The traditional kissing of the Virgen de los Desamparados that this Wednesday hosts the Basilica of Valencia has developed with "normality and large influx of public." It is a "doubly special" event, since it is the first Besamanos after the pandemic, without capacity limitations or restrictions, and because the Jubilee Year of the Centenary of the Pontifical Coronation is celebrated.
«Valencia is always faithful to this appointment with the Mare de Déu, ten days after her party, that is why when we opened the doors of the Basilica this Wednesday there was already a queue with around 500 people waiting since dawn to enter and participate in the Besamanos that is taking place normally and without incident, on a beautiful day in which the faithful can be closer to the Virgin, in a moment of intimacy, presenting prayers and supplications at the feet of our patron saint", highlights the Vice-rector of the Basilica, Álvaro Almenar.
The Basilica "has its doors open all day, until the last devotee who comes to the Besamanos passes, in this act that we can say is the first massive event of the Centenary of the Coronation, since throughout the day they will participate, gradually, thousands of people”, he explains.
"Furthermore, all the donations collected this year will go to the 'Crown of Charity' for the Patron Saint, in favor of the most destitute, because this title that she bears, Virgin of the Forsaken, only makes sense if we serve and accompany the people who need it most: the seriously mentally ill and those at risk of exclusion, through the MAIDES Foundation; to pregnant mothers, through Provida; and to excluded women, through Villa Teresita, among other projects of the Basilica and its social work", underlines the vice-rector, who adds that "this 'Crown of Charity' will be the most beautiful jewel that our Mother can wear".
Some of the people who attended the event have expressed their emotion. Many are regulars at this appointment and for others it was the first time, but they are all united by the same feeling: "It is something that cannot be explained, very exciting and special, this day recharges my batteries," he explains, in a statement of the Archbishopric, Amparo Simó, head of the Veo Veo Children's Education Center in Torrent, which participates every year in Besamanos, this year with forty small children.
David, a second-year seminarian at the Moncada Seminary, participated in the Besamanos for the first time in May and experienced it as "a very beautiful and emotional act, being able to meet my mother and being able to have a moment of prayer in front of the Virgin of the Forsaken who is so important to me, and also to my family, who has always had a lot of devotion because, in addition, my grandmother was called Amparo, "he says.
The influx of public since the opening of the doors of the Basilica, at 6:45 in the morning, is being "constant, despite the sun and the heat today and that we try to placate with the distribution of bottles of water , but people have come prepared with umbrellas and hats and we have the collaboration of the Red Cross in case there is any necessary attention, "says José Luis Albiach, president of the Followers of the Virgin of the Forsaken, who collaborates in the organization and control of access in the Besamanos, as well as the Court of Honor and the Trasllat Eixidors.
«It is a very beautiful day for all Valencians and it is passing calmly, with a wonderful influx because Valencians always respond to the call of the Mare de Déu. For many people it was very important to be able to come to thank the Virgin, especially after these difficult years of the pandemic, "concludes Albiach.
The cloak that the processional image of the Mare de Déu wears today "is new, it premieres on this very special day." It is light in color with printed flowers, with natural silk in the Florentine Renaissance style and has been made by the artist Pedro Arrue on behalf of Mª Dolores Alfonso, Waitress of the Virgin, who wanted, with this gift, to "thank the Mare de Give me such a great privilege that I have to be your Waitress».
In this Besamanos, the image of the patron saint, who also debuts earrings and a necklace of silver and precious stones, "is beautiful, as always, and always triumphs in all acts, and we are seeing the desire that people had to have his Mother in this act that among all of us in the Basilica we have organized with all the love in the world”, indicates Dolores Alfonso.
During Besamanos, access to the temple is through the bronze door, and a 2zig-zag fence has been set up in the Plaza de la Virgen to facilitate the order of entry in the queue. The exit door is the one closest to the Basilica store that overlooks the Plaza de la Virgen and the door on Calle de la Leña has preferential access for people with wheelchairs or reduced mobility, and with pushchairs. . The original image that presides over the main altar is today turned towards its dressing room, where ordinary worship takes place.
From the Basilica they indicate that “in this Besamanos there are no capacity limitations or special measures against the pandemic, but to access the temple we recommend the use of a mask, use the hydroalcoholic gel dispensers and keep a safe distance.”