Neighborhood Honors San Antonio Missions with Pilgrimage

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On December 12th, Mexico celebrated the Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe who represents justice, strength, and faith. On December 11th, members of the Mission San José Neighborhood Association in San Antonio, Texas proudly used the Virgin’s image to lead their pilgrimage. The group walked from Mission Concepción to Mission Espada, a roughly 7-mile hike between two of the most important pieces of San Antonio history. They hope to protect the missions from future developments impeding on the area.

President of the Mission San José Neighborhood Association Terry Ybanez told, “What we’re doing is trying to restart the pilgrimage tradition as part of the community. (The Virgen de Guadalupe) has been a big symbol of social justice, of change, and that’s what I was hoping she’d become for us.”

The 210 Development Group is eyeing an old cemetery behind Mission Concepción to become a future apartment complex. It would greatly encroach upon the landscape of the mission. According to the National Park Service, Mission Concepción was built in 1775 and is the “oldest unrestored stone church in America.” Despite its age, some faded frescos can be seen in the church. Ybanez says, “For it to be an authentic experience, most of that environment should be kept.”