Marian procession celebrates founding of Los Angeles

Photo from the Tidings

Photo from the Tidings

The following comes from a Sept. 20 story in the Tidings, Los Angeles archdiocese’s  newspaper.

Guadalupe Hernandez, 12, came all the way from Downey with her mom and two sisters. She wanted to be part of the third annual Grand Marian Procession, Rosary and Votive Mass honoring Our Lady of the Angels, followed by a fiesta. The multicultural event, which drew more than 400 people, also celebrated the founding of the City of Los Angeles in 1781….

“I was, like, in the procession and it was really pretty exciting,” she said. “The Aztec dancers in their blue outfits and dancing through the streets was really cool. I liked the loud music, too. It was really nice.”

The procession from La Placita Church to the cathedral harkens back to the daunting trip of the group of 11 families with 44 men, women and children. They had survived the 1,000-mile trek from Sonora and Sinaloa Mexico to reaffirm Spain’s claim of the “New Spain” territory. In early September of 1781, they wound up by the river called Rio de Los Angeles de Porciuncula after walking about nine miles from the San Gabriel Mission.

The tradition of a yearly procession to honor the Blessed Virgin soon developed and lasted some 100 years, according to the Queen of Angels Foundation.

The foundation, started by lawyer Mark Albert, revived the tradition in 2011, This year’s Sept. 14 Marian devotion also recognized the 232nd anniversary of the founding of El Pueblo de Nuesta Senora de Los Angeles.

At La Placita, the wood-beam church near Olvera Street (established three decades after the 44 weary settlers finally set down roots in the area), an almost life-sized statue of Mary cradling a toddler Jesus in her left arm was surrounded by pink roses. Groups of Mariachis and dancers performed, while some people on the worn pews fanned themselves….

Six husky men in purple cloaks carried the statue out of the church to a cart. An LAPD black-and-white patrol car and Los Angeles fire engine with lights flashing led the procession down Main and Temple streets through the heart of the civic center. People out on this 90-degree-plus Saturday afternoon stopped on sidewalks to look and listen.

A teenage girl holding up a white banner with the embossed image of Our Lady of Guadalupe bordered by red roses walked with deliberate steps. Behind her came the archbishop, followed by Knights of Columbus in scarlet-trimmed robes and Knights of Peter Claver in similar robes with yellow sashes. An honor guard of three soldiers holding U.S., California and U.S. Army flags paraded along with a dozen others in combat fatigues. Queen of Angels Foundation members wearing long black robes walked proudly….
At 4:44 p.m., seven men carried the statue into the Cathedral, then carefully down the center aisle. Men clapped; women blessed themselves. The figure was set down on a raised place at the front of the sanctuary, surrounded now by white blooming flowers. The Aztecs formed a long dancing line facing Mary before quietly sitting behind the altar.

Pipes of the five-story Dobson organ suddenly came to life. A man from the choir sang out, “Holy Mary” and the people responded, “Pray for us.” For the next 10 minutes, he evoked different Marian titles like “Mother of Peace,” “Mother Most Chaste” and “Vessel of Honor.”

After, the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary were said in Spanish, English, Tagalog and other languages. The bilingual Mass began at 5:30, with people standing to sing a rousing “Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above,” with 11 priests and Auxiliary Bishops Edward Clark and Alexander Salazar followed by Archbishop Jose Gomez processing down the center aisle.

During his homily, the archbishop noted that the celebration for the Sept. 8 feast day of the Nativity of Our Blessed Mother fell on a Sunday this year. He quipped, “So we are a little late [in celebrating it].”

“But on this great feast, what burns is from the desire of unity under the sign of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” he declared in a louder voice. “This feast reminds us of 232 years ago, on Sept. 4, 1781, this city was founded. And our city was named for Our Lady, Queen of Angels. So my brothers and sisters, never forget that Los Angeles has a Christian Catholic foundation. This great, wonderful city was started by humble Catholics for a Catholic purpose….”

To read the entire story, click here.



