The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe — one of the most joyous holidays in Mexico — is also one of the largest celebrations in the Diocese of Brooklyn. But for one Ridgewood couple, the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe is also a quiet, private activity.
Thousands of Catholics made their annual pilgrimage to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady Of Guadalupe at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph on Dec. 12.
Jesús Martínez Aguilar walked two days from the state of Puebla to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, arriving at dusk on the eve of the Dec. 12 feast day. He posed for a selfie with his family at the basilica’s gates, then prepared to enter and give thanks to the patroness.
The overflow gathering, estimated at more than 1,000 people, had come to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, who in 1531 appeared to Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac, Mexico. Many commented that the massive turnout was a big rebound from the 2020 celebration, when distancing protocols for the COVID-19 pandemic limited the co-cathedral’s attendance to about 220 people.
With the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe closed for her feast to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Pope Francis said Catholics still can receive a plenary indulgence Dec. 11 and 12 for their Marian devotion if they follow certain conditions.
Mexican church and civic officials have canceled public feast celebrations for Mexico’s patroness at her shrine in Mexico City due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The celebration normally attracts 10 million pilgrims to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the world’s most-visited Marian shrine.
The Mexican Apostolate for the Diocese of Brooklyn will host a celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12 with a cultural program and a Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph.