Members of the Hispanic Community of Warwick’s Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr, attended a mass said in Spanish on Sundy evening, Dec. 12, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The well attended mass was celebrated by St. Stephen’s Parochial Vicar Rev. Reynor Santiago.
The story of Juan Diego
The story behind the mage of the Virgin of Guadeloupe begins in 1531 when a peasant, Juan Diego, claimed that he had an apparition of a young pregnant girl at the Hill of Tepeyac outside Mexico City.
The girl requested that a church be built on that site in her honor.
Diego then understood she was the Virgin Mary and told the story to the Archbishop of Mexico City, who instructed him to ask her for a miraculous sign.
Diego reported that the young woman told him to gather flowers and although it was December and beyond the growing season, he discovered roses that were not even native to the area.
When he opened his cloak before the bishop, the flowers fell to the floor and inside his garment was the image of the Virgin of Guadeloupe, now displayed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadeloupe in Mexico City.
‘We welcome you’
“Before the mass,” said Judy Battista, a representative of the Spanish Ministry Committee, “I introduced the Alcalde (Mayor) Michael Newhard who always comes to welcome the Hispanic community. He read in Spanish and wished everyone a Feliz Navidad.”
“On behalf of the Spanish ministry,” said Battista, “I would like to make a special call to all Guadalupanos here in the Warwick Valley who are interested in joining our humble community and participate, support, and be part of this needed Spanish ministry. We welcome you.”
A mass in Spanish is celebrated at the Church of St. Stephen on the first Sunday of every month at 6 p.m.
The next mass will be Sunday Jan. 2, before the feast of the epiphany,” Los Tres Reyes.”
For additional information, email Judy Battista at email@example.com.
- Roger Gavan