Title: Hundreds Accompany Pilgrimage of Santo Domingo de Guzmán in Managua
Hundreds of people from the capital city of Managua gathered on Tuesday, August 1, to accompany the traditional pilgrimage of Santo Domingo de Guzmán. The image of the patron saint left Las Sierritas de Managua early in the morning, accompanied by a cordon of riot police and members of the traditionalist committee. The pilgrimage witnessed the participation of people from all walks of life, including those with disabilities, minors, and the elderly, who dressed in folkloric costumes and carried replicas of Santo Domingo.
The faithful embarked on a journey that lasted for more than eight hours, with some walking on their knees, others with their backs facing the image of Minguito, and some using crutches. Notable offerings made during the pilgrimage included traditional food such as nacatamales, Valencian rice, chicha sodas, and ice water. Despite the devotion and fervor, the procession faced challenges related to robberies, fights, and incidents of intoxicated individuals requiring assistance.
Clean-up Efforts and Cooperation:
The pilgrimage route, like every year, bore witness to scattered garbage left behind by participants. The Mayor’s Office of Managua, in collaboration with the promise-makers who arranged their time, worked to clean the areas traversed by the image of Santo Domingo. Notably, the pilgrimage was accompanied by the White Cross (formerly the Nicaraguan Red Cross) and the Managua fire brigade, providing medical assistance to those in need along the way.
Message of Justice and Prophetic Mission:
Monsignor Silvio José Báez, who is in exile in the United States, urged participants not to let the festivities overshadow the Church’s prophetic mission for justice. He reminded the people not to forget the unjust imprisonment of Nicaraguan bishop Monsignor Rolando José Álvarez. The bishop has been arbitrarily detained for a year by the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship.
Officials’ Participation and Questionable Roles:
Ortega mayor Reyna Rueda and vice mayor Enrique Armas participated in the pilgrimage initially, but their roles in the event were met with criticism. The Orteguismo-appointed moderators referred to Rueda as the “mayordoma” of the patron saint festivities, despite the title traditionally being granted by the Catholic Church.
Incidents and Concerns:
Incidents of robberies, fights, and intoxicated individuals causing disruptions were reported during the course of the pilgrimage. The riot police had to intervene to control a fight that broke out, involving citizens who were intoxicated and armed with bladed weapons. Despite large police presence, cases of robbery went unchecked near the Cristo Rey roundabout, leading to community dissatisfaction.
The pilgrimage of Santo Domingo de Guzmán in Managua was marked by fervent devotion, music, and challenges. The image of the patron saint was welcomed with enthusiasm, and the pilgrimage witnessed an array of offerings and participations. However, concerns over incidents, robberies, and cases of intoxication marred the otherwise peaceful journey. The pilgrimage concluded, reaching the Santo Domingo church, signaling the start of a 10-day visit to Managua by Santo Domingo de Guzmán.