The Knights of Columbus are sharing footage of the dedication of a new shrine to the Empress of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Oklahoma City. The shrine is a recreation of Tepeyac Hill, the famed site of the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe, with bronze statues of the Blessed Mother and St. Juan Diego, to whom she appeared. The new installation is a part of the recently dedicated Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine.
The dedication of the new shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe took place on December 11, 2022, on a cold and overcast day. Despite the inclement weather, the crowd was large and happy for the ceremony. The high-quality footage shows an elaborate, spiraling walkway that takes worshipers in a long procession up the hill to the shrine. At the top of the hill is a large statue of the Blessed Mother, looking down upon a smiling St. Juan Diego.
According to National Catholic Register, the works of art were created by Mexican artist Georgina Farías Nicolópulos, who lives not too far from the real Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City. The statues were cast in bronze, with details painted on. The Blessed Mother stands 12 feet tall and weighs about 4,400 lbs, while Juan Diego kneels at 8 feet tall, weighing 3,300 lbs.
The shrine is expected to be an active site of pilgrimage, one that will accommodate the growing Hispanic population of southern Oklahoma City and the entire Midwest. Standing on the hill beside the Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine, a Spanish colonial-style church that has become the largest in the state, the recreated Tepeyac Hill will host events for the diocese and pilgrims.
NCR has comments from Leif Arvidson, the shrine’s executive director, who stressed that he hoped that Hispanic Catholics can feel at home at the shrine:
“It’s very personal for me, just the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe as our mother — our loving mother — and I think it will be very beautiful and very personal for all of the pilgrims who’ve come today, especially the Hispanic community, to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe here in the United States,” he told Holdren. “Sometimes Hispanics come here and they feel that they don’t have a home; they can come here and realize their Mother is right here waiting for them.”
The new shrine was largely funded by the Knights of Columbus, who shared their pride over the installation in a Facebook post. Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City hailed the Catholic fraternal organization, going so far as to encourage young men to join their ranks:
“We’re very proud to have the Knights involved in this project,” said Archbishop Coakley, adding, “I encourage men to learn about the Knights of Columbus to become more active in their faith.”