Sioux Falls, SD
In a season defined by its holidays, Friday is one of the biggest for some in KELOLAND.
It’s the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Catholic Church. For people of Hispanic origin in KELOLAND and all over the Americas, the twelfth of December features one of the year's most significant celebrations. At Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic parish in Sioux Falls, the day brings worshipers together to celebrate with special songs, prayers, a Mass and food. Flowers commemorating Our Lady's appearance to Juan Diego also play a special role.
Maria Argueta said that parishioners will celebrate today "far from our countries but together here."
“It unifies us, the love for her, from all countries, and we celebrate it with much joy,” Argueta said.
For Carmen Gutierrez of Sioux Falls, originally from Puerto Rico, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrates a personal, spiritual connection.
"She as mother always says, 'don't fear, here I am, I'm your mother,'" Gutierrez said.
In the Catholic tradition, Mary, the mother of God, is said to have appeared to Juan Diego, now Saint Juan Diego, in 1531 Mexico. She is now revered as Our Lady of Guadalupe.
"She is patron of the Americas, in all parts it's celebrated- Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras," Hilda Ruvalcava said. "And here, well we see a lot of people from all over."
“We’re going to celebrate and remember when she appeared in Mexico, that she appeared for Mexicans, and for all of humanity,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez said the relationship with Our Lady is one on which the community can always rely.
"She’s a mother that … does not abandon her children, no matter what their virtues might be, what their defects might be," she said.
The relationship is both sacred and personal.
"We should venerate her all the time, and always direct ourselves to her because she is our guide before God," Argueta said.