(Above left) Gary Lopez uses the flame that was delivered to Santa Paula during the Guadalupe Torch run to light the torch. The torch was delivered to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Oak Street. The torch is being held by Julio Cancino. Julio walked the first leg of the torch run from Harvard and 10th Streets and along the way the torch was passed on to other groups. (Above right) Father Charles Lueras carries the torch into Our Lady of Guadalupe Church as dancers lead the way to the entrance to the church. A large group of church members carried the torch and followed the procession. (Photos by Don Johnson)

Annual Guadalupe Torch Run comes to Santa Paula

November 21, 2008
Santa Paula News
The annual Guadalupe Torch Run started in 2002. This is the first time that the Los Angeles Archdiocese has been a part of the run. For six years, runners representing Mexico’s migrant community have brought the flame from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City to New York City. This year, runners are taking the torch to churches throughout the Archdiocese in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties prior to arriving in East Los Angeles for the Archdiocese’s annual procession and mass in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe on December 7.A delegation traveled to the US-Mexico border October 31, where they received the torch as it crossed the border from Matamoros, Mexico to Brownsville, Texas.The torch arrived in Santa Paula Tuesday evening at 10th and Harvard Boulevard and was taken up 10th Street to Saticoy and Oak Streets and down Oak to the church.
“This year has been a difficult one for our migrant communities in the U.S.,” said Msgr. John Moretta, Pastor of Resurrection Church and Chair of the 2008 Guadalupe Committee. “Our Lady of Guadalupe is a symbol of hope for our immigrant communities during these difficult times, when good, hardworking people are living in fear and parents are being separated from their children because of continued raids due to a lack of real immigration reform. Her message transcends borders and unites our people. We are honored to receive the blessed fire and share it with the people of Los Angeles as part of our Archdiocese celebration in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.”Our Lady of Guadalupe, also called the Virgin of Guadalupe, is a 16th century Roman Catholic Mexican icon representing an apparition of the Virgin Mary. It is perhaps Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural image. Guadalupe’s feast day is celebrated on December 12, commemorating the traditional account of her appearances near Mexico City in 1531.

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