Sacred torch comes to Hartford

HARTFORD –The torch of Our Lady of Guadalupe will arrive in Hartford on Saturday, for a Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph at 7 p.m. in observance of the Virgin Mary.

The blessed flame began its spiritual journey in early October at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Mexico, where runners began carrying it through various Mexican cities before entering the United States. Before arriving in Connecticut, the torch will have made stops in over a dozen states, and will include stops in the following Connecticut cities: Norwalk, Bridgeport, West Haven, New Haven, Wallingford and Meriden, and finally Hartford.  In total, the torch will have traveled over 3,100 miles.
Last year was the first time that the torch came to Hartford, and members of the Committee Guadalupano of Hartford hope it’s a tradition that will last forever. According to Pedro Ruiz, president of the Committee Guadalupano, the faithful especially in the Hispanic communities relate to the Virgin Mary in a very special way.
“She is our merciful mother and mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. She is the spirit of the immigrant community, the one that unites us as brothers and sisters regardless of ethnic background. She is the light and hope for many of our immigrant brothers and sisters, whom although they might be far away from their families, they are always together in love and spirit of our merciful mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of the Americas.”
According to tradition, the Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant named, Juan Diego, near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. She asked him to build a church in her honor. Before leaving, she left her impression on his cloak as proof that she had spoken to him. From this miraculous event came the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
At the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, members from various churches and ethnic backgrounds across the Archdiocese of Hartford will participate in the ceremony. The Mass will also include a mariachi band to serenade the Virgin Mary, and traditional “cantos,” or songs, will be sung.
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