Thursday 24 June 2021

Authorities monitor flow of romeros to tighten controls and ask to abstain from visiting the basilica

(QCOSTARICA) The Basilica de la Virgen de Los Angeles is closed. The Catholic Church as called on the faithful to stay home, not make the annual walk to Cartago, “the romeria”, due to the pandemic.

Despite the request to stay home, some have visited the Los Angeles basilica, above all local resident taking advantage of the long weekend, who go for a walk or exercise and take advantage to stop and pray for a while in front of the National Sanctuary, the home of the Virgin of the Angels. Photo: Rafael Pacheco

For the second time in its 238 years since the walk to Cartago was made official, the romeria has been canceled.

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However, there are those who still insist. For this, authorities said they monitor flow of romeros to tighten controls and ask to abstain from visiting the basilica.

The Ministry of Public Security (MSP) reported that it maintains surveillance on the route and, based on the behavior of the population, it will be evaluated whether more police resources are required.

Currently, when an officer sees romero (pilgrim), what they do is recommend that they return home to comply with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.

“The call is reiterated not to do the walk in person and join the various options offered by the

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The mayor of Cartago, Mario Redondo, called for the faithful to take advantage of the channels enabled by the Catholic Church and avoid the pilgrimage. Photo: Keyna Calderón

Catholic Church,” stressed the institution through its press office.

The Catholic Church, on Friday, enabled the webpage where people can leave make their offerings to the Virgen de los Ángeles (patron saint of Costa Rica) known as “La Negrita”.

Such message was reiterated by the Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, during the press conference Sunday on the evolution of the COVID-19 in Costa Rica.

“This year is a virus that has caused a significant number of deaths and that has the health system, at this time, on edge, due to a large number of hospitalized.

“The message that we can express today (Sunday) is that we can live the faith without exposing our health and in this way we make that very respectful call, taking the considerations of the case, so that, please, they do not proceed with the pilgrimage in person Salas said in comparing the today to the AH1N1 virus in 2009.

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