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Pilgrims flock to Mexico’s Virgin of Guadalupe shrine

#Pilgrims #flock #Mexicos #Virgin #Guadalupe #shrine

Vast crowds attended the ongoing annual pilgrimage of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico on Monday, honoring the patron saint of the country in a celebration which attracted eleven million pilgrims to the streets of the capital over the weekend.

Five million worshippers have passed through the Virgin of Guadalupe basilica in the past 24 hours, said Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.

“According to the police, this celebration has attracted one of the largest numbers of people,” Sheinbaum told reporters.

The traditional December 12 pilgrimage was suspended in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and returned in 2021 with many restrictions. 

In 2019, the shrine located in the north of the capital city welcomed more than 10 million visitors. 

In the early hours of Monday, pilgrims from all over Mexico and other Latin American countries sang songs to the sound of mariachi bands, as is traditional.

The image of the “Morena,” or brown-skinned Madonna, appeared in 1531 to an indigenous man, Juan Diego.

The 2022 pilgrimage was hailed by President Joe Biden as it coincided with the 200th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Mexico.

“This bicentennial is even more meaningful because it falls upon the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe — a holiday with deep religious and cultural significance for millions of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans,” said the president, who is Catholic, in a statement.

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