Tra­di­tion that be­gan in Mex­ico passes through Cedartown

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL -

An on­go­ing tra­di­tion made its way through Cedartown last Thurs­day as those par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Guadalupe Torch Run 2014 ran through the city.

Cedartown As­sis­tant Po­lice Chief Greg Cooper said St. Ber­nadette Catholic Church sent a let­ter dur­ing the plan­ning stages ask­ing the po­lice depart­ment to pro­vide an es­cort, which it did.

The en­tourage in­cluded an ad­vance truck, a pick-up truck with a re­li­gious paint­ing of the Vir­gin Mary and the torch run­ners, those in green hood­ies run­ning wait­ing along­side to take up the torch re­lay and a bus that had a sign on the side that reads “Mex­ico New York.”

Cooper said the group started their trek at the Shrine of the Vir­gin of Guadalupe in Mex­ico City on Sept. 23 and ar­rived in Cedartown from Alabama on Nov. 19. They be­gan their jour­ney at 11 a.m. Nov. 20 for Dou­glasville, the next leg of the trip.

The group is headed to New York and plan to ar­rive on Dec. 12.

“We carry the torch for the Vir­gin Mary and Dec. 12 is com­ing up quickly,” one of the par­tic­i­pants said as she quickly boarded the bus for the next part of the re­lay.

The pur­pose of the pil­grim­age to the Big Ap­ple is a re­li­gious one, although the jour­ney through North­west Ge­or­gia hap­pened to fall on a highly charged po­lit­i­cal day for Lati­nos.

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama made a pub­lic ad­dress Thurs­day night where he ex­plained his plans for im­mi­gra­tion re­form and the fate of five mil­lion un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants.

This par­tic­u­lar torch run be­gan 12 years ago, but the tra­di­tion ac­tu­ally be­gan more than a half a cen­tury ago to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The date of Dec. 12 is of re­li­gious im­por­tance be­cause it is the day of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The re­li­gious hol­i­day stemmed from a visi­ta­tion from the Vir­gin to an in­dige­nous Mex­i­can named Juan Diego in 1531. The theme of the hol­i­day is more com­pas­sion to help in­dige­nous peo­ple and the mod­ern trans­la­tion is sol­i­dar­ity across bor­ders with the plight of im­mi­grants.

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