Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Archbishop To Celebrate Athens Guadalupe Mass; 58 Parishes Will Hold Feast Day Liturgies

Published November 30, 2006

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory will celebrate a bilingual Mass on Tuesday, Dec. 12, for the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Church in Athens.

The Mass in Spanish and English will be followed by representations of the apparitions of the Virgin to Mexican Indian St. Juan Diego in 1531. About 57 other churches throughout the Atlanta Archdiocese are holding celebrations, and all Catholics are encouraged to participate in this liturgy during Advent honoring the Mother of God as they prepare their hearts for Christmas. Mary appeared four times in 1531 to Juan Diego, who was canonized in 2002, on Tepeyac Hill outside of Mexico City, and instructed him to tell the local bishop of her wish that a church be built there. The bishop complied with the request about two years later after being convinced of the genuineness of the apparition by the evidence of a miraculously painted life-size figure of the Virgin on the mantle of the Indian. It was after her apparitions that many Mexicans began to convert to Catholicism. The mantle has been preserved and is enshrined in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, constructed on the site of the peasant’s visions. The basilica has a long history as a center of devotion and pilgrimage in Mexico and for the world. Our Lady of Guadalupe was designated patroness of Latin America by St. Pius X in 1910 and patroness of the Americas by Pope Pius XII in 1945.

St. Joseph’s is located at 134 Prince Avenue, Athens.


A complete listing of churches holding celebrations on the feast day and leading up to it can be found on the archdiocesan Web site at