Venezuela is a Catholic country par excellence and its devotion to the Virgin Mary under different advocations is present. Throughout the year important celebrations such as the Divine Shepherdess, The Virgin of Coromoto and the Virgin of the Valley are held to name a few.
These celebrations are one of the most important for parishioners and the one that begins the year is the Divine Shepherdess.
The great devotion of Venezuelans to the Divine Shepherdess is celebrated on January 14 in Barquisimeto. Thousands of Venezuelans from all parts of the country are concentrated in this city in order to pay promises and favors received.
The year 2021 and the coronavirus pandemic for the procession of the divine shepherd.
2021 will be a very special year as the procession will take place in a virtual way and several of the activities will be followed online.
The Eucharists and rosaries were transmitted by youtube and broadcast on Latina TV. The program “Heart Without Borders” was also broadcast on Radio Fe y Alegría and Radio El Salvador and the Youtube channel.”.
This will certainly be a very special year, but we will take the opportunity to learn a little more about the origins of the procession of the divine shepherd.
We will also know details about the location of your image and the procession that takes place every year.
We believe that maintaining this important religious tradition is key in these times of difficulty.
The spokesmen of the Catholic Church stated that:
“Even if the procession is not carried out in the same way as in previous years, such an important event should not be downplayed”
Already the procession of the divine shepherd has been recorded as one of the largest religious processions in the world.
We just added we started.
Origins of the Marian invocation of the Divine Pastora
The Virgin seen as a shepherdess dates from the 10th century approximately. This devotion comes from Seville, Spain.
In 1703, Fray Isidoro of Seville received a vision in one of his dreams in which the Virgin Mary appeared.
This was a very unique vision of the Virgin:
“… In a country landscape, surrounded by trees and sheep, dressed in a purple robe, a blue blanket and carrying in his hand a pastoral staff, and at his side a menacing wolf hidden among the bushes, representing the stalks of the devil”
This Capuchin monk was surprised by the beauty of this image. Then he went to visit the famous artist, Alonso Miguel de Tovar and asked him to illustrate the description of the beautiful dream.
The first time the image was released to the public was September 8, 1703. The Virgin left the church of San Gil on a pilgrimage that walked the streets of Seville.
In the event they sang a rosary. The virgin in her invocation of Shepherdess was praised by the parishioners on a very special day.
From there, a great Marian devotion descended from the Capuchin missionaries began. In this sense, these men were responsible for spreading the image of the Divine Shepherdess in Europe and America.
Subsequently, the artist Francisco Ruiz Gijón, carved the life-size image of the Divine Shepherdess. Then in 1705, the effigy was taken to its first procession in Spain.
Location of the image of the Divine Shepherdess
The Virgin of the Divine Shepherdess, is the Patron of the Lara state. This work of art is located in the church of Santa Rosa, a town near Barquisimeto.
Venezuelans have great devotion and their way of expressing gratitude to this dear Virgin is very unique. In this sense the faithful give him hats and costumes of precious fabrics
It should be noted that these beautiful costumes are often made by famous fashion designers. That is why many people say the following:
“There is no woman in Venezuela who has a more luxurious wardrobe than that of the Divine Shepherdess”
The Divine Shepherdess has the privilege of having beautiful dresses that her faithful give her with great love.
History of the great devotion of Venezuelans to the Divine Shepherdess
It is in the year 1736 when the beautiful story of the patron saint of Larenses begins. In that year the priest made a commission of a sculpture alluding to the Immaculate Conception, however it came was the image of the Divine Shepherdess.
Since that was not the request the priest wanted to change it, which was not successful.
As the drawer where the Divine Shepherdess remained had an incredible weight, the inhabitants saw a sign and this virgin arrived to stay in the town of Santa Rosa.
Then in 1812 an earthquake occurs, consequently, the temple where the Divine Shepherdess was venerated was destroyed. However, the image was miraculously intact. This event strengthened the faith of the inhabitants of the town of Santa Rosa. In this sense, the perception that the Virgin wanted to stay with and protect them gained strength.
Today it is an entire country that goes to honor the Divine Shepherdess, to give thanks and to ask for favors.
The great devotion of Venezuelans to the Divine Shepherdess: a massive event
In the mid-nineteenth century the great devotion of Venezuelans to the Divine Shepherdess was fixed. This occurs as a result of a cholera epidemic that spread in 1855.
This is why many families in Lara state were very affected by this lethal disease. Given the situation, there was no effect on medications or remedies at all.
Ultimately the inhabitants resort to take out in procession through the streets of the city the sculpture of the Divine Shepherdess. This was done in order to implore his mercy, which was granted,
The effect was a miracle since as of that same day, the cholera epidemic ceased.
To maintain that legacy every year on January 14, the image of the Divine Shepherdess is carried. In this sense a massive procession and full of faith takes place.
The Divine Shepherdess is taken to the Barquisimeto Cathedral from her church in Santa Rosa.
