Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrated in the Quad Cities
The Quad Cities community is celebrating "our lady of Guadalupe," the patron saint of Mexico. Hundreds gathered on Thursday, December 12 to honor the saint and watch traditional dances.
There were two celebrations on the day of the Guadalupan: - one starting in Moline and another in East Moline, where dozens walked through a procession with the Lady of Guadalupe and met at the St. Mary's church in Moline ton continue the big celebration.
The typically quiet mass was full of drums and dancers, celebrating our lady of Guadalupe. "We sing, we play our instruments, we dance. That just comes in contact with being with God and expressing that joy in many vivacious ways," said Father Antonio Dittmer of St. Mary's church.
The Guadalupana appeared on the mountain of Tapayec in Mexico to Juan Diego on December 12, in1531. She appeared on his apron with roses that were not usually found on that mountain. She's presented in a way that combines the European catholic's Virgin Mary but also blended with the indigenous' goddess, making her even more important for many Latinos.
In the procession, the virgin was seen between the Mexican and the American flag, merging the two cultures together. "The Mexican culture is a very rich culture and we are in the middle of the Floreciente neighborhood, which is predominantly Hispanic and Mexican so we share with our culture and the people... we want them to be as comfortable as possible here so we share their culture which is ours also," said Josefina Lopez, a Moline resident.
Those traditions, making the Quad Cities feel like home for many, including Luz Ramirez, Moline resident, "there's' joy in our hearts." Lopez continued, "It makes us very proud. We feel that we have to teach the children since they're little, so they know where the cultures and traditions are from Mexico and their ancestors."
"I feel like they're celebrating my heritage and the things I believe in. And I don't have to go too far to be home. I'm home in the Quad Cities," said Leticia Martinez, Augustana College's administrative assistant for the office of student inclusion and diversity.
The apparition of our lady of Guadalupe on Juan Diego's apron is still seen at the basilica in Mexico City.
The festivities will continue Sunday at 3 p.m. at the St. Mary's Church in Moline with a "holy hour" presented by Father Antonio Dittmer and famous Mexican singer Priscila Angel.