Virus-hit Mexico to shut basilica that draws millions

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 24 2020 07:17 AM

Virus-hit Mexico to shut basilica that draws millions 1
Faithful line up keeping a safety distance as they wait to enter the Basilica of Guadalupe to attend the first mass there following the resumption of activities, after measures and restrictions to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus were eased in Mexico City, on July 26, 2020. Agence France-Presse

MEXICO CITY - A Catholic shrine in Mexico that usually attracts millions of pilgrims will be closed during next month's homage to the Virgin of Guadalupe due to the coronavirus pandemic, authorities said Monday.

Huge crowds of worshippers usually descend on the basilica in the north of Mexico City to see one of Latin America's most revered religious icons.

According to Catholic tradition, the dark-skinned virgin appeared to an indigenous peasant on December 12, 1531, heralding the Church's arrival in the New World.

Roman Catholic pilgrims from around Latin American usually line up for a glimpse of her image, which they believe was miraculously imprinted on a piece of fabric.

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But this year the shrine will be shut from December 10-13 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Mexico City authorities and the Church said in a statement.

They urged worshippers to celebrate in their homes or local churches while observing social distancing.

Mexico has officially registered more than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths -- the world's fourth-highest toll -- and over a million infections.


© Agence France-Presse

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