Procession of the Divine Shepherdess Gathers Millions of People in Venezuela

The traditional Marian procession of the Divina Pastora attracted millions of people from all parts of Venezuela and Latin America. This was the first procession after two years of cancellation.

Newsroom (19/01/2022 21:00, Gaudium Press) The famous procession of the Divine Shepherdess was held again in Venezuela after two years of the pandemic, last Saturday, January 14.

The announcement that the procession would be held, was made in September 2022 by Bishop Victor Hugo Basabe, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Barquisimeto. He informed me that the theme of the 2023 procession would be “Mary, a sign of re-encounter”.

Since the announcement, the faithful and pilgrims have begun to organize themselves to participate in one of the largest Marian processions in the world. The occasion is propitious to pay the pending promises since the procession was canceled for two consecutive years and the sanctuary of Santa Rosa, where the image of the Virgin is located, was closed.

Bishop Basabe also organized activities during the months preceding the procession with the help of the Central Organizing Committee.

The procession of Our Lady, the Divine Shepherdess is one of the largest Marian processions in Latin America. The image of the Divine Shepherdess of Souls departs from her church, Santa Rosa, and travels 7.5 kilometers to the cathedral of Barquisimeto, in the state of Lara, Venezuela.

In 2010, there were more than two million people who devoutly followed the procession of the Divine Shepherdess. In 2016, the number doubled, and four million pilgrims went to the procession.

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The procession of 2023

Despite the fuel crisis affecting the country, it was expected that millions of Venezuelans would travel to participate in the Marian procession last Saturday.

Millions of pilgrims took to the streets of the city to meet with one of the most popular Marian devotions in Venezuela.

The program of the 2023 procession began with the celebration of Holy Mass presided by Bishop Victor Hugo Basabe. Then the image of the Divine Shepherdess of Souls left the church of Santa Rosa toward the cathedral.

The image of Our Lady arrived at the cathedral of Barquisimeto around 4:00 pm local time. To conclude the Divine Pastoral celebrations, Bishop Carlos Curie, Bishop of Carora, celebrated the closing Mass.

During his homily, Bishop Carlos addressed the faithful and exhorted them “to place our wounded, mistreated, betrayed and plundered Venezuela at the center of our prayers.

History of the Procession of the Divine Shepherdess

The devotion to Our Lady the Divine Shepherdess of Souls spread throughout Venezuela after the arrival of Capuchin friars from Seville, Spain, in 1706.

A friar named Isidoro had a dream about Our Lady. He saw the Virgin dressed as a shepherdess, carrying a staff in her hand, and protecting a flock of sheep from a ferocious wolf.

After the religious man’s dream, a sacred painter, Alonso Miguel de Tovar, and a sculptor, Francisco Ruiz Gijón, depicted Our Lady as the Divine Shepherdess. (FM)

Compiled by Dominic Joseph

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