Every year there comes a day when the whole of Mexico gets crowded with an ample amount of people, besides its 20 million-strong inhabitants. Folks belonging to the different parts of the country, from the neighboring states and the overseas lands flock to the largest Spanish-speaking capital under the sun. They travel as Catholic pilgrims with a steadfast purpose of expressing their devotion and end up in a whirl of vibrant celebrations and boisterous merrymaking. Such is the nature of Mexico – even the most revered religious holiday can’t go without a big national fiesta.
When is Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2017? Read and learn up to the end!
There are various sources aplenty, claiming their own version of the events described. Nonetheless, they share a roughly identical narration. On the winter day of 1531, a simple laborer of an Aztec descent bearing the name of Juan Diego was hurrying to the morning mass. While the road went round the Tepeyac hill, located far away from the Mexican capital, he caught a charming melody, similar to twittering of birds, sounding somewhere over the Tepeyac. Climbing the rising ground, he was astounded at seeing a gorgeous woman with the skin so dark that it clearly showed their common origin. She addressed him with the words sounding pleasingly natural to his ears. It’s the Mother of Jesus herself looking at him and asking to pass her modest wish to the bishop saying a temple to be constructed right at the site where he’d met her.
The overwhelmed man, newly acquainted with the outlandish religion of invaders from the savage Spain, visited the bishop and informed him on what his eyes had just witnessed. However, who was this mere farmer to convince the cleric on the spot? He went away despondent and intended on heading for home when the 2nd appearance of Our Lady had occurred: she instructed the perturbed elder to pay a visit again.
The following morning the senior listened to his address once more but for this time he wanted a sign proving that it’s Mary herself was appealing to him. Recounting the clergyman’s answer to maiden during her 3rd apparition, Juan Diego was to come back for a proof on the next day.
An unexpected illness of his dear uncle interfered in their arrangement, and the man stayed at home nursing the sick relative. Yet he was in a hopeless condition; there was nothing else left for Juan Diego to do but invite a priest for the uncle’s deathbed confession. Feeling deeply embarrassed at going back on his word, he was walking down the roundabout road when encountered Mary for the 4th time. She rebuked him mildly for not invoking to her and consoled the old man with the news that his uncle was fully recovered. Amazed at what he’d just heard, Juan Diego collected the unknown flowers – red roses –sprung up in winter (which was absolutely impossible) and enveloped them in his tilma – cloak – at the instance of the Virgin.
When the garment came unfolded in the bishop’s room, all those present dropped down to their knees in awe. As roses fell to the floor, there was a grand image of Our Lady emblazoned on Juan Diego’s cloak. The higher order had followed entailing an immediate erection of the church over the hill of Tepeyac and it stands there proudly up to our days guarding the full-length picture of saint woman on the tilma.
When is Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe 2017? It’s the day of the 4th apparition to Juan Diego and since the events began on December 9, the holiday falls on the 12th.
What does Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe mean? It’s the most honored national holiday for the Mexicans. It is stated that many millions of Aztecs – in contrast to several thousand before – converted to Christianity after the miraculous episode. Oppressed by the Spanish monarchy and bereft of the deity, the Aztecs saw in this woman bearing an obvious resemblance to them something of a much-awaited patron that extended a hand of support to the sufferers.
The devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe united this whole country and tied the diverse nationalities together. The tilma became the acknowledged heritage of Mexican Catholics and cultural and religious draw of the country. It played its role in the struggle for Mexican independence being the rallying symbol of the free nation.
The copies of the painting of Mary are widespread across Mexico in its countless churches and shrines. The believers appeal to her in their prayers and are incessantly grateful for this sacred sign she endowed them with. It goes without saying that everyone here knows from the very childhood what day Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2017 occurs on.
The celebration in this part of America sets in on December 12 – the day commemorating the 4th apparition and the divine favor of granting the imprint.
Name-wise, tradition says that when Juan Diego was having an audience, Marry came to his fevered uncle. She relieved his pain and asked for being called as Our Lady of Guadalupe. That’s where the title comes from.
Although the story happened almost 500 years ago and had a considerable impact on the Christian religion, the holiday received an official international recognition only in 1945. However, by that time, the Basilica itself had already gained the biggest number of Catholic pilgrims visiting the place every now and then.
The festivity is not a public holiday in Mexico but this fact doesn’t hinder the locals in their celebration at all. Every conscious citizen of the country has it circled in the calendar, when is Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2017.
The throng of pilgrims gathers at the city around a week before the momentous date. The festive activities usually start at the midnight with thousands of people heading to the shrine and carrying the icons, statuettes, and pictures of Our Lady, or just flowers as symbolic presents. The most pious believers crawl the last meters on their knees showing the highest esteem and deference to their beloved protectress. At this time, going on until the dawn, the musicians and casual passersby sing Las Mananitas, or celebratory songs, which are a local “Happy Birthday” of sorts.
The morning continues with the main mass held on the top of Tepeyac. Due to the lack of space inside the temple, many stand in the yard among the numerous dancers wearing loincloths and huge feathers on their head, a live orchestra playing the merry folk songs and myriads of shopkeepers offering Mexican food (tacos, fried bananas and the like), drinks (the strong ones, too) and various types of entertainment. With this loud-voiced and cramped atmosphere, there is a true carnival happening on the streets of Mexico on December 12, a real national all-embracing fiesta.
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Facts
- The holiday is observed not only in Mexico but also in nearby territories, particularly in Los Angeles.
- It is scientifically proved that the image of the Virgin is not made by man’s hands. On top of that, the tilma itself must have been dilapidated in the course of 20-30 years after the events but it miraculously remains preserved up to this time.
Considering the holiday on the whole, we’d say that remembering what is the date of Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 2017 is a sacred duty of every Mexican Catholic. They’ve gone through thick and thin with this image of Mary imprinted on the tilma and revere her memory both in the shrine and in their hearts.