Normally hundreds crowd into parishes across the Archdiocese of Louisville to celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. This year’s festivities will look markedly different due to safety protocols in place to control the spread of COVID-19.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz will celebrate Mass at 10 a.m. Dec. 12 at the Cathedral of the Assumption. The Mass is not open to the public, but those who wish to tune in can view a live-stream of the liturgy on the Cathedral’s YouTube channel.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe, is the patroness of all of the Americas. Her feast day is Dec. 12.
At the celebration, Father Martin Linebach, rector of the Cathedral and vicar general of the archdiocese, will present an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the people of the archdiocese.
“It is a gift to the Cathedral, to the archdiocese and to the Hispanic community,” he said.
He noted that just as Mary is Christ’s mother and “a mother to all of us,” the Cathedral is often referred to as the Mother Church.
“It is important that her image, her presence, be in the Cathedral,” he said.
In the midst of the difficult days many are facing, he said, Mary can offer solace and hope.
“We are not alone. As difficult as life might seem right now, God is with us, Mary is with us. Our Lady of Guadalupe holds us under her tilma — her mantle — in her protection of care,” he said.
The image is 44 inches by 68 inches. It will be displayed on an easel until a permanent location in the Cathedral is chosen.
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill near modern-day Mexico City. She appeared for the first time at dawn Dec. 9, 1531, and said she wanted a church built in her honor on that hill. He went to the bishop to share this news, but was put off by the prelate.
She appeared again, and Juan Diego — who was called by name by the lady in the apparition — again approached the bishop. The bishop asked for a sign from her and Mary produced enough roses in December to fill Juan Diego’s tilma.
When he emptied the cloak and the roses fell in front of the bishop, he found that she had left her image on the tilma, which remains today in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. It is the world’s most visited Marian shrine. St. Juan Diego was canonized in 2002. His feast day is Dec. 9.