Soaring temperatures turned the Coliseum into a sea of umbrellas and hats to help ease the waiting period for all those pilgrims who arrived several hours early.
Many wondered: “Why have a Guadalupe celebration in August?” The conference celebrated the anniversary of the Coronation of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1937, which was marked by a great pilgrimage from Los Angeles to the Tepeyac. In that year the Cardinal of Mexico gave a relic of the mantle of Juan Diego to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and this relic was received with a special ceremony at the Coliseum.
The Aug. 6 celebration highlighted the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Americas. Dances, many flags of all countries of the continent, testimonies, speakers, prayers and singing were the framework that graced the celebration.
“It was contagious,” Our Lady of Hope parishioner Josie Gutierrez said of attending the celebration. “You could feel the devotion in the atmosphere. I felt very fortunate to be present, it filled me with energy.”
But beyond the brilliant program, it became clear that we are people of faith. A large number of people in wheelchairs, the sick and elderly endured the burning sun and said their prayers with great fervor.
The magnitude of this expression of faith was made possible by the generous efforts of the Knights of Columbus, a group that has tenaciously held high the Guadalupe devotion and has spread this blessing to all the dioceses of the United States.
“I had no words in the midst of so much praise,” said Joseph Gonzalez, a parishioner of St. John the Evangelist parish in Riverside who attended the celebration. “I felt that true faith and culture were performed. Our Lady continues to unite all the people of all races under her motherly care.”