This manifestation of faith is considered the second most important in Latin America. Being surpassed by that of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico.
Visit to the image of the Divine Shepherdess in Lara state
At the beginning of the year, a special celebration is held on January 14 to honor the Divine Shepherdess. In this sense, parishioners carry the sculpture from the sanctuary of Santa Rosa to the Barquisimeto Cathedral
The distance traveled in this event is approximately 7.5 kilometers.
It begins with the last mass held on the outskirts of the temple of Santa Rosa.
This event of the catholic church crosses several places of the city passing through Lara Avenue, Morán Avenue, and its arrival to Venezuela Avenue. There a mass is celebrated and they sing to him, they present cultural and musical acts that fulfill an event full of faith towards the Virgin
In 2016, approximately four million people attended the pilgrimage of both Venezuela and the rest of the world.
The special way in which the great devotion of Venezuelans to the Divine Shepherdess is expressed is by giving them very unique and beautiful hats and costumes.
As if that were not enough, the Divine Shepherdess has an Archdiocesan Museum. In this space you can see the following:
- The replica (known as “pilgrim image”).
- Dresses used by the image and the child, which are rotated frequently.
- Hats, canes or staff, shoes, jewelry, crowns.
- In addition, Rosaries, Paintings, Decorations granted to the virgin.
- Promises and miracles embodied in plaques.
- Pictures of great recognized artists.
The Divine Shepherd, 2021 and the Coronavirus Pandemic
As noted in the first paragraphs of the article, this will be a special year. The coronavirus pandemic has forced measures to prevent the mass event from becoming a focus of contagion.
The procession of the Divine Shepherd in 2021 will be different although it will retain its essence.
For this purpose, numerous activities have been designed according to what has been done in previous years. But these activities rather than being followed in person will have an innovative component.
These activities can be followed by television, radio and youtube.
The Archdiocese of Lara prepared for this circumstance and adapted technologically to be able to integrate effectively with the community through youtube.
Thanks to this adaptation the youtube channel and the technical means are prepared to receive the parishioner. Thus the essence of this wonderful event for the glory of the Virgin Mary can be transmitted.
Some of the activities related to the virtual celebration of the procession of the Divine Shepherd have already started.
Next we will know what are the steps that were performed and which will be performed in the coming days.
How is the procession of the divine shepherd going until January 11, 2021?
On Tuesday, January 5, 2021, she was lowered to the figure of the Divine Shepherd of her altar.
The Vocational Expo was also held from 7 to 9 January 2021
This year the Divine Shepherd will not be dressed in a new dress but with one of previous years chosen directly by her followers.
The parishioners were able to choose the dress through the website of the archdiocese of Barquisimeto. They did this from 24 November to 16 December 2020.
The dress chosen was dress number 2 which we can see below.
Why won’t the Divine Shepherd wear a new dress in 2021?
Many parishioners find themselves upset or confused by the dress wearing the Divine Shepherd. This “queen” wears a new dress every year, but this year’s circumstances are special.
This year using the motto “Woman Dressed in Love” the Divine Shepherd dresses in solidarity with the Venezuelans.
The money that would be used this year for the dress will be used to contribute to Lara’s most needed communities.
As mentioned above, parishioners chose from the 5 most emblematic dresses worn by the Divine Shepherd for the procession.
Below we can see a detail extracted from the website of the Archdiocese of Barquisimeto.
What are the upcoming events?
Since we have seen the road traveled for the concretement of the virtual procession we will tell you what you can enjoy these days.
On January 12, 2021, the Serenade of the Mavare Orchestra will be transferred to the Divine Shepherd. A beautiful musical act for the honor of the patron saint of the state Lara.
On 13 January 2021, the prayer vigil, which is the preamble to the pilgrimage itself, will be carried out. A way to enter the reflection state for this event.
And on January 14th the procession will take place itself. That day there is a schedule that we present below in Venezuelan time:
- 7am – Transmission of the Central Eucharist from the Catedrán de Barquisimeto presided over by Monsignor Victor Hugo Basabe.
- 9am – The last point of the Route will be published, from the arch of Santa Rosa to the entrance to the Sanctuary at the foot of the Image of the Divine Shepherd.
- 10:30 am – “Heart Without Borders” Program will be transferred.
- 12 m – Video of pilgrims in the world to show the message of devotion and of the Divine Shepherd
- 2 to 5 pm – Special Live Archidiosis Program
- 5 pm – Message and Final Blessing by the Bishop.
The Virtual Tour will be from Barquisimeto Cathedral to Santa Rosa. The procession and other activities will be transmitted by the Archdiocese’s Youtube channel and By Latina TV.
Faith that moves mountains, the Divine Shepherdess,
The great devotion of Venezuelans to the Divine Shepherdess, is a sample of the faith they have. A faith that gives Venezuelans strength to move forward.
This procession gets stronger every year, and we continue to pray and ask for protection for the entire Venezuelan people.
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