Multiple Jackson Catholic Churches came together in the gym behind 'St. Mary Church' for the feast of our Lady Guadalupe.
The dance group from St. Peter Catholic Cathedral wore Aztec-inspired outfits during the dance.
Miguel Solano plays the role of Aztec General during the St. Peter Catholic Cathedral dance inspired by Our Lady Guadalupe.
Father Ricardo Phipps explains the importance of Our Lady Guadaloup for Hispanics.
Dancers were dressed in Aztec-inspired clothing for the feast of Our Lady Guadalupe.
The Feast of our Lady Guadalupe inspired Catholics, primarily Hispanic Catholics, to celebrate this week.
If you are unaware of what this yearly gathering - well, you just have to see and hear it to have the full experience.
Dancing and drums at St. Mary Catholic Church in Jackson is putting FAITH IN FOCUS. (groups from St. Peter Catholic Cathedral and Christ the King Catholic Churches also participated in the Spanish-language service)
Shells, drums, and feathers fill the gym behind the steeple at 'St. Mary'.
"When you have more than ten, it means that you're a leader," Miguel Solano, referring to the feathers around his Aztec-inspired headdress.
Solano says he is giving thanks for a message: "Yo soy tu madre" - "I am your mother". It was delivered by an apparition of the Virgin Mary who used symbols of the indigenous people.
"We are dancing in honor of our Mother Mary," Solano said.
"I give this dance to mother - to Mary - to Jesus for giving thanks for my job, for working, for family, for health. For everything that Jesus gave us everyday," Solano said.
"Has to do with the 1531 apparition of Mary," Father Ricardo Phipps said, explaining the celebration. He is pastor at both St. Mary and Christ the King Catholic Churches.
"The mother of Jesus - that happened in Mexico at Tepeyac which is around Mexico City now. She appeared to an Indian man by the name of Juan Diego," Phipps said.
"And it was during a time when there was a lot of oppression because of the Spanish Conquistadors. The indigenous people were living under a situation of oppression," Phipps said.
"She told the boy to go the bishop and tell him build a house for me," Solano said. "And that's why every Mexican, basically 100% of the Mexicans, belong to Mary."
The message, Father Phipps said, was one of comfort, hope, and affirmation that the people were not forgotten.
It's a message that still resonates with the Hispanic people of Jackson, Phipps said.
"In the society in which we live what we're looking for is immigration reform and always searching for justice and an end to discrimination of people who are different and who are seen as 'other'," Phipps said.
"I think this feast day is a great reminder that in God's eyes no one is the 'other'," Phipps said.
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