The festivities surrounding December 12 at the basilica were already canceled in November, with the pandemic raging. Mexico today has the fourth number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the world.

Normally, as many as 10 million pilgrims visit Our Lady for the feast day festivities; the basilica is the most visited shrine in the world.

Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera López, president of the Mexican bishops’ conference, said in announcing the closures, “We already know that the Virgin moves to where her sons and daughters are, especially those who are grieving.”

During the course of the days when Our Lady of Guadalupe was appearing to Juan Diego, there was one moment when Juan felt he had to avoid meeting with the Lady, because he needed to get what was needed by his ailing uncle. He detoured around Tepeyac Hill, but — as the archbishop recalled — Our Lady found him on the path he had taken. It was that day, December 12, that she assured him, “Am I not here, I am who your mother?”

Let Mary come to our homes this year