DES PLAINES, Ill. (WLS) — Hundreds of thousands of believers have been arriving for the second day by foot or car to pray, sing and light candles as they pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Victor Barajas and his mother came together.
“Our parents used to wake us up early in the morning just to come do you know to give her thanks,” Victor Barajas said. “It’s heartwarming to see a lot of people come together for the same thing. It’s tradition.”
“For me, I ask for miracles and like I said, I’m always thankful for what she’s done for us,” Raquel Barajas said.
The annual celebration honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas began Sunday night with fireworks and opening Mass celebrations with Cardinal Blase Cupich in attendance.
The celebration continues through Monday evening at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe,1170 N River Rd, in Des Plaines.
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from the Chicago area and beyond arrive to pay homage to the Virgin Mary who appeared to Saint Juan Diego in Mexico City back in 1531.
“To us, it’s just a lot about our culture about what we believe in and what we grew up with,” Janeli Solis said. “She’s just a representation of a lot of Latinos.”
Lyla Espinoza walked on her knees to the shrine after making a promise to the Virgin Mary 25 years ago. Back then, she sent her children across the border from Mexico with a woman she trusted in hopes to be reunited with her children in America.
“Her promise was if everything went great, and if everything went well, and if the lady kept us safe, she would come here and give thanks to the Lady of Guadalupe,” her son Hugo Espinoza said.
“Her promise supposed to go back to Mexico and complete her oath over there but instead, we’re here 25 years later,” Lyla Espinoza said.
The shrine’s observance is the largest gathering of pilgrims honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe in the United States.
“It’s just very peaceful and so beautiful to be here and you find your inner peace,” Jazmin Montesinos said. “I feel like I find my inner peace being here.”
Meanwhile more Masses will continue here throughout the day.
You can watch a live stream of the Our Lady of Guadalupe festivities in Des Plaines HERE.
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[Video] Youtube Thousands make pilgrimage to Des Plaines' Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine
WGN’s Bronagh Tumulty brings you the details on the story.