Mexico’s Virgin of Guadalupe pilgrimage returns unrestricted

Dec 11, 2022, 6:41 PM | Updated: Dec 12, 2022, 4:22 pm
Pilgrims rest near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees ...

Pilgrims rest near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)

(AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)

              Pilgrims rest near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Alejandro Morales, left, and Andres Mendez rest next to their statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego around the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before their national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was a peasant who had the apparition of the Virgin in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Ana Rita Ruelas, from Jalisco state, poses for a portrait dressed as the Virgin of Guadalupe, outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec.12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship the day before her feast day in Mexico City, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Victoria Hernandez poses for a photo with her Guadalupe statue outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              An image of the Virgin of Guadalupe stands amid pilgrims camping outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims camp near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims walk on their knees in an act of devotion as they arrive to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims rest near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Alejandro Morales, left, and Andres Mendez rest next to their statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego around the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before their national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was a peasant who had the apparition of the Virgin in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Ana Rita Ruelas, from Jalisco state, poses for a portrait dressed as the Virgin of Guadalupe, outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec.12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship the day before her feast day in Mexico City, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Victoria Hernandez poses for a photo with her Guadalupe statue outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              An image of the Virgin of Guadalupe stands amid pilgrims camping outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims camp near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims walk on their knees in an act of devotion as they arrive to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims rest near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Alejandro Morales, left, and Andres Mendez rest next to their statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego around the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before their national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was a peasant who had the apparition of the Virgin in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Ana Rita Ruelas, from Jalisco state, poses for a portrait dressed as the Virgin of Guadalupe, outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec.12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship the day before her feast day in Mexico City, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Victoria Hernandez poses for a photo with her Guadalupe statue outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              An image of the Virgin of Guadalupe stands amid pilgrims camping outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims camp near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims walk on their knees in an act of devotion as they arrive to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Pilgrims rest near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before of her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Alejandro Morales, left, and Andres Mendez rest next to their statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego around the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before their national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was a peasant who had the apparition of the Virgin in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Ana Rita Ruelas, from Jalisco state, poses for a portrait dressed as the Virgin of Guadalupe, outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec.12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotee Alejandro Coate of the Virgin of Guadalupe walks on his knees to the Basilica to give thanks a day before the national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship the day before her feast day in Mexico City, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship the day before her feast day in Mexico City, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Victoria Hernandez poses for a photo with her Guadalupe statue outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              An image of the Virgin of Guadalupe stands amid pilgrims camping outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              An image of the Virgin of Guadalupe stands amid pilgrims camping outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Pilgrims camp near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims walk on their knees in an act of devotion as they arrive to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              A Virgin of Guadalupe statue is seen on the way to the Basilica where devotees give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Alejandro Morales, left, and Andres Mendez rest next to their statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego around the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before their national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was a peasant who had the apparition of the Virgin in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Pilgrims rest near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Victoria Hernandez poses for a photo with her Guadalupe statue outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims walk on their knees in an act of devotion as they arrive to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims camp near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before of her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              An image of the Virgin of Guadalupe stands amid pilgrims camping outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Alejandro Morales, left, and Andres Mendez rest next to their statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego around the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before their national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was a peasant who had the apparition of the Virgin in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Pilgrims rest near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Victoria Hernandez poses for a photo with her Guadalupe statue outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims walk on their knees in an act of devotion as they arrive to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims camp near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Faithful attend a mass in honor of our lady of Guadalupe presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Pope Francis, right, presides over a mass in honor of our lady of Guadalupe in St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Cardinal Marc Ouellet asperges incense on a picture of our lady of Guadalupe during a mass in her honor presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Pope Francis arrives in St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican to preside over a mass in honor of our lady of Guadalupe, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before of her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotee Alejandro Coate of the Virgin of Guadalupe walks on his knees to the Basilica to give thanks a day before the national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              An image of the Virgin of Guadalupe stands amid pilgrims camping outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              A Virgin of Guadalupe statue is seen on the way to the Basilica where devotees give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Alejandro Morales, left, and Andres Mendez rest next to their statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego around the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before their national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was a peasant who had the apparition of the Virgin in 1531. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Pilgrims rest near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Victoria Hernandez poses for a photo with her Guadalupe statue outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims walk on their knees in an act of devotion as they arrive to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims camp near the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Faithful attend a mass in honor of our lady of Guadalupe presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Pope Francis, right, presides over a mass in honor of our lady of Guadalupe in St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Cardinal Marc Ouellet asperges incense on a picture of our lady of Guadalupe during a mass in her honor presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Pope Francis arrives in St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican to preside over a mass in honor of our lady of Guadalupe, Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
            
              Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe walk to the Basilica to give thanks or worship a day before her national celebration in Mexico City, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)
            
              Pilgrim Tania Esmeralda stands with her statue of the Guadalupe Virgin outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Dancers from Elotepec, in Veracruz state, perform as they arrive to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims carry icons of the Virgin of Guadalupe to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims camp outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              A statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe stands amid pilgrims camping outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims camp outside the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)
            
              Pilgrims carrying icons of the Virgin of Guadalupe arrive at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, early Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Devotees of the Virgin of Guadalupe make the pilgrimage for her Dec. 12 feast day, the anniversary of one of several apparitions of the Virgin Mary witnessed by an Indigenous Mexican man named Juan Diego in 1531. (AP Photo/Aurea Del Rosario)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s largest religious pilgrimage for its Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe returned Monday without restrictions for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. For two years, the multi-day pilgrimage had been cancelled or curtailed because the massive numbers of faithful presented a risk of contagion.

During the darkest days of the pandemic in 2020, the Mexico City Basilica where the Virgin’s image is preserved was closed entirely for four days. It was open in 2021, but pilgrims coming from across the country were not allowed to maintain their tradition of sleeping outside it.

For this year’s Dec. 12 ceremony, the basilica’s patio was awash in a sea of tents and sleeping people.

People sleep at the basilica to show their devotion — one of the high points is a midnight Mass at which the traditional birthday song “Las Mañanitas” is sung to the Virgin — but also because many pilgrims are poor.

Hundreds of thousands walk, ride bicycles or take buses on the pilgrimage. This year, the Mexico City government estimated a total of 11 million people visited the shrine over the last few days.

“Thanks to God, we have recovered normality,” the Rector of the Basilica, Mons. Salvador Martínez, said in a statement inviting people to visit “if possible, avoiding large crowds.”

Such good intentions were impossible amid a human sea of believers.

Ade Carbajal visited the Basilica with her two children Monday to give thanks to the Virgin for her family having been spared during the pandemic.

“What we went through with COVID, there were very difficult situations, so we wanted to thank her,” said Carbajal.

Nazario Bonilla, 23, came from the neighboring state of Morelos with a pilgrimage of fellow motorcyclists, his eighth visit.

“We always come to ask her for a little health, that we don’t run out of work,” said Bonilla.

The basilica holds an image of the Virgin that is said to have miraculously imprinted itself on a cloak belonging to the Indigenous peasant Juan Diego in 1531.

At the Vatican on Monday, Pope Francis said Mary appeared then “to accompany the American people in this difficult path of poverty, exploitation and socioeconomic and cultural colonialism,” and remains a mother figure to Latin Americans today.

“She’s there, in the middle of the caravans that, seeking freedom and well-being, head north,” he said, referring to the caravans of migrants seeking to cross into the United States,” the pope said.

The day of the Virgin is also celebrated throughout Mexico with fireworks. At one such event in a town northeast of Mexico City, a police pickup truck carrying fireworks exploded, injuring a dozen people.

The injured, including a child, suffered third-degree burns and fractures in the explosion late Sunday in the town of Nopaltepec, according the State of Mexico health department.

Photos posted by volunteer firefighters from the nearby town of San Martín de los Piramides showed the burned, twisted wreckage of the pickup truck lying in a street.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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