Hundreds of area Hispanic residents gathered Sunday for the annual observance of the Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The festival commemorates Mary's appearance to Juan Diego sometime around 1531. Diego, an Indian, was instructed by Mary to tell the Catholic bishop to have a temple built on the site where she appeared. But the bishop and others wanted proof it was Mary who appeared to Diego. As proof, Mary sent Diego back to the people with an image of herself printed on his robe and with roses from a bush blooming out of season.
The parishioners gathered in the parking lot at Wilson Mall and walked from there to St. Therese Catholic Church for Mass. As part of the procession, a young girl portraying Mary rides in the back of a decorated truck. The celebration includes music and many of the participants carry with them images of Mary.
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