The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe gathers 1,500 faithful
For the ninth consecutive year, Latino Catholics gathered in anticipation of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and offered “Las Mañanitas,” a traditional serenade to Our Lady on the vigil of her feast day, followed by a Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul..
A celebration organized months in advance by the community for the community, on Dec. 11 drew around 1,500 faithful from across Philadelphia, many of them who processed on foot from their parishes to the Cathedral. The procession was followed by a mass lead by Archbishop Charles Chaput.
Pilgrims from St. Thomas Aquinas and Annunciation B.V.M. Parishes in South Philly processed from St. Thomas Aquinas Church to the Cathedral. Parishioners from West Philadelphia walked from St. Agatha and St. James Parishes.
Also participating were pilgrims from St. Joan of Arc Church, Holy Innocents Parish, Visitation B.V.M Parish, and St. Michael Parish, all in North Philly.
Members of Visitation B.V.M. Parish were accompanied by a live Mexican Norteño band. This year, a new group of dancers joined the celebration, “Los Chinelos,” a tradition from the Mexican state of Morelos.
One of the members of the dance troupe, Perla Felipe, was raised in the New York area but has always been devoted to Our Lady of Guadalupe. “My parents passed on their faith to me, and God willing, my kids will also continue this tradition. We do this procession to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe,” Felipe said.
Upon their arrival, parishioners marched in procession around the Cathedral while the “Mariachi Flores” — a mariachi band that for more than 20 years has performed live music in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe — played.