© 2024 New England Public Media

FCC public inspection files:
WGBYWFCRWNNZWNNUWNNZ-FMWNNI

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact hello@nepm.org or call 413-781-2801.
PBS, NPR and local perspective for western Mass.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hundreds celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe at Hartford's St. Augustine Church, in a tradition of hope

A parishioner leaves flowers at the base of the Our Lady of Guadalupe altar at St. Augustine Church in Hartford, Connecticut on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. Members of the Latino community gathered to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with Mass, mariachi performance and a community breakfast.
Joe Buglewicz
/
Connecticut Public
A parishioner leaves flowers at the base of the Our Lady of Guadalupe altar at St. Augustine Church in Hartford, Connecticut on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. Members of the Latino community gathered to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with Mass, mariachi performance and a community breakfast.

Leer en Español

Over 250 people came to St. Augustine Church in Hartford Tuesday morning for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The celebration of Lady of Guadalupe has spread far beyond the borders of Mexico, with many countries now recognizing and celebrating her feast day on Dec. 12.

The service started before sunrise and people were bundled up against the cold. As they entered the church, some people left items on the Guadalupana statue for a special blessing.

Pedro Jorge Garcia is from Puebla, Mexico, and lives in Hartford. He volunteered to help organize the traditional cultural event at St. Augustine Church.

"The event is a Mexican tradition we have had for many years. Every December 12, we celebrate with tamales, bread, hot chocolate, and coffee,” Garcia said. “It is a tradition that our ancestors taught us."

The Lady of Guadalupe is a title given to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus in Christian tradition. She is considered the patroness of Mexico. According to the tradition, she appeared to a peasant named Juan Diego in Tepeyac, Mexico, in 1531, leaving her image imprinted on his cloak. This event is significant in the history of the Catholic Church and has become a symbol of Mexican identity and devotion.

Father Jose Linares speaks during morning Mass at St. Augustine Church in Hartford, Connecticut on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. Members of the Latino community gathered to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with Mass, mariachi performance and a community breakfast.
Joe Buglewicz
/
Connecticut Public
Father Jose Linares speaks during morning Mass at St. Augustine Church in Hartford, Connecticut on Tuesday, December 12, 2023. Members of the Latino community gathered to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with Mass, mariachi performance and a community breakfast.

Priest Jorge Linares led the mass ceremony in Hartford, wearing a Mariachi sombrero and a tunic with the image of the Lady of Guadalupe.

In Hartford, 46% of people have Latino heritage. Linares said the community's demographics constantly change, but their goals remain the same — to motivate through hope.

"We have a fluctuating community, and that is because some move to another state, others return to their country. But we also have those who are always here. The people are very involved, and their testimony and faith have been seen today.

Mariachis sang throughout the event. Some people couldn't resist moving to the lively rhythm. Hidalia Vegas is from Lima, Peru, and shared that the Lady of Guadalupe celebration is a beautiful display of Latino culture and traditions.

"We still preserve the tradition of our countries, and we bring it to this country to feel that we are in our homeland. Most importantly, we share with our Hispanic brothers and sisters because we are one people."

William Hernandez from Cidra, Puerto Rico, shared his excitement about the cultural event.

"I haven't slept because I wanted to see the Guadalupana. Everything is very nice, even the Mariachis; it is a blessing because the Guadalupana is for everyone."

Maricarmen Cajahuaringa is a journalist with extensive experience in Latino communities' politics, social issues, and culture. She founded Boceto Media, a digital Spanish-language newspaper based in Connecticut. Maricarmen holds a Bachelor's in Social Work from Springfield College, and a Master's in Journalism and Media Production from Sacred Heart University. As a reporter for Connecticut Public, she is dedicated to delivering accurate and informative coverage of the Hispanic/Latino population in the region. Maricarmen is an experienced and passionate journalist who strives to bring a voice to the stories of her community.