Green Bay Hispanic community welcomes revered image of Mary

By The Compass | September 19, 2013

Hispanic Catholics from the Diocese of Green Bay participate in an opening procession around Ss. Peter and Paul Church Sept. 12 welcoming a statue of Our lady of San Juan de Los Lagos from Mexico. (Scott Eastman | For The Compass)
Hispanic Catholics from the Diocese of Green Bay participate in an opening procession around Ss. Peter and Paul Church Sept. 12 welcoming a statue of Our lady of San Juan de Los Lagos from Mexico. (Scott Eastman | For The Compass)

GREEN BAY — Ss. Peter and Paul Parish hosted the first-time visit of the image of Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos Sept. 12-15. An evening procession Sept. 12 welcomed the statue, the second most popular devotion and image of Mary in Mexico after Our Lady of Guadalupe, to Green Bay.

The statue is small in stature and is associated with healings of those gravely ill and those with addictions. The Mexican people have a strong devotion for this image of the Blessed Mother. It was accompanied to Green Bay by a priest from the shrine in Jalisco, Mexico, where the statue is housed.

The theme for the visit to Green Bay was “Mary: Our Example of Faith and the New Evangelization.”

During its four-day visit, daily Mass was celebrated, as well as recitation of the rosary and opportunities for the sacrament of reconciliation.

According to Franciscan Fr. Anthony Cirignani, pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, the statue’s visit to Green Bay was part of the parish’s Year of Faith events.

“Many of our people, both English- and Spanish-speaking, have a great devotion to Our Lady,” said Fr. Cirignani. “They thought this would be a good opportunity if we could have this statue come from Mexico.”

Fr. Cirignani, who previously served at parishes in Chicago and Milwaukee with a large Hispanic presence, was able to arrange for the statue to make a stop in Green Bay following its Chicago appearance.

“All through the (Year of Faith), we’ve had different devotions and catechesis,” said Fr. Cirignani. A statue of Our Lady of Fatima is now a focus of devotion and catechesis through October and in November, an image of Christ, called Jesus King of All Nations, will arrive from Vermont prior to the feast of Christ the King.

“All of these things are devotional and relating to the Year of Faith, but they are also an opportunity for catechesis and for public prayers,” he said.

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