By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
Parishes in the Diocese of Davenport are preparing for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron of the Americas. The Dec. 12 feast carries special significance for Catholics of Mexican heritage.
According to Vatican News, Mary appeared to an indigenous peasant, Juan Diego, on a hill of Tepeyac, Mexico in 1531. There she asked Diego — an Aztec convert to Catholicism — to build a church on that spot.
Diego visited Archbishop Juan de Zumarraga, who dismissed the sighting and asked for proof of the visit. On Dec. 12, Diego returned to Tepeyac; Mary told him to pick flowers blooming atop the hill, which was normally barren in the cold of December, and put them in his cloak to take to the archbishop. When Juan opened the cloak, non-native Castilian roses fell out and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe adorned his garment. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe sits on the hill of Tepeyac today and is a popular pilgrimage destination.
Here are some events planned by parishes that provided information:
Columbus Junction: On Dec. 10, St. Joseph Parish will host a procession at 8 a.m. from downtown to the high school, where Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. with mariachi music. A potluck will follow. On Dec. 11, Mass will be celebrated at 11 p.m. in the church.
Davenport: On Dec. 12, St. Anthony Parish will pray the rosary at 4:30 p.m. followed by mariachi music at 5 p.m., Mass at 6 p.m., Assumption Azteca Dance at 7 p.m. and a reception at 7:30 p.m.
Iowa City: St. Patrick Parish will pray the rosary at 6:30 p.m. daily through Dec. 10. On Dec. 11 at 9 p.m., dancers will perform, followed by a presentation about the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A mariachi band will perform at 10 p.m., and the final novena will be prayed around 11 p.m. The band will resume playing after the novena, and las mananitas will be sung around midnight. On Dec. 12 Mass will be celebrated at 6:30 p.m. followed by a potluck. Guests may bring a dish to share.
Ottumwa: St. Mary of the Visitation Parish will pray the rosary Dec. 11 at 9:30 p.m. followed by a live reenactment (apariciones), mariachi music and reflection. Mariachi music will resume around 11:30 p.m. and las mananitas will be sung shortly after midnight. Food and refreshments will be available throughout the evening. On Dec. 12 Mass will be celebrated at 5:30 p.m. with a potluck to follow.
Muscatine: On Dec. 10, Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish will celebrate Mass in the school gym at 12:30 p.m., followed by a meal. On Dec. 12, an all-school Mass will be celebrated at the school at 8:30 a.m.
Washington: On Dec. 12, St. James Parish will sing las mananitas at 6:30 a.m. and celebrate Mass at 6:30 p.m. in the church.
West Liberty: On Dec. 10, a procession from downtown to St. Joseph Church will take place at 11 a.m. with Mass at noon. A procession will take place at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 with Mass at 7 p.m. A reception will follow both Masses.
(Lindsay Steele contributed to this story.)