Prince of Peace Parish Catholic Church will celebrate a miracle when members observe the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Sunday, Dec. 11, and Monday at the St. Rose Auditorium, 1412 Baker Ave. Religious dances known as "matachines," food and worship are scheduled from 4 p.m. to midnight on Sunday, and 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday.
Most activities take place in the auditorium, but the "Las Mañanitas," a song of praise, will be sung at 11:59 p.m. Sunday in the St. Rose worship site. The church building will also the location of a bilingual reconciliation at 5 p.m. and a Mass, in Spanish, at 7 p.m. on Monday.
The public is welcome to take part in this cultural event and religous observance, which commemorates the 480th anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s appearance to Juan Diego, a poor Aztec Indian living outside Mexico City, in December of 1531.
According to AmericanCatholic.org, chronicles of that period tell the story:
"A poor Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized and given the name Juan Diego. He was a 57-year-old widower and lived in a small village near Mexico City. On Saturday morning, Dec. 9, 1531, he was on his way to a nearby barrio to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady.
"He was walking by a hill called Tepeyac when he heard beautiful music like the warbling of birds. A radiant cloud appeared and within it a young Native American maiden dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to him in his own language and sent him to the bishop of Mexico, a Franciscan named Juan de Zumarraga. The bishop was to build a chapel in the place where the lady appeared.
"Eventually the bishop told Juan Diego to have the lady give him a sign. About this same time Juan Diego’s uncle became seriously ill. This led poor Diego to try to avoid the lady. The lady found Diego, nevertheless, assured him that his uncle would recover and provided roses for Juan to carry to the bishop in his cape or tilma.
"When Juan Diego opened his tilma in the bishop’s presence, the roses fell to the ground and the bishop sank to his knees. On Juan Diego’s tilma appeared an image of Mary exactly as she had appeared at the hill of Tepeyac. It was Dec. 12, 1531."
The schedule for services are:
4-6 p.m. - Video about the Apparitions of the Holy Mother
6 p.m. - Rosary
7-9 p.m. - Procession and Dance of "Los Matachines"
9-9:30 p.m. - Children Choir "Las Guipiludas"
9:30-10:30 p.m. - Dance of Matachines
11:59 p.m. - "Las Mañanitas" (song of Praise) St. Rose worship site
5-6 a.m. - "Las Mañanitas"
6-8:30 a.m. - Religious articles booth
6-6:15 a.m. - Crowning of the Blessed Mother
6:30-7:30 a.m. - Breakfast; Dance of "Matachines"
7:40-8 a.m. - Children Choir "Las Guipiludas"
8-10 a.m.- Dance of "Matachines"
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Recess
2-3 p.m. - Dance of "Matachines"
4-5 p.m. - Songs and praises
5-6:30 p.m. - Bi-lingual Reconciliation St. Rose worship site
6:30-7 p.m. - Dance of both Matachines group, processional to St. Rose worship site
7 p.m. - Mass (Spanish) St. Rose worship site
8:20-9:40 p.m. - Meal; Dance of "Matachines"; Songs and praises