2021 will once again be an atypical year for the traditional celebration of the Santa Faz. The pandemic, restrictions and the arrival of the dreaded fourth wave have not made it possible for the Peregrina celebration to return to normal. The Alicante City Council and the Cabildo de San Nicolás made the decision last month to suspend the pilgrimage and celebrate only one mass behind closed doors.
The fear that crowds will trigger COVID cases again has made this year’s celebration very similar to last year, even though we are not in home confinement. The Monastery of Santa Faz will not receive pilgrims, a tradition rooted since their arrival in Alicante in 1489.
This year will also be special for another reason: for the first time two women councilors will act as trustees of the Holy Face. Mari Carmen from Spain (PP) and María Conejero (Citizens) They will be in charge of fulfilling the ritual of extracting and returning the Relic to the niche that keeps it in the dressing room of the Monastery.
Mass schedule of Santa Faz
The suspension of the pilgrimage of the Holy Face in which thousands of Alicante people participated also meant the cancellation of the massive mass in honor of the Pilgrim MTA. In spite of everything, it will be celebrated a trade behind closed doors in the monastery on April 15.
The City Council has not yet revealed the time at which the mass will begin, but it has explained that it will be first thing in the morning. In addition, to be a little closer to the Relic, the faithful will be able to follow the service online (in streaming) from their homes. INFORMACIÓN.ES will also offer the signal live to its readers.
Extraordinary departure from the Relic
At the meeting held by the mayor of Alicante, Luis Barcala; the vice mayor, Mari carmen sanchez; the councilors of Parties and Security, Manuel Jiménez and José Ramón González, respectively, together with the Dean of Saint Nicholas, Ramon Egío and the rector of the sanctuary of Santa Faz, Jose Luis Casanova, the possibility that the Relic could make an extraordinary exit to bless the city against the pandemic was also studied.
During the meeting it was agreed that, if this departure took place, the time and place would not be announced in advance to avoid crowding to view the image. In addition, in the chosen place the accesses will be cut precisely to avoid this concentration of people.
Last year an attempt was made for the Holy Face to carry out this blessing from the Castle of Santa Bárbara but the Government Sub-delegation did not allow it finally, alleging the situation due to the covid and the Relic made a brief appearance that included a blessing from the Monastery Square in the hands of the bishop after mass.
Anti-bottle operation on the beaches
Although La Peregrina is officially suspended, April 15 is still a holiday in the city of Alicante. Thus, to avoid concentrations, it will be established a police device at the access to the Monastery and controls during the tour.
Likewise, and in order to avoid the crowds of young people, an anti-bottleneck operation will be deployed on the beaches of Alicante that will ensure that the restrictions in force in the Valencian Community are met in which groups of more than four people are not allowed together in the sand as well as the mandatory use of a mask.
Already in 2019The last year in which the Santa Faz pilgrimage was held, the police operation managed to reduce the bottle to its minimum expression on the beach of San Juan, the point where the highest concentration of young people occurs. In its place, sports and cultural activities were organized.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.