SINGERS ANNOUNCED TO SERENADE OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE ON THE EVE OF HER FEAST DAY AT THE CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS
—Celebration on Dec. 11 will feature the veneration of the only relic in the U.S. of the tilma of St. Juan Diego, a Rosary prayer and an art exhibit in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe—
Thousands of faithful are expected to pack the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles during the annual celebration to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 11, the eve of her Feast Day, when a roster of singers, including a Mariachi singer from the Los Angeles Police Department and a Latin Pop Jazz singer, will serenade the Virgin. The faithful will be able to visit the chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, which houses the only piece of the tilma or cloak in the U.S., from the original in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The celebration will culminate with a midnight Mass celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez.
“On this beautiful night, we thank God for sending his gift of Our Lady of Guadalupe, our mother,” said Archbishop Gomez. “She painted this picture of herself on the tilma because she wanted us to see her face, her compassionate and merciful gaze. She painted her own picture with roses, so we could know the beauty of her love for us. I look forward to celebrating this great feast with the people of Los Angeles and all over the world through our partners in the Catholic media.”
The event, presented by the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, follows a tradition in Mexico City where millions gather at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It will begin on the Cathedral Plaza at 6 p.m. with Aztec and Matachines dancers. During this time, the faithful will venerate the half-inch square tilma relic through offerings of prayer and flowers. The tilma relic is the cloak of St. Juan Diego where the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe miraculously appeared. It is displayed at a gilded chapel inside the Cathedral. Faithful will also be able to visit a new exhibit in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego with art by sacred artist Lalo Garcia and artists Laura Vasquez Rodriguez, Rosa Maria Alvarez and Rick Ortega.
At 10 p.m., the celebration will move inside the Cathedral for a Rosary prayer accompanied by Cathedral’s Spanish Choir, followed by a serenade to the Virgin and “Las Mañanitas,” a traditional Mexican birthday song to honor the Virgin on her Feast Day.
This year’s musical tribute, or serenata, will include the following performers:
- William Garza – Millennial Mexican regional singer was born in San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, Mexico, and was raised in Denver, Colorado. In 2013 he moved to Los Angeles to begin his musical career and in 2014 he published his first promotional album as a soloist. In 2016, he released his first album. Recently, he released the video of his new song, “Ahora que lo sabes” (Now that you know it). He will perform at Cathedral with his own band, La Banda Ahuis.
- Jacky Ibarra – A Los Angeles native, Jacky began her career at the age of four. This is her 12th year singing Las Mañanitas to La Virgen de Guadalupe. In summer 2011, Jacky was chosen to sing at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, and at St. Francis of Assisi and Santa Maria La Mayor. She was one of the 25 finalists among 35,000 contestants at “La Academia de La Última Generacion,” Mexico’s version of American Idol. Her first album, “Acércate a Mí” rose to No. 3 on the Christian charts and she was nominated for Best New Christian Artist.
- Chris Reza – Los Angeles Police Department officer is known in Boyle Heights as the “mariachi policeman.” He says he uses music to “break the ice” with the public and to strengthen community relations. Love of music was instilled in him by his mother, who sang at parties and weddings. He grew up listening to Mariachi music. After the success of his performance at a Quinceañera whose mother had a terminal disease, and became viral on social networks, he founded the Mariachi Los Servidores with colleagues of different police stations in LA County.
- Julian Torres – Born in Hawthorne to Mexican parents, singer and songwriter Julian Torres grew up singing Mexico’s music at many events, including church carnivals. As a child, he was inspired to become a Mariachi musician after seeing a children Mariachi band. After being part of Mariachi bands, recording with other musicians for the past 25 years, Julian is now a solo artist, and is currently promoting his newly released EP “Época de Oro.”
- Nancy Sanchez – She was born in Toluca, Mexico, and raised in Southern California. Her music is a blend of both cultures; it contains a mix of Jazz, Mexican folklore and pop. The primary instrument used by the award-winning Jazz vocalist is the Mexican vihuela, a small, deep-bodied rhythm guitar, mostly used by Mariachi groups. Nancy recently signed with one of the largest music publishers in the world, Universal Music Publishing. Her music has been featured in the STARZ original series VIDA, Nickelodeon’s National Hispanic Heritage Month campaign, and in the FX series Mayan MC. Her original song, “In other words,” is the title track to an upcoming feature film.
- Cheli Madrid – Yesenia Araceli Rodríguez Madrid, known as Cheli Madrid, is originally from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, and one of the new talents of the Mexican regional genre. At age 17 she recorded her first album and then recorded a song with the renowned Mexican regional group Los Tigres del Norte. After earning a degree in business administration from California State University, Long Beach, she moved to Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. This year she released her first single and first studio album.
- Mariachi Los Toros – they began as a childhood dream of their director Carlos Parra in September 2001. They are a group of young professional musicians who have had the opportunity to perform at important festivals and concerts, including KCET’s Holiday Celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. They have been invited for six consecutive years to El Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi (International Mariachi Festival) in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The festivities at Cathedral will conclude with a midnight Mass presided by Archbishop Gomez, which will be livestreamed on facebook.com/lacatholics/.
The celebration recalls the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to St. Juan Diego at Tepeyac, Mexico, in December 1531, when she left her image on his tilma, or cloak. The relic, or piece of the tilma inside the Cathedral was a present to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from the Archbishop of Mexico City in appreciation and friendship after Los Angeles Archbishop John J. Cantwell led a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City in the early 1940s. Given the natural agave fibers used to make the tilma, experts say it is miraculous that the relic at the Cathedral in Los Angeles, and the rest of the tilma in Mexico City, have survived for almost five centuries.
The celebration is possible with the support of Catholic Communication Collaboration (C3) and Sprint, Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries, Tacos Gavilán, Vallarta Supermarkets, Mexican kitchen and bakery El Gallo Giro, EWTN Español and María Visión.
For more information, visit http://www.olacathedral.org/guadalupe/.
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.