This weekend, the Shrine of Fátima received thousands of people on what is the penultimate annual pilgrimage on the occasion of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima to the little shepherds. After a May 13 without pilgrims, the August pilgrimage was the first to welcome foreign pilgrims and, now in September, for the first time the sanctuary was forced to close the entrances for having reached the maximum permitted capacity.
Pilgrimage without pilgrims. The best images of the historic May 13 at the Sanctuary of Fátima
In the images transmitted live on Youtube, it is possible to see that pilgrims respect social distancing and that, even outdoors, they wear a face mask, although some gatherings are visible, particularly next to the trees that, during the mass, cast some shade in the enclosure. .
According to the information available on the website of the Sanctuary of Fátima there was a group of pilgrims from France, two from Italy, four from Spain, one from Poland and nine Portuguese. The Sanctuary spokeswoman did not add, however, how many pilgrims were in total, confirming only that “the car parks north of the sanctuary and Park 11 and 12 were at their maximum capacity, but 13 and 14 are still far behind maximum capacity ”.
Speaking to Rádio Renascença, the spokeswoman for the sanctuary Carmo Rodeia justified the high adherence to the pilgrimage because it coincided with the weekend. Regarding compliance with safety rules, he stressed that there was “a widespread use of the mask” and recalled the warnings that the sanctuary makes “throughout the celebration so that people can maintain social distance” and that were audible in the transmission through the Internet. Also at the end of the Mass, a request was made to pilgrims to keep the places where they were, so that the exits from the enclosure could be organized to reduce crossings between those present.
“We completely closed the entrances through the tunnels and monitored, with the collaboration of GNR, all other entrances”, explained the spokeswoman to Renascença. According to Carmo Rodeia since August, the sanctuary “monitors the entrances” since “people have participated a lot in Sunday Mass at 11 am”.