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Relic of St. Juan Diego's 'Tilma' Coming to Phoenix for Festival in August Festival to Feature Prayer, Lectures and an International Array of Entertainers
Contact:  Andrew T. Walther, Director of Media Relations, Knights of Columbus, 203-824-5412 cell
LOS ANGELES, May 25 /Christian Newswire/ -- One of the rarest and most venerated relics in the United States will be on display in Phoenix at the Guadalupe Festival in August.
The relic, which visited Arizona in 2003 and drew more than 20,000 throughout the state has not left the Cathedral in Los Angeles in more than 5 years. It will be on display at the Guadalupe festival, which will be held on the afternoon of August 8, 2009, at Jobing.com Arena.
In 2003, more than 150,000 people nationwide turned out for events with the relic, which was co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. This piece of the tilma – or cloak of Juan Diego – is approximately a half-inch square and is the only known relic of the tilma in the United States.
"We are grateful to Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles for the loan of this wonderful and historic piece of St. Juan Diego's tilma," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, "and to Bishop Olmsted, Cardinal Rivera Carrera, and the Guadalupe Institute, for co-sponsoring the event, along with the Knights of Columbus."
"We know that not everyone in Phoenix can go to Mexico City, but we hope that this event will give those living in Phoenix and the surrounding areas a chance to experience the loving message of Our Lady of Guadalupe," he added.
Anderson – whose book on Our Lady of Guadalupe comes out earlier that same week – will also address the crowd.
In addition to the relic, the event will feature prayers – including a living rosary – and a talk by Msgr. Eduardo Chavéz, who was postulator of the cause of St. Juan Diego.
The festival will also feature an international cast of performers including Irish singer and former member of the European Parliament Dana Scallon, Rwanda genocide survivor and bestselling author Immaculée Ilibagiza, Native American matechine dancers and mariachi music.
Latin film and television star Eduardo Verastegui is also expected to appear as a speaker.
The free event is expected to attract thousands of people, and tickets are available at www.guadalupefestival.org.  Those interested in attending are encouraged to order tickets early.