Celebration of the Solemnity of the Blessed Mary, Ever Virgin in the parish of Our Lady of Loreto, July 2nd of 2015 in Guayaquil (Ecuador).
In Guayaquil we have been fortunate enough to be able to celebrate for the second time the Solemnity of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, in the parish of Our Lady of Loreto, where the Servant Brothers and Sisters work.
To do this, we prepared it with a Triduum which began on Monday, June 29. The Servants along with some youth and lay people of the Home of the Mother hung a few blue and white banners that we had prepared in honor of the Virgin Mary. These pennants adorned, during all the Triduum, the streets around the Church of Loreto and the outside of the plaza.
On June 29th, we started at 6 in the afternoon with the rosary and with songs, then we prayed vespers and we ended with the celebration of Holy Mass celebrated by Father José Manuel Delgado. In his homily, he was able to weave three major events: the coming of Pope Francis to the city of Guayaquil, with the feast that is celebrated on that day in the Church (St. Peter and St. Paul) and ended by talking about the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The next day, we continued with the Triduum. The priest who came to celebrate mass this day was Fr. Carlos Mena, current rector of the Shrine of the Divine Mercy. And the last day of the Triduum, Fr. Francisco Sojos, former pastor of Our Lady of Loreto accompanied us celebrating the Mass. On this day we prayed the Rosary more solemnly than on the days before and after Mass, we had the Vigil of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary with the recitation of Vespers I.
On July 2nd, we gathered at five in the afternoon in front of the 'City Mall', a very large shopping center located near the parish and there we began the procession with the Virgin Mary, praying the Rosary and singing through the streets until we reached the Church. For this procession we invited all children of the catechism program, who were wearing different colored t-shirts according to their level of catechism class and we also invited several Marian groups to come that are located in Guayaquil. Each group was in charge of praying a mystery of the Rosary and singing the songs. The Virgin Mary was in a platform that different groups of four were taking turns to carry it.
We arrived at the Church at 6:45 p.m. and we prepared ourselves to celebrate the Holy mass for the solemnity. We were fortunate that the Auxiliary Bishop of Guayaquil, Mgr. Giovanni Piccioli came to celebrate and the choir of the greater Seminary of Guayaquil accompanied us and made it a more solemn celebration with songs in Latin. Another grace was added to this celebration and it was the renewal of the religious vows of Brothers Benjamin and Andrew.
The Church was completely filled, and thank God we rented a screen so that we could project the whole Mass in the outside of the church because the square was also full of people who were able to follow the Mass on the screen.
At the end of the Holy Mass, we finished the celebration with a Marian festival in which we had songs, poetry recited to the Virgin Mary, videos, music... while handing out hot chocolate and muffins.
These were very intense days in which the Blessed Virgin Mary truly graced us with Her presence. We are grateful to all those who collaborated in this Solemnity in honor of the Virgin Mary and we ask Her to help us all to get to heaven to be with Her for all eternity..
Blessed Mary, every Virgin! Pray for us!