The Shrine of Fatima is being heavily guarded so that no pilgrim can access it for the anniversary of the apparitions, media report.
The operation involves 3500 policemen. It takes place in two phases. Until May 12, police will prevent access to the sanctuary, parking lots and surrounding areas, advicing the pilgrims to return home.
The most complicated days will be the days of the apparition (May 12/13). Then, police forces will include officers on horseback, dogs and intervention units, to proctect the sanctuary from the pilgrims.
All access routes to the shrine will be closed. Aljustrel, the village of the three little shepherds (Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta), Valinhos (the site of the August apparition), and the Way of the Cross, will likewise be barred
Picture: © Bethania dos Santos, CC BY-NC-ND, #newsVxguxagido
3500 Republican National Guard agents prevent pilgrims from entering the Sanctuary of Fatima with the support of apostate António Marto
The rector of the shrine, Father Carlos Cabecinhas, sent a video message asking pilgrims not to approach the Shrine. Initially, the Portuguese Minister of Health had indicated that the physical pilgrimage could take place provided the necessary precautions were observed, but the apostate António Marto canceled it.
How many policemen guard the borders of Portugal? In other words, it does not matter that people smugglers enter, but it does mean that people want to go to Fatima.