The annual Lady of Guadalupe celebration will take place at the shrine adjacent to the Maryville Academy campus in Des Plaines from Dec. 11 to Dec. 12. The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 12, is a holiday dear to the hearts of Mexican Catholics. Groups of worshippers from many Chicago churches walk to the shrine to take part in the celebration.
Approximately 80,000 to 100,000 worshipers are expected to descend on the holy place in Des Plaines on Tuesday and Wednesday, the city stated in a Patch announcement, roadway closures are planned and traffic delays are expected.
A procession of 1,000 walked through Niles on their way to the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration in 2011.
In this video, vignettes of the Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine in Des Plaines are featured with a religious music soundtrack.
Father Miguel Martinez from the shrine shared some pictures from the 2011 Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration.
The shrine was built on land formerly utilized by Maryville Academy. Joaquin Martinez, a local Catholic, acquired a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico around 1987 and helped launch a celebration of her feast day, according to information sent from a representative of the shrine about its history to Patch.
The statue toured the Archdiocese of Chicago, but no churches agreed to create a home for it until Rev. John Smyth, then-director of Maryville, and now president of Notre Dame College Prep, arranged to place it in its own chapel at Maryville.
In 1996, according to the document from the shrine, a distinguished Mexican priest brought an exact replica of the Our Lady of Guadalupe image and frame from Mexico to Maryville.
As the first-ever such replica to leave Mexico, the shrine considered it a great honor. In emotional ceremonies, the replica was blessed and enshrined in a holy hill on the grounds.
In Sept. 2008, Cardinal Francis George designated 62.8 acres for the shrine, the document stated.
More Lady Guadalupe history
In the winter of 1531 a woman who identified herself as the Virgin Mary appeared to a 57-year-old Aztec American Indian, Juan Diego, on a hill near Mexico City as he was on his way to mass, according to the Catholic Church. The woman told Diego to ask the bishop of Mexico City to build a church on the hill to assist in converting people to the faith. For the story, visit Trinity Communications’ website.