After a two-year hiatus, the Pilgrimage of the Virgin of Zapopan in the state of Jalisco, Mexico attracted 2.4 million people in 2022.
That’s the largest number of devotees ever pulled to the pilgrimage. The governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, confirmed the record-breaking figure on Twitter.
The Pilgrimage of the Virgin of Zapopan was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2018. The annual celebration takes place on Oct. 12 when the image of the Virgin of Zapopan is honored and returned to the Basilica in Zapopan from the Cathedral in Guadalajara.
The image was given the honorary title, “General of the Trigarante Army”, on Sept. 15, 1821. Mexico obtained its independence from Spain in less than a week.
Catholic News Agency reports:
The army, led by Gen. Agustín de Iturbide, was called “Trigarante” because it was fighting for three guarantees: the Catholic religion, independence from Spain, and the unity of the insurgent forces.
The colors of the tri-guarantee flag — white, green, and red — represented these three guarantees and remain on the Mexican flag to this day.
At the culmination of the pilgrimage Oct. 12 with a Mass at the Basilica of Zapopan, the archbishop of Guadalajara, Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, encouraged Mexicans to overcome “many divisions” because “we are brothers, sons of the one father, God.”
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Photo by Victor casillas romo