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Thousands expected to attend Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration

August 5, 2012 | 12:02 pm

  VirginTens of thousands of people are expected to crowd into the Coliseum for a celebration Sunday afternoon honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, an event organizers described as the "largest celebration of the Virgin Mary in a generation."

More than 100,000 tickets were ordered for the celebration, which will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Knights of Columbus. The event is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., but organizers urged those with tickets to arrive well ahead of time to avoid traffic. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m.

The roughly three-hour program will feature musical performances and prayers led by notables including baseball player Mike Piazza and "Braveheart" producer Steve McEveety.

Archbishop Jose Gomez is listed among the keynote speakers.

Catholics have long revered the symbol of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who was said to have appeared in the 1500s to Juan Diego on a hillside near Mexico City. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles houses the only relic of Juan Diego's tilma — the cloak upon which the Virgin Mary left her image — in the United States.


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Photo: Thousands are expected to attend a celebration honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe on Sunday at the Coliseum, where the relic of Juan Diego's tilma will be processed through the arena. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times