Every year in Zapopan, on October 12, a very special celebration occurs called the Procession of the Virgin (Procesion de La Virgen) where a small 10" statue (affectionately nicknamed "La Generala" -the general) is brought home after her long journey through Guadalajara.
The Virgin is the patron saint of Guadalajara, and is highly revered. Many faithful followers also believe that she has interceded in asking for miracles from God.
Many devoted followers will crawl on their knees from the entrance of the church to the front pew. I even witnessed a young woman with an infant in one arm and a crying three or four year old boy on the other arm. It was a very moving scene. Every year this little statue is carried from her home church (Basilica of Zapopan) to visit each and every church in Guadalajara!
Her visit in each church lasts about a week. It takes her about four months to complete her trip to each one and a few of the churches even have their own festive celebrations in honor of her visit.
The end of the pilgrimage is at the Guadalajara Cathedral and then she returns to her home church, La Basilica on October 12. Her homecoming celebration is very large, festive and a wonderful sight. She is carried in a car that is not driven but very slowly pulled by devout volunteers surrounded by crowds of enthusiastic followers escorting her home.
Sometimes all you are able to see is the large mass of followers but it is a very unique and one of a kind experience.
Flowers are thrown on the outer entrance of the church to greet her. It is a large parade type of procession and you know that wherever there are people, there are plenty of vendors selling food, drinks and trinkets to commemorate the special day.
It is truly a fantastic sight and one worth your attention, even if you're not religious. The statue of The Virgin makes her yearly travel from June 13 to October 12 (rainy season), anytime before or after these dates you can find her at her home church in the Basilica.
(Not around on October 12?) If you happen to be in the area you might want to stop by and pay a visit. There is also a replica of her in the Guadalajara Cathedral.
If you have a prayer or story about "La Generala," please share it with us and we will post it here.
I pray that there is a positive solution to my husband's problems. I hope he finds work soon and comes out of his depression. I hope that everything will turn out well.
We were on the verge of losing our home and I was beneath the Basilica. I asked her to intercede on my behalf and ask God to grant me a miracle. I asked that we would not lose our home. My miracle was granted temporarily for 3 more years.
So far I've had faith that we will keep our home and I don't lose hope, because our Lady is miraculous to those whom ask with much faith. Thank you to our saintly Lady of Zapopan.
I ask that the Virgin of Zapopan intercede and grant me this: By the end of this year I want to meet the man of my dreams to marry and start a family with.
Silvana from Costa Rica