Guadalupe message resounds at Los Angeles’ massive Marian festival
The Virgin Mary will accompany the Church in the New Evangelization, just as she did during the first preaching of the Gospel in the Americas, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez told around 100,000 devotees at the Aug. 5 Guadalupe Celebration.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe is calling us today, my brothers and sisters,” the archbishop said in his keynote address to one of the largest Catholic gatherings in U.S. history at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. “She is calling us to greater faith, to greater love, to greater hope.”
“She is calling us to dedicate our lives to the loving plan of God. To everything for his glory,” he said, stressing the Virgin Mary’s message to honor God “in our homes, in our families, in our neighborhoods and communities, in our political life.”
“Let’s ask Our Lady of Guadalupe – the bright star of the first evangelization and the Mother of the New Evangelization – to help us all to be better instruments of the love of God, so that everyone in our world may come to love him,” the archbishop told the coliseum crowd.
Sunday’s event, co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, was one of the city’s largest Catholic celebrations in recent memory. It is the Knights’ second such gathering, following the 2009 Guadalupe Festival in Arizona.
From 3 p.m. onward, the Los Angeles stadium was filled with prayer, music, and talks in honor of Jesus Christ and his mother, who appeared to Saint Juan Diego in 1531 to herald the evangelization of the world’s Western Hemisphere.
Speakers at the Guadalupe Celebration included Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus, and Monsignor Eduardo Chavez, who oversaw the canonization cause of St. Juan Diego.
On display at the celebration, for veneration by the faithful, was the only U.S.-based relic of the Tilma of Guadalupe – the saint’s garment that was imprinted with a miraculous image of the Virgin.
Though that image has become an unmistakable part of Hispanic culture, its meaning transcends ethnic and geographical boundaries, as Archbishop Gomez stressed in his keynote address.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe is not only the Mother of the people of Mexico,” the Los Angeles Church leader observed. “She is the Mother of all the peoples of the Americas! She is the New Eve. She is the Mother of all the living!”
He pointed out that Mary’s message to St. Juan Diego, given at the now-famous Tepeyac Hill, is the same Gospel message that the Church proclaims to all nations and peoples. [More]