Pandemic forces cancellation of Guadalupe pilgrimage

Pilgrims rest outside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City on December 11 2018, the eve of the Guadalupe feast day (CNS/Carlos Jasso, Reuters)

The Church in Mexico has cancelled what is considered the world’s largest Catholic pilgrimage, for the Virgin of Guadalupe, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: The Age.

Mexico’s episcopal conference said in a statement on Monday that the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City will be closed from December 10-13. The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12 and for weeks in advance, pilgrims travel from across Mexico to gather by the millions in Mexico City.

The Church recommended that “the Guadalupe celebrations be held in churches or at home, avoiding gatherings and with the appropriate health measures.”

Bishop Salvador Martínez, rector at the basilica, said recently in a video circulated on social media that as many as 15 million pilgrims visit during the first two weeks of December.

Many of the pilgrims arrive on foot, some carrying large representations of the Virgin.

The basilica holds an image of the Virgin that is said to have miraculously imprinted itself on a cloak belonging to the Indigenous peasant St Juan Diego in 1531.

Mexico has reported more than 1 million COVID-19 infections and 101,676 COVID-19 deaths.

FULL STORY

Church cancels world’s largest Catholic pilgrimage over pandemic (AP via The Age

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