Monday 2 October 2023

Neither restrictions, closures, nor rain kept the faithful from Cartago

Faithful descended on the old metropolis to show their devotion to the Virgin of the Angels despite restrictions due to the pandemic and the weather

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QCOSTARICA – Despite the cancellation of the romeria, the annual pilgrimage to Cartago to honor the 386th anniversary of the appearance of the Virgen de los Angeles, the closure of the square in front of the Basilica, the limited capacity for the solemn mass and the inclement weather, hundreds of people arrived in Cartago this Monday, August 2.

Solemn Mass in honor of Our Lady of the Angels. Dozens of people attended this Monday, August 2, around the Basilica de los Ángeles, in Cartago, despite the closures and restrictions due to the pandemic. Photo John Duran

These limitations, imposed by the authorities to avoid crowds and contagions of covid-19, considerably reduced the number of faithful did not stop the flow completely.

From very early this Monday, pilgrims, cyclists and Cartago residents arrived at the center of Cartago to show their devotion to “La Negrita”, named by Pope John Paul II, Patroness of Costa Rica.

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The number of believers outside the Basilica of the Angels grew starting from 9 am when the Eucharist began.

At that time, within the Basilica, bishops, government authorities, including President Carlos Alvarado and First Lady Claudia Dobles, and a small group of parishioners participated in the mass. Meanwhile, on the outskirts, dozens of people remained next to the fences installed to close the square.

“We have always made the pilgrimage from La Fortuna de San Carlos, but this year in order not to fail the Virgin with the promise, we did it from La Trinidad, in Moravia (San José),” said Marco Aurelio Soto and Javier Acuña Rodríguez, residents of San Carlos, who this year walked from San José to Cartago to pay a promise.

“More than a miracle, one comes to be grateful, because she has us at this age in good condition, we have life, family and everything. There is no way to pay the little virgin the benefits and favors that she gives us,” said Acuña Rodríguez.

“The little virgin represents a lot for me, because she is our intercessor before God; my wife has also been a devotee since she was little,” said Soto.

President Carlos Alvarado and First Lady Claudia Dobles attending mass this Monday morning at the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Cartago

“We come for two very great motivations: a love of sports and faith,” said María Gómez Hernández, who arrived in Cartago on a bicycle with her friend, José Zúñiga.

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Both traveled from Pococí (Limon) by vehicle, left their car in Montes de Oca (San Pedro, San Jose) and pedaled to the old metropolis (Cartago).

“Being here leaves me with a very special feeling because my mother is a devotee of the Virgin of the Angels, she says that I was blind three months after I was born and she brought her some little eyes and attributes my recovery to the Virgin. At my 46 years, my vision isn’t 100%, but it is a miracle,” added the woman.

This 2021 is the second consecutive year the romeria has been cancelled, both times due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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