, and local faithful as they gathered in Long Beach this morning to send the image on its journey to Catalina Island. Nearly 30 faithful from the greater Los Angeles area traveled to greet La Peregrina upon its arrival at Catalina Island and celebrate Mass at St. Catherine of Alexandria Church.
“In God’s mysterious ways, he sends us constantly manifestations of love, mercy and compassion. We have Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego journeying with us throughout life, and the pilgrimage that begins today will remind our community of faith of the love and boundless mercy that God has for each and every one of us,” said Bishop Solis.
The festivities on Catalina Island include a Mass (in English) at 1 p.m. celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Solis at St. Catherine of Alexandria Church, at 4 p.m. a procession from the church to Bird Park and back, followed by a bilingual (English/Spanish) Mass at 6 p.m. at St. Catherine of Alexandria.
Upon its return to Los Angeles, the images of La Peregrina and St. Juan Diego will visit nearly 50 designated pilgrimage churches during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, in all five pastoral regions of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The traveling images will visit two parishes in Long Beach, Holy Innocents Church (425 E. 20th St., 90806) from Thursday, Sept. 29 through Friday, Sept. 30, and St. Anthony Church (600 Olive Avenue, 90802) from Saturday, Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 2. After visiting churches in Los Nietos, Manhattan Beach, Whittier, Downey and Bellflower, the pilgrimage will make its way to Los Angeles, where the images will be welcomed and venerated by more than 10 church communities the rest of October. (See full schedule here)
This year marks the 10th anniversary of when the pilgrim image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which has been blessed and touched to the original image, was presented as a gift to the Archdiocese by the rector of Mexico City’s Basilica.
NOTE: Additional photos available upon request.