Normality also comes to the rociero calendar. After being altered for two years by the Covid pandemic, the brothers of the Mother Brotherhood of Almonte have decided this Thursday, meeting in an extraordinary council, that the Blanca Paloma continue in the Huelva municipality -of which she is patron saint- until the eve of Pentecost, as is customary every seven years, when it is transferred to the parish of the Assumption. Therefore, it will be May 29, the Sunday before the pilgrimage, when the transfer to the village takes place.
Doubts were cleared. Since the most severe health restrictions against Covid were repealed, which, among other aspects, restricted public worship, there had been much speculation about a possible return of the White Dove to her sanctuary before the end of 2021. Rumors argued in the improvement of the health situation that is currently being experienced and that would make said transfer feasible in the near future. With this intention, the Mother Brotherhood convened an extraordinary council last Thursday, whose agenda was to provide information on the evolution of the pandemic.
For this, in previous days the board chaired by Santiago PadillaHe had met with representatives of the Ministry of Health of the Junta de Andalucia and with the Almonte City Council to delve into the health situation and the possibilities of dealing with the transfer of the Virgin in the current circumstances. An information that was detailed to the brothers of the corporation in the town hall, held in the parish of the municipality, which registered a full house.
After eleven o’clock at night (the town hall began at 9:00 p.m.), Padilla reported that, to the acclamation of the majority of those gathered there, the Virgen del Rocio would return to the village in May ., with which the usual calendar that is followed when the Blanca Paloma is in this municipality will be fulfilled. Therefore, the return will take place a week before Pentecost, that is, on Sunday, May 29, when he returns with Pastora’s finery.
A week before, on Sunday, May 22 – and whenever the health circumstances allow it – the Queen’s procession will take place through the streets of Almonte, which are lavishly decorated for an outing that is only seen every seven years. Also in this procession the new step, the work of Ramon Leon, would be premiered. The first pieces that the Sevillian goldsmith has chiselled are exhibited in the Jubilar Rocio exhibition, which is held until November in the Iglesia de los Terceros and in the Fundacion Cajasol. Precisely these new litters have been designed with the intention of lightening the weight of the previous ones (work of Cayetano Gonzalez in 1934) and preventing them from collapsing so many times, especially in the procession in Almonte.
The third procession would be that of Pentecost Monday, already at dawn on June 6, as the culmination of the pilgrimage that, two years later, would be held again. With this intention, at the beginning of September the president of the Headquarters announced that before the end of 2021 the first meetings would begin with those responsible for the Romero Plan, the great security device that is organized every year for this important pilgrimage and that they had to return to “grease” after two editions suspended by the pandemic.