Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Last night we went with my parents to do a cache that is hidden very near a shrine in Des Plaines, Illinois.  The cache is GC38RB4 and is named "Our Lady of Guadalupe."

The only clue we had for the cache was to find this brick, among thousands of bricks that make up the walk ways:

Once located, mom was quick to find the cache....

The cache is located away from the shrine and doesn't disturb anyone who is there. Beginning December 1st, worshipers start to bring flowers and candles to the shrine.  There were very few people there while we were looking for the cache, but I understand that the closer it gets to the 12th of December, the more crowded it gets.

Every December 12th thousands of Latin-American Catholics gather at the shrine to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Many travel on foot for miles, some walking as far as Chicago, to join in the celebration with food, music and dance.  Then they march through the city in a huge procession that winds up and down the streets for hours and lasts into the wee hours of the morning.

Already there are well over 100 bouquets of flowers placed around the shrine...

If you speak Spanish, could you translate this sign for me??  Cris - I know you are fluent!
"Let us show our love for the Virgin by keeping this place clean. Thank You."

I loved this picture....

The top of the shrine has these 2 statues.....
According to Cris:  The statues relate the moment the Virgin appeared to a peasant on the site where her Basilica now stands (beautiful and very moving place, a must see if ever you're in Mexico City!)

 Off to one side is this huge cross......

And at the base of this cross is a glass enclosed case holding this gorgeous gold cross.......

And the gold cross is flanked by these signs.......

Around the back is the area where you can light candles and say a prayer.....

There were many, many pictures of people hanging up on the walls, as well as ultra sound pictures.  It was interesting to look at everything that people had placed there.

On our way back to the car we passed these really interesting looking trees....

And another area with 3 crosses.....

We also passed a bench with this sign, which I wish someone (Cris)  would translate for me as well....
"Mother from Guadalupe 
Bless us always
Blanca and Jesus Luna"

For more information on Our Lady of Guadalupe, please read this.  I've lived here for a long time and had no idea that this shrine was even here.  Once again geocaching brought me someplace new to discover and explore.

Special thanks to Cris for providing the Spanish translations.  Cris leads a really fascinating life and has traveled and lived all over the globe.  She also has 2 blogs:  Cris Crossing the Globe and Here There and Everywhere. I love her spirit and sense of adventure.  For some fun and really interesting reads go visit her blogs!


  1. I've e-mailed the translations to you! ;o)

    That is a beautiful shrine! The statues relate the moment the Virgin appeared to a peasant on the site where her Basilica now stands (beautiful and very moving place, a must see if ever you're in Mexico City!)

    For info: if you ever meet someone named Lupita, it's a nickname, her real name is probably Maria de Guadalupe (or just Guadalupe). There are lots of Maria de ... names in the Spanish language, most people just go by the second name which can be surprising when translated to English: know anyone named Column? (Pilar) Mercy? (Mercedes) Suffering? (Dolores) fishermen's hut? (Carmen)... ;o)

  2. What a beautiful place to go, I can see why many people will gather there. I imagine you could spend hours there just looking and reflecting.

  3. Cris: Thanks for your help on this post and the name translations - very interesting!

    Michelle: It was very peaceful and relaxing there. It was a cold evening tho, so we didn't stay long!

  4. Years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Mexico. We happened to be there on Dec 12th and witnessed the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration in the village we were visiting. It was very moving to see the devotion the Mexican people have for her.

  5. AWESOME! I love religious shrines. They always remind me that in despite of all the worlds despair,there is still hope if you believe.
    Great post....

  6. My husband found a very alien looking rubber "doll" one summer lying by the side of the trail he was riding on up by our cabin. He brought it home to show me.
    It had a number attached to it and I had a feeling it was for geocaching. I looked it up on the internet and found a group message board connected to the number.
    Turns out they had lost their "mascot" while on a weekend trip up there. The person who lost it actually lived about 5 minutes away from our home and was so glad to get the little guy back. He brought us a lovely bottle of wine to thank us.

  7. Linda: It's pretty cool to see the celebration here, but the one in Mexico must be amazing!

    Lori: I'm so glad you thought to look up the number on the internet. We get attached to our travel bugs/mascots and most people would not have bothered to check that out.

  8. Always happy to help Kim! And thanks for the blogging "plug"! ;o)

  9. What a neat place! It sounds like I should visit there, and send up a little prayer of my own.

    Those trees are really cool! I wonder what they are, and how they grew that way?


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