Popular Devotions: Problem and Promise
The parish I live and serve in provides a rich, culturally catholic environment. I am daily surrounded by all that it means to be Catholic, especially popular devotions. Very popular in Latin America, devotions abound celebrating Jesus, Mary, and the saints. In our parish, we have eight different celebrations that annually occupy our attention, time, and energy.
We begin in October with the Lord of Miracles from Peru. Then in November it’s the Virgin, Queen of Peace, from El Salvador, followed soon after in December by Our Lady of Guadalupe from Mexico. After Christmas, in succession we have Our Lady of the Clouds (Ecuador), the Three Kings (most of Latin America), the Black Christ of Esquipulas (Guatemala), Our Lady of Altagracia (Dominican Republic), and finally Our Lady of Suyapa (Honduras). If you have not heard of these devotions, I found they’re worth learning about.
It’s literally one feast day after another from October to January which, by the way, coincides with the summer months in parts of Latin America. Processions make sense there, but not always here. We might have bitter cold and piles of snow.