AMERICA/ECUADOR - America's most popular Andean Marian pilgrimage suspended due to Covid-19 after 150 years

Monday, 6 July 2020 evangelization   missionary animation   pity   popular worship   indigenous  


Loja (Agenzia Fides) - The civil, ecclesiastical, military and police authorities of the city and of the province of Loja met to start working on the biosecurity protocol, for the transfer of the Image of the Virgin of El Cisne, from its Sanctuary to the city of Loja. During the meeting, important topics were discussed to be considered in order to prepare the prevention program by the institutions.
The news recently communicated was that for the first time in over 150 years of history, there will not be the great pilgrimage of the Virgin, considered one of the largest in America, due to the current situation that the country is going through due to Covid-19.
However, the image of the Virgin of El Cisne will leave by car from the Sanctuary and will begin its 74 km journey on Monday 17 August, will spend the night in San Pedro de la Bendita, and on 18 will leave for Catamayo where it will stay until 20 August, the day where it will leave Loja to stay in the Cathedral until November 1st.
According to the note sent to Fides by the Episcopal Conference of Ecuador, Mgr. Wálter Heras, Bishop of the diocese of Loja, underlined that the faithful welcomed the preventive measures, which were taken into account in the reopening of the churches, and hopes that the same will be for this important event. "We must live the faith, but we must be obedient, as Catholic faithful we must be very responsible and implement biosecurity measures ... take care of ourselves and take care of others", he said.
There will be no traditional Eucharist in the infantry brigade and other nightly demonstrations have been suspended. Finally, it was communicated that the Marian image will wear peasant costumes, in recognition of those who offered commitment and sacrifice in cultivating the land so that the military, police and doctors would have food, as a sign of appreciation for their contribution to the fight against Covid-19. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 6/7/2020)