Por Berta Mexidor
JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz and dozens of priests celebrated Masses to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe around the entire diocese in early and mid-December. Guadalupe is not the only Marian feast this month.December, 8 marks the Immaculate Conception of the blessed Virgin. The next day, December 9 is dedicated to St. Juan Diego, the man she appeared to in Mexico. The feast for the Virgin of Guadalupe is on December 12.
Miracles, love, fulfillment and hope are some of the symbolic “roses” the Virgin of Guadalupe gives to each of her children when they are coming for her help. These roses of faith are found in the path of each Guadalupano.
The love and admiration of St. Juan Diego have been passed down to his spiritual children. While most reside in Mexico, in Mississippi, many immigrants have brought their devotion to the parishes in the Diocese of Jackson. Mississippi Catholic staff members traveled to a number of these celebrations to showcase the variety of cultures and celebrations.
“Divine consolation, light of all roads”
Pearl. Ismael and Nadia Garcia paid their respects to the Virgin, whose love “has strengthened my faith, the virgin is my adoptive mother” Luis said, and Nadia danced for her with joy.
“Her name is Guadalupe and she’s my brunette virgin”
Forest. “It is a pride to celebrate our mother,” said María Aurora García, who prepared the costumes and the dancers for a cross-city procession.
“I know that your mantle covers us with zeal”
Pontotoc. Hilda Morales and her grandson Sammy Almeida carried the images of the Virgin of Guadalupe and San Juan Diego in the procession. “For us it is very significant to see how traditions are passed from grandparents to grandchildren. Sammy is very devoted to the Virgin of Guadalupe thanks to the examples of faith of his mother and grandmother,” explained Danna Johnson of St. Christopher Parish.
“White dove, mother of the creator, … you charm my heart “
Cathedral of St. Peter. Dancing, a sea-shell trumpet, incense and faith without shoes: these are some of the attributes of the” Aztec Dance” group created in 2012 and led by Celia Alemán. Their celebration included a rosary procession during which “… a sea shell is blown to the four winds, as a sign of gratitude for the goods received,” and as a signal to begin the next dance explained Alemán. “I’m also brown-skinned and I come to sing”
The five Guadalupean Missionary Sisters of the Holy Spirit working in the diocese: Sisters Obdulia Olivar, María Eugenia Moreno, Magdalena Carrillo, María Josefa García and María Elena Méndez, celebrated this day with the renewal of their vows inspired by the Liberating Message of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
“In heaven, you listen to my song”
Father Anthony Quyet of Vietnam, pastor at the Cathedral, joins in the procession of faith and love for the Virgin every year.
“I cannot leave without telling you a thousand thanks”
Msgr. Michael Flannery, in his homily at St. Francis, Madison, explained: “For Latin Americans, Mary is doubly our Mother: spiritual mother for being the mother of the Church and for giving us Jesus Christ and mother in second place for having inspired and protected the birth of our peoples. The Latin people are united by many things: the earth, the past, the language, the Christian faith and in a special way, the devotion to Mary.”