Grant County will be celebrating the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a musical tribute to be held on Sunday, December 11 at the Fine Arts Center Theatre on the campus of Western New Mexico University. There will be no admission fee thanks to the generous donations of individuals, businesses and organizations. Donations will continue to be accepted up until the day of the event.

Doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and the celebration will begin at 2:00.

The entire program will be in Spanish, except for the presentation of Ave María in Spanish and Latin by local musician Brandon Perrault.

The celebration will include an opening prayer followed by a procession lead by La Rondalla Santa Rita, a local trio of gentlemen who play acoustic guitars and sing in Spanish. The procession will also include other guitarists and singers, the Guadalupanas from St. Vincent de Paul and Our Lady of Fatima Catholic churches and the Knights of Columbus.  There will be a reenactment of the five apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Saint Juan Diego that took place in the year 1531.  

It is believed that the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego as the darker complected Virgin of Guadalupe and asked him to convince Bishop Zumárraga to build a church where she could be venerated and show her love and compassion to all. The Bishop told Juan Diego that he could not simply take his word for it that the Virgin Mary had appeared to him and that he needed to ask her for a sign that it was really her. The Virgin Mary instructed Juan Diego to go to a field and pick flowers. It was a place where flowers had never grown before. Juan Diego did as he was told and took the flowers to the Virgin. She put her hands on them and sent him to take them to the Bishop with instructions that he should not present them to anyone other than the Bishop. When Juan Diego presented them to the Bishop, the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe was imprinted on Juan Diego’s tilma. A tilma is a cotton covering that resembles a cape, but tied at the shoulder, that men of the fields wore in Mexico. This tilma that was worn by Juan Diego and has the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe now hangs in the Basílica Nueva in Mexico City.

After the reenactment, there will be a brief talk about what happened after the apparitions and Della Acosta will share her views on what it means to be a Guadalupana in modern times

For the second part of the program, Rick and Mónica García, of Illusion Band, will serve as Masters of Ceremonies for a Serenade to the Virgin. Local musicians and singers will present special songs honoring Our Lady and local families will present flowers and prayers. A children’s ballet folklórico group from Deming will present two dances and the child of two of Patricia Cano’s former students will offer a prayer for the safety of all school children and their teachers and administrators. After the Guadalupanas conduct a ceremony and there is a final prayer, the audience will be invited to sing a traditional song of farewell as the guitarists, singers and other participants leave the auditorium.

The event will be live streamed by the Video Communications Department of Western New Mexico University through Panopto at tinyurl.com/LaVirgen2022 and can also be viewed through the Terrazas Funeral Chapels Facebook page. 

The public is invited to attend regardless of church affiliation. We hope to fill the auditorium for this beautiful celebration.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase religious relics designed for the occasion by local artist, Zeke Gonzales.

For more information on the event, please contact Patricia Cano at 575-590-3016 or send a message to p.dawg.cano@gmail.com

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