Hispanic Catholics gathered to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday, Jan. 21 at St. Martin of Tours Church in Northeast Philadelphia for the feast of the Nuestra Senora de Altagracia, a popular Marian devotion of Catholics from the Dominican Republic.
Father Rafael Vargas celebrated the noon Mass, which featured music by the group Divina Uncion. The Mass capped a three-day prayerful celebration of the feast at St. Martin and a week-long observance at Visitation B.V.M. Parish in Kensington, Philadelphia, which ended Jan. 22.
The feast of the Virgin of Altagracia derives from a popular image of Mary painted in the 16th century and kept in the Basilica of Our Lady of Altagracia in Dominican Republic. Under that title Mary continues to be revered by people of Dominican heritage in the United States, especially those residing in the Philadelphia region. (Video by Sarah Webb)