Mexico: The Shrine of San Juan de Los Lagos
The story of San Juan de Los Lagos:
When the Spanish missionaries arrived in Mexico in 1542, one of the priests placed a statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in the local chapel.
According to local tradition, a young girl performing in a circus fell and died. When the statue was placed on her she was miraculously healed and came back to life. As a result of this, thousands began to come to the Chapel seeking healings for themselves or others. It is the second most popular pilgrimage site after the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The number of visitors annually is estimated as being as many as 9 million.
Devotion has spread throughout not only Mexico, but much of the U.S. southwest as well. Pope John Paul II visited here in 1990 when he celebrated Mass for an estimated 6 million people. In 1978 the statue left Mexico for the first time to be taken to the U.S. and again in 2013 it was taken on tour of the U.S.
Traveling to San Juan de Los Lagos:
San Juan de Los Lagos is about 90 miles from Guadalajara, which is the nearest major airport. There is bus service from there to San Juan de Los Lagos. Many pilgrims walk many miles to get here, especially on Feast Days. The Marian feast days are especially popular….the Feast of the Presentation itself attracts up to 2 million people.
There are a limited number of hotel rooms, so if you go during a feast day, you may find yourself out of luck. The city does offer shelters that will accommodate up to 20,000 people, if you don’t mind roughing it.
Address: Calle Lopez Lara #5, Centro, 47000 San Juan de los Lagos, Jal., Mexico
GPS coordinates: 21° 14′ 42.1332” N, 102° 20′ 2.1804” W
Tel: +52 01 395 785 2858
Click here for the official website of the Basilica of San Juan de Los Lagos (in Spanish)