Knights join L.A. celebration honoring ‘La Virgen’ in Aug. 2012
The event --- with prayer, music, and speakers honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas --- will bring together tens of thousands of Catholics from across the ethnically diverse five-million member archdiocese, as well as from Southern California and beyond.
“At certain times, the Church gathers together for an event that provides the opportunity for the expression of faith in a very public way,” said Archbishop José Gómez. “In this celebration we will renew our devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and our commitment to continue the process of evangelization that she began on this continent nearly 500 years ago.”
“We are pleased to be able to cosponsor this event with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” said Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus. “We strongly believe that Our Lady of Guadalupe has an important message to share with all of us and has an important role to play in unifying the faithful of this hemisphere. The ‘Guadalupe Celebration’ will be an opportunity for us to bring Our Lady’s message to a large audience joined together in prayer and celebrating the great gift she has given this hemisphere.”
In 2009 Anderson coauthored “Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love,” with Msgr. Eduardo Chavez, who oversaw the Cause for Canonization of St. Juan Diego. Archbishop Gómez, Anderson and Msgr. Chavez will be featured speakers at the event next August.
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego – a Native American living in Mexico – in 1531. She left her image, miraculously on his cloak, or tilma. Today, the tilma is enshrined in Mexico City’s basilica, which stands on the site of the Blessed Mother’s apparition. It is the most visited shrine in the Western Hemisphere.
Both the L.A. Archdiocese and the Knights of Columbus have a history tied to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is home to the only relic of St. Juan Diego’s tilma in the U.S., while the archdiocese has hosted several large-scale Marian events in the past, including 2007’s Rosary Bowl in Pasadena, which drew more than 40,000, and the annual archdiocesan procession and Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe in East Los Angeles, which typically draws 25,000.
The Knights of Columbus’ devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe reached a milestone with the chartering of their first Mexican council as the “Guadalupe Council” in Mexico City in 1905. Since then, the Knights have co-sponsored a U.S. tour of the L.A. Archdiocese’s tilma relic in 2003. The Knights also held their first-ever International Marian Congress on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2009, which concluded with the 22,000-person Guadalupe Festival in Phoenix.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest Catholic archdiocese in the United States with more than 5 million Catholics. The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, with more than 1.8 million members and 14,000 councils in more than a dozen countries worldwide.
More information on the Guadalupe Celebration can be found at www.guadalupecelebration.com.