DES PLAINES, Ill. -- An annual pilgrimage that dates back to the 1980s kicked off in the northwest suburbs on Monday.
300,000 Catholics are expected to make the pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, Ill.
Those who came brought candles, torches and prayers. Many come as a way to say thank you to the Virgin Mary.
The shrine is the most visited in the United States. The largest in the world is the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
Catholics believe December 12 is the day Mary appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico.
Masses continue today every couple of hours until 7 p.m.