December marks two important Marian feast days: the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence for Catholics celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe from home.

The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is Dec. 12

The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the unborn, will be celebrated around the country Dec. 12. This feast day commemorates Mary’s appearance to Saint Juan Diego in 1531 at Tepayac, a hill northwest of modern-day Mexico City. The Mexican celebration of the tradition has been adopted by many people from Central and South America and is described as one of the most popular religious feasts for Latinos in the U.S. Many parishes celebrate the feast day with re-enactments of Mary appearing to Juan Diego; by praying the rosary, presenting roses to statues of Mary and with mariachi bands singing Marian songs.

Pope grants Catholics plenary indulgence Dec. 11 & 12 for Guadalupe devotion

As announced in a Dec. 8 letter from Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, archbishop of Mexico, Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence for the faithful celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe under the following conditions:

  • Prepare an altar or place of prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe in your home
  • Watch a livestream or televised Mass from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City Dec. 12, “actively participating … with devotion and with exclusive attention to the Eucharist.” Masses can be accessed at at midnight/1 a.m. ET or 12 p.m. CST/1 p.m. ET.
  • Complete the usual conditions required of indulgences by praying for the intentions of the Holy Father; being in a state of grace after having celebrated the sacrament of confession; attending a full Mass and receiving Communion (the last three conditions can be fulfilled when public health guidance allows)

El Papa concede a los católicos indulgencia plenaria el 11 y 12 de diciembre por la devoción a Guadalupe

Como se anunció en una carta del 8 de diciembre del cardenal Carlos Aguiar Retes, arzobispo de México, el Papa Francisco ha otorgado una indulgencia plenaria para los fieles que celebran la fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe bajo las siguientes condiciones:

  • Prepara un altar o lugar de oración a Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en tu casa
  • Vea una transmisión en vivo o una misa televisada desde la Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en la Ciudad de México el 12 de diciembre, “participando activamente … con devoción y con atención exclusiva a la Eucaristía”. Se puede acceder a las misas en a la medianoche/1 a.m. ET o 12 p.m. CST/1 p.m. ET.
  • Cumplir las condiciones habituales exigidas a las indulgencias rezando por las intenciones del Santo Padre; estar en estado de gracia después de haber celebrado el sacramento de la confesión; asistir a una misa completa y recibir la comunión (las últimas tres condiciones se pueden cumplir cuando la orientación de salud pública lo permita)

Opportunities for online prayer

Join the Cathedral of Saint Andrew parish community to pray a virtual rosary novena leading up to Dec. 12. (7 p.m. daily on Facebook)
Join the staff of the diocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry to pray a virtual Advent rosary leading up to Dec. 12 (7 p.m. daily on Facebook)

Celebrating the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

On Dec. 8, the Church celebrated the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a holy day of obligation. The Immaculate Conception does not refer to the virginal conception and the birth of Christ, but rather to Mary’s being conceived without inheriting Original Sin. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Ways to celebrate and pray

Read, reflect, pray and act (USCCB)
Pope Francis’ Angelus for the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Vatican)
Pope announces ‘Year of St. Joseph’ beginning Dec. 8, 2020

Celebration of Mass during the pandemic

Please remember that under current COVID-19 directives for the diocese, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass has been extended through Jan. 4. The dispensation is granted broadly to ensure that anyone who needs to stay home can do so confidently, in good conscience. But those who are truly able to attend Mass should return, remembering that we are transformed by being joined to Christ in the Eucharist. 

For Mass schedule information (including livestreaming) for the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, check your parish website or social media, or call the parish office, or visit our parish list to contact a parish near you.

Siga el enlace para ver todas las parroquias en el territorio de la Diocesis de Grand Rapids con Ministerio Hispano y misas en español. Misa en Español

Read more about Mary, the Mother of God | Visit our Advent resources page