Denver’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish has been named a diocesan shrine by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, “because of its service to the Hispanic population and with the purpose of promoting their salvation through the rich liturgical and devotional life that it offers to all the faithful,” according to the decree promulgated Nov. 10.
From now on, it will be known as the Parish-Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As defined by Canon Law, a shrine is “a church or other sacred place to which numerous members of the faithful make pilgrimage for a special reason of piety,” in this case, devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Father Benito Hernández, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, told El Pueblo Catolico that for the faithful of the parish and for the Hispanic community in general, this is a “special gift from Our Lord and from our Archbishop Samuel Aquila, who has been kind enough to honor this place of worship as a shrine. We would like to give him infinite thanks for this.”
“For us Mexicans,” he said, “as the song, the Himno Guadalupano says, “To be ‘Guadalupan is essential,’ so we feel very — extremely — blessed and happy.”
On Sunday, Dec. 11 at 11: 30, a special Mass will be celebrated in which the decree from Archbishop Aquila will be read. Mass will be followed by the traditional procession and the other festivities for Our Lady of Guadalupe, on the eve of her feast day.
During the Year of Mercy, Our Lady of Guadalupe parish was decreed a place of pilgrimage, such that those who visited the parish were able, with the necessary requirements, to gain a plenary indulgence.
What is a diocesan shrine?
According to the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, “the term shrine signifies a church or other sacred place to which the faithful make pilgrimages for a particular pious reason with the approval of the local ordinary.”
“A prior condition for the canonical recognition of a diocesan, national or international shrine is the respective approval of the diocesan bishop, the Conference of Bishops, or the Holy See. Canonical approval is an official recognition of a sacred place and for the specific purpose of receiving the pilgrimages of the people of God which go there to worship the Father, profess the faith, and to be reconciled with God, the Church and one’s neighbor, and to implore the intercession of the Mother of God or one of the Saints.”