Christmas tends to overwhelm the month of December as one of Christianity’s most important celebrations.
But for Catholics in North and South America, another feast day earlier in the month has significant spiritual meaning.
Area Catholics will celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic Church. Organizer Martha McQueen provided five things to know heading into the event.
Catholics believed that the Virgin Mary appeared to a poor Mexican peasant in 1531. It was the first recorded miracle to occur in the New World, McQueen said.
“It was very valuable for Christianity on our continent. The Spaniards had conquered Mexico and forced the local Indians to give up the religious practices they had in the past, and this miracle made it easier to evangelize the native people.”
A truly American celebration
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Americas, McQueen said. “Children will dress in costume and bring roses to the altar,” she said. “The flags of North and South American countries will be included in a procession.”
The Mass is organized by a group of central Indiana Catholic churches, including St. Rose of Lima in Franklin, SS. Francis and Clare in the Center Grove area, Our Lady of the Greenwood in Greenwood and St. Barnabas in Indianapolis, McQueen said. Marian University and Roncalli High School also contribute.
Celebrate after the celebration
After the ceremony, the community is invited to gather in Our Lady of the Greenwood’s cafeteria, McQueen said. A dinner and reception for the general public will be offered.