A closeup of the huge statute’s face now at the El Paso church. She’s 30-feet tall and hewed from “cantera,” a natural volcanic quarried stone from the Guadalejara region, State of Jalisco, in Mexico. Monday marked the official day for honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe in the church’s calendar year.
(All photos DMT / Maiya Kareli Bodine)
Dancers from St. Mark Catholic Church perform in front of the Virgin of Guadalupe statue after it was unveiled in ceremonies Sunday evening. There’s a 35-foot wall behind the statue featuring a waterfall.
St. Mark’s Catholic Church is on El Paso’s east side at 11700 Pebble Hills Dr. The weekend celebration began at noon Saturday with a parade around this large neighborhood. Different ministries of the church participated with float entries.
Children of the church — in a drama later in the afternoon following the parade and a rosary — performed a reenactment of the Guadalupe apparitions before the peasant Juan Diego in 1531 in the Tepayac hill country in central Mexico.
“Near Tepayac Hill he encountered a beautiful woman surrounded by a ball of light as bright as the sun,” reads a line from a web story on Catholic.org describing the miracle narrative.
“Speaking in his native tongue, the beautiful lady identified herself. And identified why she’d stopped him.
‘My dear little son, I love you. I desire you to know who I am. I am the ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who gives life and maintains its existence. He created all things. He is in all places. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth. I desire a church in this place where your people may experience my compassion. All those who sincerely ask my help in their work and in their sorrows will know my Mother’s Heart in this place. Here I will see their tears; I will console them and they will be at peace. So run now to Tenochtitlan and tell the Bishop all that you have seen and heard.'”
Later, disappointed by the bishop’s initial response to the request, he came back to the hill. The website (listed above) describes the events that unfolded later. The basis for Our Lady of Guadalupe [Guadalupe, Mexico – 1531] being honored by the Church as Patroness of the Americas.
Her Feast Day in the USA each year is December 12th.
Some more happy float participants, as they’ve gathered back on the church grounds.
Aztec Indian Matachine dancers accompanied the parade (here), and also performed an around-the-clock dance vigil in front of the new shrine. At least 15 Matachine groups from the El Paso diocese participated in the project. Father Arturo Banuelas is the church pastor.