Our Lady of Guadalupe image moves around LA, Ventura counties as sign of hope amid pandemic

The image is a part of the annual pilgrimage ahead of the oldest procession in L.A. in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
LINCOLN HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Images of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego are making their way around Los Angeles and Ventura counties for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles' annual pilgrimage.

Faithful Catholics are turning to the images as a sign of hope during the pandemic.

"I feel, aside from happiness of having her here, I feel very calm," said Yolanda Gonzalez, who is a part of the parish Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Lincoln Heights that received the images.

Gonzalez was among her 10 relatives who tested positive for COVID-19. Sadly, her mother and brother lost their battle to the virus.

"She gives me the strength to survive especially with everything that my family and I have gone through," said Gonzalez about the Guadalupe image.

The pilgrimage circulates the images to different parishes in the area ahead of a procession, mass and feast in December.

"We as Catholics we believe that almost 500 years ago Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to a Native American, Saint Juan Diego. And he's the one who took the message to the bishop in Mexico City," said Father Juan Ochoa, president of the Commission of Our Lady of Guadalupe. "So San Juan Diego is the one who received that private revelation of Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe."

The pilgrimage image of Guadalupe is an exact replica of the original one in Mexico City's Basilica.
This year, those who lost their lives to COVID-19, along with survivors and frontline workers are being honored.

"The theme is, Mary: Mother of healing and hope," said Ochoa. "Because we need healing, not just physical, but emotional and spiritual healing. But also, we need hope. Because this pandemic has made many people fall into desperation."

The pilgrimage is a spiritual preparation for the oldest religious procession in L.A.

This year it takes place on Dec. 6th and will be virtual.

"She gives me hope with everything that's going on with the pandemic," said Gonzalez about the image.

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Here is a list of churches that will received the imagees:
Thursday, November 26
Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church (La Placita)
100 W. Cesar E. Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Friday, November 27 - Saturday, November 28
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church
4245 Acacia Ave.
Pico Rivera, CA 90660

Sunday, November 29 - Monday, November 30
St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church
7025 Garfield Ave.
Bell Gardens, CA 90201

Tuesday, December 1 - Thursday, December 3
St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church

13925 Telegraph Rd.
Whittier, CA 90604

Friday, December 4
St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church
7215 Newlin Ave.
Whittier, CA 90602

Saturday, December 5
Our Lady of Solitude Catholic Church
4561 Cesar E. Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90022-1187

Sunday, December 6
89th Annual Procession and Mass in Honor of
Our Lady of Guadalupe in San Gabriel Mission
To be livestreamed on ADLA social channels @LACatholics
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