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Thousands march for Our Lady of Guadalupe

December 10, 2015

Thousands gathered in the predawn chill Dec. 5 to take part in an annual 12–mile pilgrimage honoring the Patroness of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast is Dec. 12.

The 22nd annual Cruzada Guadalupana began at All Souls Church in South San Francisco at 5:30 a.m., with many pilgrims dressed in Native American and traditional Mexican peasant costumes. The march ended at 2 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.

The pilgrims’ first stop was a still–dark Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, where the hooves of decorated horses that greeted pilgrims at the gate made the only sound, cemeteries director Monica Williams said.

“As dawn breaks and the sky lightens, you begin to hear the singing and then the incredible sight of 2,000 people streaming through the cemetery gates calling, ‘Viva la Virgen!’ Williams said. “It is quite a display of faith.”

At the cathedral, the pilgrims re–enacted Our Lady’s appearance to Juan Diego outside Mexico City in 1531 and shared stories of faith and miraculous healings.

“United in one faith on this Year of Mercy, let us walk and pray for fair and just immigration reform, for world peace, for all the sick and our personal intentions” through the intercession of Our Lady, said pilgrimage organizer Pedro Garcia.

 

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