It is a shrine that was never really meant to be a shrine, according to Father Rev. Marco Mercado, rector of Maryville Academy. This small shrine near Chicago draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims throughout the year.. It is the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, Illinois, just about a 7-minute drive from Chicago’s bustling O’Hare Airport.
It was in 1988 that a traveling statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe was brought back from Mexico City to the U.S. After several failed attempts to find some church to accept it, Maryville Academy offered to house the statue in a small chapel and from that a shrine was born.
Needless to say, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe are a highlight of the year. Celebrations, along with native dancers, began on December 10th but the activities will really heat up starting on December 11th, with Masses beginning at 4:00 p.m. and being held every two hours through the night and following day until the final Mass and solemn procession at 7:00 p.m. on December 12th.
There is also television coverage on Univision, not only in the area, but in many cities throughout the U.S.