Guadalupe Shrine Hosts 6M for Feastday Weekend

Benedict XVI Remembers Our Lady Who Appeared to Juan Diego

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MEXICO CITY, DEC. 13, 2010 (Zenit.org).- In celebration of Sunday's feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the shrine that houses the miraculous image of Mary received more than 6 million pilgrims.



Annually, this basilica in Mexico City receives an average of 22 million. Almost 30% of that number made their visit to Our Lady between last Friday and Sunday.

It is estimated that on Sunday, an average of 95,000 pilgrims entered the basilica every hour. They had to be content with spending just a few seconds under the miraculous cape where 479 years ago the image of the Virgin was imprinted, after the first bishop of Mexico City, Franciscan Friar Juan de Zumarraga, asked Juan Diego for a sign that his visions were true.

In Rome

Benedict XVI in Rome also remembered the feastday. After praying the midday Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father greeted Spanish-speakers.

He expressed his hopes that "the loving intercession of Holy Mary, who, as Our Lady of Guadalupe is fervently invoked as Mother by the men and women of the Mexican people and of Latin America, might inspire this time of joy and hope and nourish the imperative work of charity with the neediest."

Mother and Son

Also on Sunday, a replica of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was enthroned in Turin and the two cities were twinned. Turin is the city where the Shroud of Turin is kept -- the cloth that shows an image of a crucified man, believed to be the shroud that enwrapped Jesus in the tomb.

The Shroud and the tilma of Guadalupe are similar in that neither depiction is considered the work of an artist, but rather images created miraculously.