Cáceres’ Our Lady of Guadalupe Spanish Day Pilgrimage Goes Virtual During Pandemic

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Currents News Staff

A 14th-century monastery holds one of the most venerated images of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the home to the original shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In her honor, a traditional pilgrimage to the Monastery of Guadalupe in Cáceres, Spain, is held each year.

However, due to the pandemic, organizers were forced to find alternate solutions to avoid breaking this tradition.

“The initial plan was to organize a grand pilgrimage, but of course, because of the pandemic, it was impossible,” explained Fr. Joaquin Garrigós of the Guadalupe Jubilee. “Large gatherings are currently not possible. Therefore, the idea switched to providing an online experience where we can make a virtual pilgrimage.”

The Diocese of Toledo, Spain, will organize a series of online events, including a virtual pilgrimage. Organizers made a spiritual itinerary available, where registered pilgrims will receive content via email every day, from Oct. 9 to Oct 12. The content will include videos, meditations, catechesis, online Masses, and even games for younger pilgrims.

“We want it to be as real as possible. We always say, that although it’s virtual, it doesn’t mean it’s not real. Sometimes these concepts are misunderstood,” said Fr. Joaquin. “The aim is to allow people to make this inner journey of encountering Jesus through the Holy Mother, without leaving home.”

Fr. Joaquin is hopeful that this online pilgrimage will be more accessible to everyone, even to faithful in other Latin American countries. So far, the website has registered people from 33 different countries across the world.

This online journey will conclude on Oct.12 precisely on Hispanic Day. For this reason, the Archbishop of Toledo will celebrate a Holy Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, declared by the Holy See to be the Queen of Hispanic Heritage.