Thousands honor Our Lady of Guadalupe in Woodbridge

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Walking into Our Lady of Angels Church in Woodbridge, one felt transported in time. The scent of roses permeated the air, with enough roses to rival the Rose Parade in Pasadena surrounding large images of Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

 

Small children were dressed as mini Juan Diegos, complete with beards. Young girls wore Mexican dresses with their hair decked with wreaths of flowers and ribbons. 

More than 2,000 gathered in every inch of the church to celebrate the feast day of the patroness of the Americas — Our Lady of Guadalupe — Dec. 12.

A half-hour before Mass, Mariachi Aguila DC processed into the church with trumpets, guitars and voice and made their way to the image of Our Lady in the front of the church. They sang for Mary and the thousands of parishioners gathered. 

Youths with flags representing the 13 cultures that are part of the parish processed into the church.  

Father Alexander Diaz, parochial vicar, celebrated Mass.

“Our Lady of Guadalupe represents the center of the faith for Latin American people. She appeared to Juan Diego in light and dark skin colors to unify cultures — we remember that moment when she came, and people had that faith. We feel her protection,” said Father Diaz.

Parishioners celebrated with food and music after processing with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe through the parking lot. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018

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