A Pilgrimage to The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Cactus, scorpions, tumbleweed, and heat. These are all things I expected to find in Texas. What I had not expected, and was pleasurably surprised by, was the faith of the people here. While the State of Texas is only 27% Catholic, there is a strong Catholic presence the further south you go.

In southern Texas, everyone is proud to be Catholic. Catholicism is a part of everybody’s life. Almost everybody is part of one ministry or another within the Church. Even young people are active on a daily basis. We were recently in Laredo, Texas and the parish in which we were lodged had several different ministries, all of which had a pretty full roster of participants. There were times when we would enter the Perpetual Adoration Chapel in the middle of the night and would find many people, of all ages, praying before the Blessed Sacrament. The Church is very much alive.

While in Laredo, we received permission from our Superior to travel on Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was truly amazing. We arrived in Mexico City and were met by a Mexican Herald of the Gospel and brought us straight to the Basilica in which the famous tilma is enshrined.

The Sunday we were there saw the second largest pilgrimage of the year. Over 50,000 people were present. The Basilica wasn’t large enough to hold them all so the Mass was celebrated outside in the plaza. There they were, people of all ages, from all walks of life, kneeling in the noonday sun. All there for the same purpose; to honour their mother, Mary.

Upon entering the Basilica, you have to maneuver through dense crowds because it is always full. The faith of the people who visit this Shrine is amazing. There are two Masses celebrated every hour on the hour and every half hour. Priests come from around the world to celebrate Mass at this blessed place.

After Mass, we approached the tilma with the image of Our Lady on it. Before traveling to Mexico, I had heard many things about this, however, when I came before it, and saw it with my own eyes, it was more than I ever imagined. Words cannot describe the aura emanating from this simple image. It feels as if Our Lady is truly present and is merely waiting for you to ask her for what you need. 20 million people come here from the world over to hear her consoling message. She wants to speak to us, if only we would listen.

I left Mexico with the strong desire to return soon. If you have already been to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, you surely understand what I mean. If you have not, I urge you to go someday. There you will feel the true peace that Our Lady gives. She will take away your fears, she will comfort you. As she said to St. Juan Diego, “Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear any sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve not be disturbed by anything.”

If ever anyone wants to visit the basilica try to visit the house of the Heralds in Mexico City, they will be glad to receive you!

One Response

  1. Vincent

    This is good to know that there is still som hope for the USA. The Picture of Our Lady is realy nice but it would have been better if you put some more pictures of the Shrine and surrounding aera, and the old Basilica. In all your report is very good

    30 de July de 2008 at 13:28

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