La Voz Latina - Su puente a la comunidad Hispana de Georgia y Carolina del sur

Port Wentworth's Virgin of Guadalupe Festival: Dec. 11

Every year, during the night between the 11th and 12th of December, mañanitas or birthday songs are sung throughout Latin America to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe or Guadalupana, the Patron Saint of Mexico and the Americas.
For the past 16 years, worshippers at Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic Church in Port Wentworth, Georgia, have celebrated locally by hosting a two-part festival featuring a pilgrimage and celebration of Mass on Dec. 11th, followed by a full day of music, dancing, food, and fun at the Port Wentworth soccer field. The mass will be celebrated as planned but the Saturday activities have been cancelled for this year.
Chon Magaña, a native of Los Reyes, Michoacán, Mexico, has led the local celebration since its start in 2000. Magaña, who has lived in Savannah for the past 26 years, is active in local community affairs and hosts a weekly radio show on WHCJ- 90.3FM.
“This event is a labor of love for me and our church,” Magaña said. “Without the support of our parishoners, it wouldn’t be possible. This year we decided to cancel the Saturday festival to give our volunteers a break and because almost a full week will have passed between the two events.”
The annual pilgrimage from the soccer fields to the parish begins at 6:30 pm on Dec. 11th and features a large assemblage of worshippers dressed in costumes representing Don Diegos and Guarecitas or Indian maidens– the central characters of the Guadalupana narrative. Singing mañanitas as they process to the church, the group is led by four men who hoist a wooden platform on their shoulders bearing a large painting of the Virgin. A mariachi band accompanies the group on their journey.
“For me, Our Virgin of Guadalupe is a reminder that God's love and mercy is extended to everyone, especially those who live honest and humble lives,” Magaña said. “We invite everyone, regardless of their faith, to join us for this holy event.”

Issue Month: 
Thursday, December 1, 2016