Horseback, trailer pilgrimage honors Our Lady of Guadalupe
Hundreds of horses and riders from Club Los Vaqueros Unidos (United Cowboys Club) gathered early Saturday in the Forest Preserves of Cook County's Dam No. 1 Woods East on Dundee Road for an annual horseback and trailer pilgrimage in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Over several hours, they made their way to place a rose at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines and receive a special blessing, along with their trailers and drivers as part of a 5 p.m. Mass.
The horseback journey, which drew more than 400 riders, marks the unofficial start of two days of festivities coming up Wednesday evening and Thursday at the shrine, where more than 100,000 people make a pilgrimage each year.
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrates the appearance of Virgin Mary to indigenous peasant St. Juan Diego in 1531 near present-day Mexico City. Archdiocese of Chicago officials said the official event will start with a Mass at 6 p.m. Wednesday.