Thousands brave cold, make pilgrimage to Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines

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DES PLAINES, Ill. — Thousands of Catholics gathered in Des Plaines Wednesday night and Thursday at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The faithful believe Dec. 12 is the day Mary appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531.

“It’s the Lady of Guadalupe and it’s something that we do it’s a tradition,” Sylvia Portilla said. “We love to do it because it’s very important for our families.”

Hundreds of thousands of people visit the shrine in Des Plaines every year in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is the second-most popular venue outside of Mother Mary’s Shrine at the basilica in Mexico City.

Some attend to thank the mother of God for her divine intervention and attribute miracles to her. Some of the faithful bring flowers. And all bring their intentions for better days to come here and, in the creed of Christians everywhere, in the next life to come.

Portilla said she prays for love and more.

“I always pray for peace in the world,” she said. “All the world be healthy and be kind.”

Catholics starting celebrating at the new St. Joseph chapel Wednesday. The parish is hosting 24-hours of masses to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

A mass will be held Thursday at 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and ending with a closing mass at 7 p.m.

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