Davenport Memorial Park and Runge Mortuary held a blessing for the new Our Lady of Guadalupe statue in a section of the cemetery that is now called the Garden of Guadalupe. The garden is intended to represent a section of Davenport’s community and roots through the Latino community.
Deacon Julian Gutierrez of St. Mary’s Davenport did the blessing of the statue with a ritual that included reading, talking and a homily. The deacon said that he holds a strong devotion to Our Lady and the ceremony made him sentimental.
“Tears come to my eyes because remembering Our Lady. I was born and raised in Mexico, it gives me a great, great thrill to do the blessing here with the statue,” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez also said that it was a marvelous idea and a good gesture for the Latino population that is already buried and may be buried in the cemetery saying we’re included not excluded.
“We’re here to stay and some of us might die here and we get somebody who will take care of us in our yearning in holiness and that’s her (Our Lady). We are blessed with the gesture on their part,” Gutierrez said.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is for Roman Catholics, the apparition of the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary to a poor indigenous Juan Diego. For Perry Ramirez and many other people of Mexican descent, Our Lady of Guadalupe is a national emblem.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe goes way back to our people. She appeared to a poor man. He was very poor but she chose him instead of some rich guy,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez’s mother is buried in the area of the statue. He said that he always prays to Our Lady of Guadalupe.“Your prayer’s not complete until you pray to her,” Ramirez said.
For the former mayor of Silvis, Ill. Joe Terronez, it’s a great privilege for the Mexican-Americans.
“This lady actually appeared in the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico, this lady actually went to Juan Diego in the flesh just like us, that’s great, that’s neat,” Terronez said.