Our Lady of Guadalupe Pilgrimage on Sunday
It’s that time of year when Leadville sees a sea of bright red costumes accompanied by the steady beat of drums, and the jingle of festive beads. On Sunday, Dec. 9, the annual pilgrimage will begin at 10:30 a.m. from Leadville’s historic Annunciation Church at East 7th and Poplar Streets and travel to St. Joseph Church on W. 2nd Street. There will be a Noon Mass at St. Joe’s followed by a Fiesta at the 6th Street Gym. For those interested in seeing this talented and dedicated group of Leadville Catholic youth perform traditional dances in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, gather in front of Annunciation Church on Sunday, or perhaps you’ll encounter their procession as it travels east on 6th Street, to Spruce Street, eventually turning onto W. 2nd Street to St. Joseph Church.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Pilgrimage 2012
The Our Lady of Guadalupe Pilgrimage is arguably one of the largest cultural celebrations in Leadville, commemorating the December 12 feast day of the Blessed Mother of Jesus Christ. Many participants from the Latina community share in this beautiful tradition, including youth from the Holy Family Parish who dress in elaborate, beaded costumes as they perform tradition, ceremonial dances in honor of Mexico’s Patron Saint: Our Lady of Guadalupe.
While Sunday’s events allow families and friends to enjoy a day-long celebration, the Feast Day will also be celebrated on Wednesday, Dec. 12 beginning at 5 a.m. on with Mananitas. Mass will be held at St. Joseph Church at 8 a.m. in English, and in the evening at 7 p.m. in Spanish.
While the story of Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe is religious in nature, the local celebration is deeply immersed in the Hispanic culture, from the costumes to the impressively endless dancing, to the long, lively fiestas! It’s a celebration like none other in Leadville.All of these events are free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe and enjoy this very special spiritual and cultural event in Leadville.
The Story of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Guadalupe, known as the Virgin Mary in the Catholic faith, made her appearance before St. Juan Diego in a vision in 1531. According to tradition, Mary appeared to Juan Diego, who was an Aztec convert to Christianity, on December 9 and again on December 12, 1531. She requested that a shrine to her be built on the spot where she appeared, Tepeyac Hill in Mexico.
The story goes that the bishop demanded a sign before he would approve construction of a church, however. Mary appeared a second time to Juan Diego and ordered him to collect roses. In a second audience with the bishop, Juan Diego opened his cloak, letting dozens of roses fall to the floor and revealing the image of Mary imprinted on the inside of the cloak. That image that is now venerated in the Basilica of Guadalupe – and is commemorated around the world on candles, t-shirts and religious artifacts as an honor to the Mother of Christ.