She is known as Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos, the miraculous Cihualpilli, Sanjuantia, the Saint of San Juan de Lagos y and is the second most popular place of pilgrimage in Mexico, (The most famous place of pilgrimage in Mexico is Virgin of Guadalupe that is located at Cerro del Tepeyac) and in a few days she will be in Sterling, IL.
Every year pilgrims from everywhere in Mexico, The United States, Latin America and even Europe come to the state of Jalisco, Mexico to visit Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos.
The Saint of San Juan de Lagos is a small image of the Virgin Mary and is miraculous and adored. The image was made of pasta de Michoacan which is a mix of corn husks and glue. Even though the image of Miraculous Virgin of San Juan is made of fragile material, the image is centuries old and has not deteriorated.
This image is of Virgin that is standing up and her hands are joined in prayer. In this image she is dressed in a blue gown with stars on it and has a moon crescent at the bottom of her feet. Her face is looking down and above her two small angels hold a ribbon with words ‘Mater inmaculata ora pro nobis” (Immaculate Mother, pray for us) written on it.
According to legend the first miracle of the Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos happened in a circus family in 1623. The family was traveling the country with performances and among them there was a performance where a small girl of 6 or 7 years old was working on the trapeze over a numerous amount of swords stuck in the ground and pointing up. The girl lost her balance, fell on the swords and instantly died. Parents put their dead child’s body in a church where a lot of Indian people had gathered. Among them there was an older woman called Ana Lucia. She told to grieving parents to be strong because the Cihuapilli (“the great lady” ) would bring her back to life. They put an image of the Virgin of San Juan on the body of the dead child and after a little while they noticed that the child was moving. The little girl was well and healthy. Because of this miracle the image of Virgin of San Juan became known everywhere.
She is celebrated on February, May and August but December 8 marks the great celebration of Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos. Even if outside people celebrate with a huge party, inside of the Basilica everything is calm. The Basilica is a very beautiful place. Always, there are devotees inside traveling on their knees from the entrance to the altar and this way demonstrating their faith and fulfilling their promises.
From September 29 to October 1, 2014 The Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos is coming to St. Mary’s Parish, located at 509 Avenue B in Sterling, IL. Following is the schedule of events for visit of Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos.
Monday, September 29
6:00 PM-Welcoming of our Lady by the local community of Jalisco. Procession with the statue of Nuestro Padre Jesús del Calvario
6:30 PM- Mass of Thanksgiving for Our Lady’s visit. After Mass a reception will be held at Bales Hall in the Parish Center.
Tuesday, September 30
8:00 AM-Start of visits
9:30 AM-Mass in honor of Our Lady. Confessions after Mass until 11:45am
4:00 PM-Holy rosary
5:00 PM -The speaker (the visiting priest) will be hosting a talk in the Church
6:30 PM-Mass for the sick
Wednesday, October 1
Farewell to Our Lady
8:00 AM -Start of visits
5:30 PM-Procession by the local communities from different states of Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Michoacán, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, y Zacatecas)
Other parish communities can participate with processions. If you would like to organize a procession, please contact Janie Atilano at St. Mary’s Parish Cente (815)-626-5735 or (815)-625-0640.
This event is sponsored in part by Hola America