Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

Bringing Our Lady of Guadalupe traditions to life


For thousands of families around the state, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a time for showing devotion to the Blessed Mother and pride in their heritage.

The feast day on Dec. 12 celebrates Mary’s appearance to St. Juan Diego, a poor young Aztec man, in 1531 on Tepayac Hill near what is now Mexico City. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of Mexico and the Americas.

According to tradition, Mary told Juan Diego she wanted him to build a church on the spot where she appeared. The local archbishop denied the request, and Mary appeared to the young man twice more. The bishop asked for proof of her visits, and Juan Diego filled his tilma, a traditional garment like a cloak, with roses to take to the bishop. When he opened his cloak, the roses fell on to the ground and an image of the Virgin Mary was miraculously imprinted on the inside of the cloak.

Miscellany/Christina Lee Knauss: A family comes forward to receive a blessing during Mass at St. John Neumann in Columbia.

Miscellany/Christina Lee Knauss: A family comes forward to receive a blessing during Mass at St. John Neumann in Columbia.

The feast is the most popular in Mexico and is celebrated by people around the United States with processions, dancing, music, and the singing of mananitas, hymns dedicated to Mary. In the Diocese of Charleston, celebrations were held on Dec. 11 and 12, although preparations and special novenas and prayers dedicated to Mary started more than a week before.

Vanesa Mota, a member of St. Peter Church in Columbia, participated in Guadalupe celebrations there and at Corpus Christi Church in Lexington.

She said her parents taught their children early about the importance of Guadalupe, showing them movies about Mary’s appearance. She, like many others, has carried on the traditions with her two daughters.

“For me it’s about my belief in the Virgin of Guadalupe, but it also is about culture and tradition,” Mota said. “It’s a chance to honor that tradition and help my daughters, who are fourth generation, to learn more about their culture as well.”

This year, she put together a cultural celebration for the parishes in Columbia and Lexington that featured models wearing traditional fashions associated with the different states in Mexico.

Mota’s family prayed the rosary together for 12 days leading up to the feast, another practice associated with the festival. In past years, Mota said her two daughters have also taken part in traditional Aztec dances that are a major part of many celebrations. The dances are held to reflect St. Juan Diego’s culture.

Many people who have statues of Our Lady of Guadalupe in their homes decorate them elaborately in the days leading up to the festival, surrounding them with flowers, Christmas lights, or candles.

Her daughters, like many other young people and adults, wore outfits to the festival celebration that are the same as indigenous people would have worn in St. Juan Diego’s time.

Other ways of celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe include holding dramas that portray the story of St. Juan Diego and eating customary Mexican foods such as tamales, beans and rice, and mole poblano, a spiced chicken dish.

Miscellany/John Stevenson: Boys play percussion during the Aztec dance at St. Mary Magdalene in Simpsonville.

Miscellany/Keith Jacobs: Above, a group of children participate in the celebration in Conway. Below, a statue of Mary is decorated with flowers.

Miscellany/Keith Jacobs: A statue of Mary at the Conway festival.

Miscellany/Keith Jacobs: Dancers prepare to go onstage in Conway.

 

Miscellany/John Stevenson Father Teofilo Trujillo, pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Church in Simpsonville, processes into Mass Dec. 11 holding the Guadalupe icon.

Miscellany/John Stevenson: Father Teofilo Trujillo, pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Church in Simpsonville, processes into Mass Dec. 11 holding the Guadalupe icon.






  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Oct 13 Diocesan Evangelization Conference
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Oct 278:00 am Day of Continuing Education for Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Nov 1 Black Catholic History Month
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Nov 1010:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 1210:00 am Junta Diocesana
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate