The island’s Catholic faithful lined village streets today to pay homage to Santa Marian Kamalen, which made a historic visitation of all villages today.
This year, instead of the traditional gathering and procession at the Agana Cathedral-Basilica, the statue of the Santa Marian Kamalen visited the community.
Families gathered from the north to the southern villages, waving their advent handkerchiefs, as the statue of the Santa Marian Kamalen — Guam’s patroness — made its way around the island passing village streets, homes, Catholic Churches, and other markers.
The statue also made a stop at the Guam Memorial Hospital and Guam Regional Medical City.
While some of the Catholic faithful waited on the side of the road, in keeping with the times, the Catholics also closely followed the procession via livestream on Facebook.
There is another historic first this year. At the request of Naval Base Guam, Santa Marian Kamalen also visited historic Sumay village, the cemetery, and two chapels.
Sumay village and Agana were the first few areas bombed on the day of the Feast of Santa Marian Kamalen in 1941, signaling the start of World War II. The statue survived the destruction of the capital.
According to a release from NBG, Santa Marian Kamalen passed by the NBG Headquarters, Sumay Cemetery, NBG Chapel, Camp Covington Chapel, and the newly opened NBG USO.
NBG Sailors, families and personnel lined the streets joining the faithful throughout the island to catch a glimpse and pay homage to the 300-year-old revered icon. Following her visit to the base, NBG Chaplain Fr. William Brunner led a mass in honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Archbishop Michael Byrnes approved the plan to have the islandwide visitation, which is necessary this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guam Catholics have long celebrated the Feast of Santa Marian Kamalen and the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 and have gathered by the thousands at the Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatna.