Described as the biggest religious event on the island, a number of residents celebrated the annual Feast of the Immaculate Conception by escorting the island’s patroness through the village of Hagatna.
Coming from all walks of life, thousands of the island’s faithful walked down the streets of Hagatna to honor the island’s patron saint, Santa Marian Kamalen – or our Lady of Camarin – and celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is one of the most important events celebrating the Virgin Mary and is celebrated worldwide.
In addition, Santa Marian Kamalen is believed to watch over and protect the people of the Marianas.
Father Romy Convocar, Rector of the Agana Cathedral, said: “It’s an expression of faith to the Blessed Mother and to God that the island has been protected from evil and harm through her and it’s also a day of thanksgiving and to recognize that.”
Celebrating Santa Marian Kamalen is usually done on December 8, but because the 8th fell on the first Sunday of Advent, the event was observed today.
Leading up to the occasion was a novena to honor the saint and focus on protection, peace, and harmony.
Preparing Santa Marian Kamalen involves members of a dedicated group within the church to adjust the patroness’ hair and jewelry before the saint is placed on a cart adorned with flowers that would be escorted by the island’s faithful.
“It inspires us to be like her. Pure – as we live our day to day lives as Christians,” Fr. Convocar said.
He added: “Mary is our model. She attained holiness by God’s grace. By that grace coming from Christ, we can do so like her.”