(CNN Spanish) — As every year in the Dominican Republic, the feast of the Virgin of Altagracia is celebrated on January 21, considered by Catholics as the patron saint of the Dominican people.
Hundreds of devotees travel from different parts of the country to congregate inside and outside the basilica of Higüey, province of La Altagracia, located in the eastern part of the country.
According to the parishioners, they go to the basilica to bring offerings to the Virgin to thank her for the favors they have received from her.
Since the early hours of this Saturday, devotees light candles and pray for miracles from what they consider their spiritual mother.
The President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, accompanied by the First Lady, Raquel Arbaje, attended the Eucharist for the official occasion of the Day of Our Lady of Altagracia, celebrated in the morning hours in the Higüey Basilica. Vice President Raquel Peña was also present, among other government officials.
Happy to participate one more year in the solemn Eucharist for Our Lady of Altagracia, that loving mother who protects us from heaven, to whom I ask for her divine intercession, so that God continues to illuminate each initiative of the Government for the benefit of the Dominican people. pic.twitter.com/JoGLnswISR
– Raquel Peña (@RaquelPenaVice) January 21, 2023
Throughout the day, while the basilica and its surroundings are full of parishioners, street vendors take advantage of the occasion to offer paintings with the image of the Virgin, crucifixes and other religious objects.