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What lasts

11 December 2010

According to Gustavo Madero Delegacion officials, by 3 P.M. this afternoon, there were already 1.5 million pilgrims at the shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe.  By tomorrow, the crowds are expected to grow to six million.

If there is a miracle, it is this:  by the time the number of religious visitors — many of whom are seeking divine relief for physical or mental ailments —  had reached 1.5 million, only 418 required medical attention, usually minor treatment for pre-existing conditions, or for abrasions to the knees.

The Church-run “Casa de Peligringo” is sheltering a few of the visitors … somewhere in the neighborhood of 14,000 persons and has managed to find parking space for 170 buses.  Others (and there is only so much room at the inns… provided one can afford them) are camped or parked or holed up, throughout the neighborhood, the WalMart parking lot at Guadalupe and Henry Ford turning into probably one of the larger indigenous villages in the Americas for a few days.

Political parties, narcos, economic policies are transitory events, blips in time that aren’t meaningful in the long run.  What matters is what endures, and in Mexico, what endures is the pilgrimage to Guadalupe.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. 11 December 2010 10:43 pm

    I have just returned from my annual pilgrimage to Merida’s iglesia guadalupana. The antorchistas, the churros, las flores, the children in their costumes… The entire ambiance is truly is one of the most amazing things I’ve had the honor to witness about this culture. No matter how bleak the present is and the future looks. la raza knows how to conserve their traditons. ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalup!”

  2. 12 December 2010 4:55 pm

    I just ran across this on Garrison Keillor’s The Writers’ Almanac:

    In 1974, the Mexican writer Octavio Paz wrote:

    “The Mexican people, after more than two centuries of experiments, have faith only in the Virgin of Guadalupe and the National Lottery.”


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