December 12 is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and more than 800 faithful gathered at St. Joseph Church in Hanover for Holy Mass celebrated by Bishop Ronald Gainer and concelebrated by more than 10 priests of the Diocese.

The feast marks the Marian apparition in 1531 to St. Juan Diego in Mexico City. And it’s the only apparition in which the Blessed Mother appears pregnant with the Christ child. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Americas, of unborn children worldwide and to the New Evangelization of the Church.

Prior to Mass, the faithful bring statues and paintings featuring Our Lady and place the hundreds of depictions in front of the altar. In addition, many dress in Juan Diego peasant clothing as well as Aztec dress adorned in peacock and metallic costumes to illustrate the 16th Century Mexican culture.

After Mass, a large reception featuring culturally rich Mexican foods dating back centuries was shared in the parish center.

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