Knights to Honor Our Lady in Phoenix

Say Message Is as Important Today as 500 Years Ago

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PHOENIX, Arizona, DEC. 12, 2008 ( The Knights of Columbus plan to conclude their annual convention this August with a 1st International Marian Congress on Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Aug. 6-8 events — including a congress and a festival — are expected to draw 20,000 people from the United States and Mexico. The event is cosponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the Diocese of Phoenix, the Archdiocese of Mexico City and the Center for Guadalupan Studies.

«The centrality of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Americas as ‘the Christian Hemisphere’ is clearly evident throughout North and South America,» said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who will speak both at the Marian Congress and at the Guadalupe Festival. «Her message today is one that has as much importance and meaning today as it did nearly 500 years ago.»

Our Lady of Guadalupe is honored as the Empress of the Americas and devotion to her is widespread throughout the hemisphere, and in a particular way throughout Mexico and the Southwestern United States.

The lectures will focus on the meaning of the message, some of the scientifically inexplicable aspects of the image, and the relevance of Our Lady of Guadalupe in today’s world. Speakers include José Aste Tonsmann from Peru, who has done extensive studies of the reflections in the image’s eyes; Monsignor Eduardo Chávez, who oversaw the cause for canonization of St. Juan Diego — the visionary who saw Our Lady in 1531; and other experts on key elements of Our Lady of Guadalupe and her message.

The Guadalupe Festival will feature an afternoon of music, prayer and speeches by notables including actor Eduardo Verastegui, best-selling author Imaculee Ilibagiza, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City and Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix. Performers at the festival will include Irish singer Dana, a mariachi band and matachina dancers.

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