The oldest religious procession in L.A. will be held in-person, with the option of tuning in via live stream.
The tri-county Archdiocese of Los Angeles is preparing for its 90th Procession and Mass to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego. Today’s event will proceed under the theme of “Our Lady of Guadalupe: Always forward in mission and hope.” The 90th year of this tradition also marks the 490th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as well as the Archdiocese’s 250th anniversary.
This celebration is the oldest procession in Los Angeles. It was established by Mexican Catholic immigrants who fled to America to escape religious persecution during the Cristero War in 1931. The event commemorates the miraculous apparitions of the Virgin Mary to St. Juan Diego in 1531. During one instance of apparition, the Blessed Mother imprinted St. Juan Diego’s “tilma,” or cloak, with her image.
This image has become a symbol of unity, peace, and hope for Catholics around the world. Since October, a large print image of Our Lady of Guadalupe called La Peregrina (“the Pulgrim”) and one of St. Juan Diego have been traveling around the Archdiocese of LA’s churches and cemeteries for pilgrims to venerate. The original image on Juan Diego’s cloak is still housed in the basilica at Tepeyac, in Mexico City, where the apparitions took place.
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles made a video inviting the faithful to attend the Procession and Mass, featured above. In his statement, the prelate said:
“In the presence of Our Lady we need to feel awe and wonder. Truly, it is nothing we deserve — nothing we could ever earn — it is a pure gift of God’s beautiful love for us.”
The procession is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. (PST) and it will be live streamed through the Archdiocese website. The parade will include a float competition, in which the Archdiocese will award technological grants to the three floats that best capture the theme. The grants will go towards improvements and development of technology at the diocese’s parishes and schools.
The march will begin at Our Lady of Solitude Parish in East Los Angeles, and will travel to the East L.A. College Stadium. There, Archbishop Gomez will celebrate an outdoor Mass within the stadium. The Mass is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. and will also be included in the live stream.