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  1. Why the simulated Aztecs? That community wasn’t Christian. It did unspeakable things along the lines of human sacrifices. Odd, very odd…

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you know who Our Lady of Guadelupe is? Do you know who she converted?

    • R. B. Rodda, there are always Aztec dancers at Mexican celebrations of the Azetcs’s conversion to Christianity. The only time I object is if the dancing is done in a church with immodest costumes instead of on the plaza or in a parade with the more modest costumes. Some dancers use a more modest type costume and others use more immodest costumes. The latter costuming is not suitable for religious events.

  2. R. B. Rodda, I had the same reaction as you when I read this. Every year I would love to be part of this event, but I stay away and inevitably I read about things like this that make me once more glad that I did not attend. I would hope that this would be a solemn and respectful procession honoring our Blessed Mother, the patron of the city of Los Angeles. Instead it is just another occasion for the celebration of “ME”, or in other words, “look at my culture on display”. Very sad indeed. I can’t help but wonder how disruptive the atmosphere was with bagpipes competing with tribal drums.

    In my opinion, if Bishop Gomez really has a deep desire for unity, then he should stop putting so much emphasis on “celebrating our differences” and focus on the “one catholic and apostolic faith”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Archbishop Gomez would be more believable if he cleaned up the heretic ridden Archdiocese of Lost Angels (Los Angeles) Religious “Education Congress”, and he stopped honoring the Demoncrat enemies of the unborn and the Traditional Family by giving them front seats in his cathedral from which they organize campaigns to defeat pro-life, pro-Traditional Family elected Republicans.

      You can view the list of the 2014 speakers on their website at: NOTHING HAS CHANGED SINCE MAHONY!

      May God have mercy on an amoral America!
      Viva Cristo Rey!
      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Dear Kenneth,
        I was curious about some of your posts where you list yourself as head of the group called “Concerned Roman Catholics of America,” and so I found some interview that listed your website.
        However, as you are clearly concerned about virtue and morals, I must alert you to the fact that your URL now leads innocent people to some quite immoral “online casino” nonsense, so you might want to update your website. is NOT something faithful Catholics should be at all interested in!

  3. Maryanne Leonard says:

    I was taught as a child that the name of the City of Los Angeles was actually El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles, in other words, the Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels, which is why the Catholic hospital in which both my brother and I were born was called Queen of the Angels, and why one of our Catholic girls’ high schools is called La Reina. Anyone know for sure which is indeed correct, the name set forth in this article, or the teachings of the nuns at our Catholic school?

  4. “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula,” is what I’ve always believed the true name of the city to be.
    But that’s just me.

    • Suzanne –
      You are correct in that the expedition originally named the location as you have mentioned but the title, later, was officially entered into government files as “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles”.
      The word Porciuncula was in reference to a Franciscan chapel fondly referred to as the “Little Portion” in Italy.

  5. At least they are honoring Our Lady unlike San Francisco that honors Satan with its sexual activities St Francis must be very sad at that and the City of angels should be proud humbly do to honor Our Lady in this or any other way so important in our time with the world and the USA like it is . holy Mary mother of God pray for us sinners all of them even ourselves.

  6. FourMarks says:

    The non-Christian religious syncretism and Mexican cultural boosterism of this and similar events sponsored by the Archidiocese of L.A. is too obvious and too odious to require further comment. When and if Abhp Gomez takes control of the planners and organizers of these types of “multi-cultural” extravaganzas and requires them to eliminate ethnic, cultural and racial bias, and be truly and unambiguously Catholic, then maybe more faithful L.A, area Catholics who aren’t of Mexican descent might be willing to attend such events.

    I too, as a child in public grade school, was made to memorize the full, true, historical name of the City of LA. None of the supposed experts at the L.A. Chancery, the L.A. Times, or the “Queen of Angels Foundation” got it exactly right in any recent print article I’ve seen about this event; and yet Wikipedia, a notoriously un-authoritative source, does have it right in this case, and it only took me about 45 seconds to look it up-

    “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula”,
    in English it is “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the Porciúncula River”.


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