Each year, one of the largest gatherings of Catholics in the United States happens right here in the Archdiocese of Chicago. It’s the annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines Dec. 11-12 for the feast day.continue at Chicago Catholic
No matter the weather, over 200,000 people make a pilgrimage to the shrine seeking Mary’s intercession or thanking her for answered prayers.
They start coming early on Dec. 11 and grow into large crowds in the late evening hours bringing flowers — mostly roses since that’s what Mary gifted to Juan Diego during that fateful apparition in Mexico in 1531. Many come as families.
Pilgrims bring so many flowers that they cover the outdoor grotto at the shrine. It’s a sight to see as volunteers stack the flowers and the amount increases hour by hour as pilgrims pass by on their way to or from Mass.
Masses are held every two hours starting at 5 p.m. on the 11th and ending with 7 p.m. Mass on the 12th. Midnight Mass is held outdoors in front of the shrine.