Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos returns to Sterling, IL


“She goes where she needs to be,” Dora Brooks explained about the coming of Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos to St. Mary’s Church in Sterling, IL from 6 to 9 of October of 2016.

Artículo en Español


This will be a fourth time that Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos comes to Sterling. Brooks will be bringing her from Elgin, IL. Brooks considers this a big honor.

“It is an honor for me to escort her. This is a second time for me escorting her and personally I cannot describe how I feel. It is a special feeling,” Dora Brooks explained.


She will go to get Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos on Thursday, so she can be welcomed with a big celebration starting at 6:30 PM. After the mass everyone is invited for a gathering at Bales Parish Hall.

On Friday October 7, the day will start with a mass at 9:30 AM. There will be confessions in Spanish from 10:15 AM to 11:30 AM. In the afternoon believers can join for prayers starting at 4:00 PM and at 6:00 PM there will be a special mass for the sick.

On Saturday October 8 there will be mañanitas for the Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos and after that the participants can enjoy some coffee, sweet bread, champurrado and tamales. The confessions in Spanish for Saturday are planned for 3:00 PM until 4:00 PM.


Sunday October 9, there will be a procession that will start at Church of Saint Andres in Rock Falls. It will start at 10:30 AM. At 11:30 AM the mass to say goodbye will take place and kids will be able to offer flowers to Virgen of San Juan de los Lagos. After the mass there will be a big celebration with Mariachi Campiranos from Peoria.

Everyone is invited to these events and if anyone wants to pray or fulfill the promise they might have made to Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos, they are invited to do so. According, to Dora Brooks, Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos stays at her cabinet all the time.


Come to celebrate your faith, come to celebrate Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos from October 6 to October 9 at St. Mary’s Church located at 600 Ave B in Sterling, IL.

Who is Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos?

By Father Adalberto Sánchez


To start to understand what the Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos means it is necessary to go back in history to the time of the colonization of Mexico.

In 1530 Spanish conquistadores came to a region that is now known as El Bajío (North Central part of Mexico), that was inhabited by two tribes, Tecuexes and Caxcanes. Ten years after the conquistadores came to this region they revolted against them, escaping to different parts of the region.

Later Fray Miguel de Bolonia from Bolivia was named in charge of the mission for this region and he became in charge of bringing peace to those tribes and to bring together those who were roaming. Fray Miguel de Bolonia brought the image of the Immaculate Conception that he got from Pátzcuaro, Michoacán to one of those towns, San Juan Bautista de Mezquititlan. Years had passed and in 1545 the chapel became known as Sanctuary of the Virgin. With the passing of the time, the image deteriorated and it was put in the sanctuary. In 1623 the first miracle happened thanks to the Virgin, and from that time on she started to be known as the one that can make miracles happen.

The family that witnessed the miracle saw that the image was deteriorating and they asked for it so it could be restored. When she returned to Guadalajara, the image of the Virgin returned to its place in the church, but her fame became to be known all over the region. Nowadays, she is known beyond San Juan de los Lagos and Mexico; she is more present in the immigrant communities from Lagos in the United States. La Virgen de San Juan de los Lagos is very meaningful because believers feel loved and blessed by her, as a mother of Jesus, and at the same time they feel united thanks to her.


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