Thousands flock to Des Plaines shrine

Our Lady of Guadalupe is Mexico’s most important religious and cultural icon that portrays the Virgin Mary.  Today marks the anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to an Aztec Indian in Mexico in the year 1531.

The shrine in Des Plaines is considered an important branch of the basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.  Today tens of thousands are visiting the shrine to offer prayers and thanks.

The first celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe was held 25 years ago in Des Plaines and has become one of the biggest celebrations of its kind in the Chicago area.  As part of the tradition, pilgrims bring flowers and candles.  Many observe the shrine in silence or pray quietly.

Catholics will travel from all over the country – and even the world – to be here tonight

Managing the crowds is always a challenge for Des Plaines police, but the chief says the city is well prepared and is confident the celebration will be peaceful.

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