This year, fewer people are going on a pilgrimage to Aglona this year


Summer is a time when Latvian believers, mostly Catholics, go on a pilgrimage to Aglona to participate in the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, due to Covid-19, the number of visitors is very limited this time and there are also fewer pilgrims.

The bustle of St. Jacob’s Cathedral in Riga. About ten people walk on the pilgrimage to Aglona. It is organized by Gunta Ziemele. She has a lot of experience: “I started a pilgrimage from a child’s feet. When I was 16, I started organizing pilgrimages, helping to lead and then I started to lead myself. So there are really countless of them. ”

Read more: As of today, the restrictions of Covid-19 in Latvia are significantly changing

However, this is a different pilgrimage, because precautions must be taken. “It simply came to our notice then. This is due, of course, to the whole situation in the country here with Covid. Of course, there are groups that will go and there are big groups. But we somehow received a call in our hearts to go in a small group. But in any case, we are open, if someone feels called, sees and is addressed, wants to join us, then it will be an opportunity to do so, ”says the pilgrim.

She says that she often faces various difficulties along the way. And it’s not just about blisters or sore muscles.

“If a person is physically tired, then he is more emotionally sensitive. And, of course, then some of our emotional injuries can and begin to manifest – some anger, some irritation. And that’s just normal. We are human beings. And it is also important to assume that I may be weak at that moment, ”says Gunta Ziemele.

Possible difficulties do not frighten Eva. For her, this is her first pilgrimage: “Blisters and such physical problems do not bother me completely. But I expect emotional exacerbations with the thought that I will solve them. Yes, I have too much enthusiasm. You, my great ones, hit one of the most enthusiastic pilgrims at the moment. ”

Covid has not diminished Eva’s enthusiasm either: “Scared, scared. But somehow now, thinking about everything and also thinking about security measures, assessing the situation so far, I concluded that it will be quite good. We are such a small group. If anything, we will probably adjust to the situation. ”

The guiding principle of the pilgrims of Jacob’s congregation this time is healing. And the priest Pauls Klavins prays for good health: “May the blessing of God accompany and also protect from all evils – from invisible enemies that may be around. (TV3: Covid too?) Yes, first of all, yes. Because the theme is healing. So we ask for healing for all who stay at home. But also especially for those who receive pilgrims. And it is a great pleasure that there are also people hosting this year who are open for this event. ”

On the long journey, they go with songs and church bells accompanied by sound. To reach Aglona, ​​pilgrims do not follow the straightest route. They will measure more than 300 kilometers of road. It will take two weeks. They plan to arrive at Aglona Basilica on August 14, the day before the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Aglona can accommodate about 200,000 guests, but this time only three thousand people are allowed to participate in the festival, due to restrictions on gatherings.

More on the topic – in the TV3 News story


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