The Catholic faithful of San Marcos, Nicaragua, recently celebrated the feast of their patron saint, as they do every year. However, due to restrictions imposed by the Nicaraguan government of Daniel Ortega, this year’s celebration took place in the atrium of a church instead of the streets.
Despite the restrictions, hundreds of faithful came together to celebrate the beginning of the commemoration of the patron saint festivities in their town.
Traditionally, the celebration involves a procession of the patron saint’s image through the main roads of the municipality, accompanied by traditional dances and people who thank the saint for favors received.
However, this year the images of the accompanying saints were brought in vans from neighboring towns. Bryan Perez, one of the faithful of San Marcos, expressed his nostalgia for the restricted celebration, saying that it is a “simulacrum of tope.”
The Catholic Church sought to hold the San Marcos celebration in the best way possible without affecting other brothers, according to Father César Castillo. The Church has always emphasized the importance of respect, and this year’s celebration was no exception. President Daniel Ortega had explained that Catholic Holy Week celebrations had been restricted to church grounds to avoid provocations, given the violent repression of anti-government protests five years ago.
While some faithful expressed their nostalgia for the traditional celebration, others like Helen Fernandez were optimistic about the celebration taking place in the church atrium.
Fernandez is a devotee who has been sharing food during the San Marcos festivities for five years, and she believes that the celebration will continue despite the restrictions. She said that she would have liked a party “like every year, with a joyful tope” with people in the streets, but she is happy to be able to celebrate in the church atrium.
The celebration of the patron saint festivities is an essential tradition for the Catholic faithful in San Marcos. Despite the restrictions, they found a way to come together and celebrate their faith.
The celebration serves as a reminder of the importance of coming together in the face of adversity and finding ways to celebrate our traditions and beliefs while respecting the safety of others.
The celebration of the patron saint festivities in San Marcos may have been different this year, but it did not dampen the spirits of the Catholic faithful. They came together to celebrate their faith and traditions in the best way possible while respecting the restrictions in place. The celebration serves as a reminder that our traditions and beliefs can bring us together, even in challenging times.