Prince of Peace Parish in Great Bend celebrated the 481st anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe with prayers, dancing and music this week.
Latino Catholics met at St. Rose Church for two days, breaking from the complicated line dances Wednesday evening to share a meal.
Elementary school girls danced the “Danza la Morenita del Tepeyac,” recalling how the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego in the hills of Tepeyac, Mexico, on Dec. 9, 1531. “We dance for the Virgin Mary,” explained Sayra Solis, a fifth grader at Riley Elementary School. The dancers wore costumes reminiscent of the Indians, with colorful beads and feather headdresses. Some of the bright red skirts were decorated with crosses. Sayra’s dress, made by her mother, had a picture of the Lady of Guadalupe.
The girls carried gourd shakers to keep the beat, and cross-like props that symbolized bows and arrows. Their dance instructor, Anselmo Calzada, along with Great Bend Middle School student Steven Guerra, beat on large drums almost nonstop for about 30 minutes as the dancers formed intricate patterns.
Later in the evening, boys participated in the “Matachines,” another traditional dance.
According to Catholic lore, Juan Digeo saw a vision of a girl of 15 or 16 years of age, surrounded by light. She spoke the native language, and later proved her identity as the Virgin Mary by performing miracles. She told Juan Diego to gather roses in his cloak, and when he opened the cloak before the Bishop on Dec. 12, the image of the Virgin was imprinted on the fabric.
LSH escapee caught in Utah