Unprecedented Descent: The Virgen de la Montaña’s Crossing of the Southeast Round Bridge and Future Uncertainty

2023-09-04 05:33:30

It was one of the great novelties of the descent of the Virgen de la Montaña in 2022. The patron saint of Cáceres, whose descent to the city had been suppressed in the 2020 and 2021 editions due to the pandemic, crossed the bridge of the Southeast Round, inaugurated in 2021, and the photograph was one of the most relevant snapshots of the procession due to its unprecedented nature.

But that snapshot may not be repeated again because the current governing body of the Virgen de la Montaña brotherhood is considering abolishing the passage over this bridge. “It is a request from the brothers that we will assess in due course. But it is very likely that we will go directly down the road, “says Joaquín Floriano, butler of the brotherhood.

When the previous management team, chaired by Juan Carlos Fernández Rincón, announced that the image would go through this elevated platform, they justified the decision using two arguments. On the one hand, it was pointed out that, in this way, it was not necessary to block traffic at the height of the roundabout of the Southeast ring road that gives access to the Sanctuary road. And, furthermore, as a curious fact, it was pointed out that, at the time of designing the bridge, the technicians contacted the brotherhood to find out the exact measurements of the patron saint’s passage so that the litter would fit without any problem in this structure, a gesture that the brotherhood appreciated.

Joaquín Floriano, butler of the brotherhood: «It is a request from the brothers; it is very likely that we will go straight down the road »

This year the brotherhood has maintained the bridge on its way down from the Sanctuary to Fuente Concejo. But, nevertheless, he suppressed it in the return procession, which ran entirely along the road. It must be taken into account that the descent takes place on a Wednesday, while the ascent takes place on the first Sunday of May in the morning. The traffic intensity in the Southeast ring road is higher during the descent procession than during the ascent procession.

In any case, there are seven months left for the next descent of the Virgen de la Montaña to the city, a time in which the brotherhood must make a final decision on this matter.

Jubilee and centenary year

The new governing board, which took the reins of the brotherhood after the elections held on June 29, is currently focused on the commemorative acts of the centenary of the canonical coronation of the Virgen de la Montaña, an anniversary that will take place on October 12, 2024. However, on October 12, 2023 the jubilee year will begin with the opening of the holy door of the Shrine.

Members of the board of directors of the brotherhood have already held meetings with different municipal and ecclesiastical institutions with the aim of designing the calendar of events. Among the projects on the table, the extraordinary descent that the patron saint will star in October 2024 stands out. The idea is that the image travels through different churches in Cáceres.

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