Círio 2021: Pilgrims ask Our Lady of Nazareth to

“Queen of the Amazon, free us from fascism, unemployment and hunger”. With these words, activists from the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), the Popular Peasant Movement (MCP) and the Movement of Rural Landless Workers (MST) took to the streets this Sunday (10) to ask that Our Lady of Nazareth, Patron Saint of Pará, protect the Amazon and its people from so many attacks.

The festival of the Círio de Nossa Senhora de Nazaré is known for being one of the biggest processions in Brazil. This year had its second edition without the official pilgrimages to contain the advance of the new coronavirus pandemic. However, the measure did not prevent thousands of people from taking to the streets to demonstrate their faith. (Check out this report also in the video version).

During the transfer, several survivors of the pandemic, health professionals and people who made the traditional promises of overcoming a disease, passing the university entrance exam or conquering their own home were honored during the transfer.

The report of Brazil in fact followed the procession with a mask and 70% alcohol gel and found that in the procession several people followed the protection measures against the new coronavirus and others did not.

The estimate of the Secretariat of Public Security and Social Defense of Pará (Segup) is that at least 400,000 people participated in the transfers and other celebrations such as the presentation of the Fumaça squadron and the flyover of the Image of the Patron Saint of the capital by helicopter. Metropolitan Cathedral to the Basilica of Nazareth.

In the analysis of the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies of Pará (Dieese/PA), around 30,000 tourists will visit the city during the Círio de Nazaré period. Lower number than pre-pandemic numbers. In 2019, around 90,000 tourists visited Belém, according to information released by the Pará State Secretariat of Tourism.

Débora Nascimento and her sisters asked for the health of her 60-year-old mother, who had 100% of her lung compromised by Covid-19. Recovered, Débora took the walk to thank for the grace achieved / Fernanda Araújo / Personal Archive

Faith and Struggle

For Elaine Rodrigues, a militant of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), it is impossible not to get involved with Círio in October. “We ask that the patroness of Pará can renew our struggle and our capacity to face this system that oppresses so much, we who are so vulnerable,” he said.

The militants took another 60-kilometer walk from Mosqueiro, an island that is a district of the capital of Pará, to the Basilica Sanctuary, a place that concentrates the faithful of Our Lady of Nazareth.

For Itamar Martins, from the Popular Peasant Movement (MCP), 2022 is approaching and the population will once again have the chance, at the polls, to choose a government that looks to the most vulnerable.

“We came to renew energies, strengthen our faith and ask Our Lady to look out for the Brazilian people, for the people of Pará. May this year of 2022 be a year of renewal, because we don’t deserve to suffer so much.”

To those who fight day after day for agrarian reform, for the fair distribution of land and for the right to food free of poison, the spirituality of Círio is a moment of renewal for the people of Pará, who ask not only for Pará, but for all peasants of Brazil.

“The Círio brings us this a lot, this spirituality, this faith, this mystique that another world can exist, a fairer world, a world of solidarity. So, for the people of the MST to participate in the Círio, it is not just a walk, it is the strengthening of our faith and especially the strengthening of our struggle, which is not just for agrarian reform”, says Carlinhos Luz, a militant of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).

For Iury Paulino, a militant of the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB), the Círio is also a time of struggle and a time to take the message of resistance to other pilgrims.

“We from the popular movements walk with vaccine in our arms, with food on our plate, we walk and ask that Our Lady of Nazareth free us from fascism, hunger, misery and the genocide that is installed in Brazil. This is the desire that inspires people walking and this desire moves the fight, moves the hope and this hope is strengthened with solidarity and love we find along the way”.

Edition: Anelize Moreira

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