- Cullman, Alabama

December 12, 2012

Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration at Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart Church

CULLMAN — Parish Vicar for Hispanic Ministries José Guillermo Aristizabal and members of the Hispanic community of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church are celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with activities all week leading up to their classic Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe on this Saturday, Dec. 15. 

Saturday begins with recitation of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Mother at 4:30 a.m. in the Church, followed by a serenata with a Mariachi group, a musical tribute to Our Lady. Then everyone is invited to breakfast in the Family Life Center.

At 5 p.m. all cars in the parking lot of the gym at St. Bernard School will be blessed. Then attendees will proceed to Sacred Heart of Jesus Church for the 5:30 p.m. rosary, followed by the Celebration of the Solemn Bilingual Mass. Following the Mass, festivities of food, music and fellowship will commence in the Family Life Center.

This yearly celebration is one of the most revered among the Hispanic population in both Mexico and the United States. Everyone is invited to attend.   

Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to a Mexican Indian, Juan Diego, on Dec. 9, 1531, while he was on his way to morning Mass. She requested that he go to the Bishop of their area and tell him to build a church on the very spot she was standing on Tepyac Hill. 

Diego approached the Bishop who, not believing the middle-aged parishioner, asked for a sign from the Blessed Mother. 

Three days later the Lady appeared to Diego, telling him once again to approach the Bishop.  When the Bishop’s request for a sign was related by Diego, the Blessed Mother told him to go into the brambles close by and pick the roses there to bring to the Bishop. Being winter and a rocky area, there should have not been any roses growing, but to his amazement, he filled his tilma (cloak) with the flowers and once again approached the Bishop.

When he came to the Bishop’s room, he unfolded his cloak and let the flowers fall to the floor. Suddenly his tilma was covered with the life-size image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, exactly as she had appeared to Diego on Tepyac Hill. The Bishop had received his sign and Mary was to have her church.

Today a great church, called a basilica, stands on the spot where Our Lady of Guadalupe came to her people through Juan Diego. Our Lady of Guadalupe was named patroness of Mexico as well as Latin America, the Philippines and North America.