Wednesday, September 28

“People really want a Bótoa pilgrimage and it seems that the weather will accompany them”


Gonzalo Ramos Doblado, older brother of the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Bótoa. / TODAY

Next Sunday, May 1, the pilgrimage returns in honor of the co-patron of Badajoz and the events will begin on Thursday with the proclamation by the historian Isabel María Pérez

Angela Murillo

The dehesa is ready to receive the pilgrims. On Sunday Badajoz will celebrate its traditional Bótoa pilgrimage again after two years without face-to-face events due to the pandemic. «People really want a pilgrimage and the weather seems to be on its way. We think that there will be more influx than normal because of what we are seeing in other pilgrimages in Extremadura and in the Holy Week processions,” predicts Gonzalo Ramos Doblado, older brother of the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Bótoa.

The central acts in honor of the Marian dedication and co-patron saint of Badajoz will be held on May 1, coinciding with Mother’s Day, in the meadow located about 17 kilometers from Badajoz. The program will begin on Thursday, April 28 with the proclamation, which will be given by the professor and historian Isabel María Pérez González, an expert in the figure of Carolina Coronado.

«Isabel María was going to be the herald in 2020, since that year was the 200th anniversary of the birth of Carolina Coronado, who spent periods of her life in Bótoa for health reasons. Apparently she was recommended to breathe fresh air and the tranquility of the countryside », recalls Gonzalo Robles. The older brother also adds another piece of information unknown to many people from Badajoz, and that is that the brotherhood still has a bed where -it is believed- the poetess slept.

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On Thursday, the proclamation by the author of the biography ‘Carolina Coronado: from Romanticism to the crisis at the end of the century’ will take place at the Old Palace of the Captaincy General of Extremadura from 8:00 p.m., and previously there will be made a tribute to three brothers. After the words of the historian, the Washerwomen will sing, those in charge of accompanying the Virgin in all her acts. Afterwards, attendees will be able to witness the performance of the Extremadura folklore group in front of the church of Las Descalzas.

Saturday

On Saturday at 12:30 there will be a first reception for pilgrims who make the path that separates the city from the hermitage on foot or by bicycle. At that moment the hermitage will open and the image will be lowered from her dressing room already dressed for the expected occasion, always pampered in her best clothes by the attentive Laundresses, a group made up of twelve women.

At 5:00 p.m. there will be another reception for walkers, with a second symbolic opening of the hermitage. At that time, the traditional floral offering is also produced by the Friends of Badajoz Association.

At 7:00 p.m. the campaign mass is scheduled and, as a novelty in this first celebration after the pandemic, a tribute will be held to different institutions and groups for their role during the hardest months of the covid: doctors, nurses, pharmacists , the General Menacho Base, the Talavera Air Base, National Police, Civil Guard, Local Police and Civil Protection. During this act the violinist Pedro Martínez Aguilar will perform, a resident of the center of Badajoz who during the confinement enlivened the running of the bulls with music from his balcony.

Next, the floral offering to the Virgin will be carried out by the City Council, to be celebrated after the mass, and at the end of the rosary of the torch, which is also traditional.

Pilgrimage of Bótoa in 2019, the last one held. /

TODAY

Sunday

On Sunday, the big day of celebration in the meadow of Bótoa, which brings together numerous groups of friends and family to enjoy a spring day next to the hermitage, there will be two early masses.

At 9:30 a.m. the first Eucharist will be officiated and will feature a performance by the Lavanderas choir. An hour later there will be another mass, this time with the musical accompaniment of the Badajoz Senior Choir, directed by Emilio González Barroso.

The campaign high mass will take place at 11:30 am in the space set up outside the hermitage and in the presence of the political authorities. Then it will be time for the procession that will be accompanied by traditional floats and horsemen.

After the procession through a field in all its splendor, there will be “the auction of the bouquet and the rosary of the Virgin, which is usually quite lively. The last one celebrated closed with 700 euros for the rosary of the Virgin and 1,300 for the bouquet, ”details the older brother.


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