Thousands gather at Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

DES PLAINES, Ill. (WLS) -- A massive religious celebration is going at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe as tens of thousands of people make a pilgrimage to Des Plaines.

The annual celebration is one of the most important dates on the Mexican calendar.

The faithful walk long distances to the shrine to pray. The festive occasion commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to a boy named Juan Diego in the 16th century.

The faithful celebrate mass every two hours overnight during the celebration, lighting candles and praying. Many bring flowers to lay at the shrine and line up for hours to pass by the Shrine of the Virgin Mary.

A total of 200,000 people are expected to attend the celebration over the weekend. Many bring sleeping bags and overnight accommodations. Des Plaines police shut down streets to help with the crowd.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.