Notable feasts during Advent: Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe honors diocesan patroness

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Karen Lopez poses on her float during the Honor Your Mother celebration parade and mass in Downtown Phoenix Dec. 5 (Billy Hardiman/CATHOLIC SUN)
Honor Your Mother Dec. 2

8:30 a.m.: Family friendly pre-procession activities at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 909 E. Washington St., Phoenix

10 a.m.: Procession begins from Immaculate Heart of Mary to the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 400 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, across the street from the Phoenix Convention Center

12 p.m.: Outdoor Mass celebrated by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares on Monroe Street between the Phoenix Convention Center and Diocesan Pastoral Center.

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The “Miracle of the Roses” occurred at Tepeyac hill on this day in 1531. The two-fold miracle ultimately convinced the local bishop to believe that the encounter Juan Diego, a poor Indian widower, had with the Blessed Mother was true. She requested that a shrine to her be built on that spot.

The bishop asked for a sign. The first was Juan Diego’s ability to pick fresh roses in winter from a dry hill side. When the future saint shook returned to the bishop, he shook off his cloak that carried the petals. The roses had left behind an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Although not a holy day of obligation, the Dec. 12 feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is another one to note during Advent, especially for Catholics in the Diocese of Phoenix. She is the patroness of the diocese, in addition to a chapel, two parishes, a mission and an area Benedictine monastery that bear her name.

Honor Your Mother marks the diocesan celebration of the feast day and is generally held the first Saturday of December. That falls on Dec. 2 this year. Many parishes and schools hold their own celebrations closer to or on the feast day by re-enacting the story, holding a Marian procession and hosting fiestas.