Police: even up to 10,000 bikers gathered at Jasna Góra
The police blocked entry routes to the Jasna Góra meadows. Bikers who couldn't enter gathered in the nearby streets. Some 100 fines were issued, and videos and photos from the event are to be examined by the prosecutor and sanitary authority. Sunday's pilgrimage marked the start of the biking season.
A motorcycle pilgrimage to Jasna Góra began on Sunday at 11 a.m. The main point of the event was a holy mass at the meadows at the foot of the monastery.
Ahead of the event the police had been reassured by the organiser that the expected attendance would not surpass 2,000 bikers, said the Częstochowa police spokesperson Sabina Chyra-Giereś.
Based on that information, as well as their own, the police prepared adequate resources to secure the event. "As the more bikers were coming, the city police chief decided to close off roads leading the to the meadows and not to let in any more people" - the spokesperson said.
The police also dispatched more officers - there were 86 at the location.
The police have estimated that approximately 10,000 motorcyclists arrived at Jasna Góra on Sunday. Around 3,000 of those who couldn't make it inside gathered in the streets surrounding the meadows and monastery.
Chyra-Giereś reassured that the police had managed to keep sanitary regime. "Apart from issuing announcements, the police were also ID-checking people during the mass" - she said.
She also informed that 156 people had there IDs checked, 130 larger groupings were checked, and nearly 100 people received fines for violating restrictions. "The evidence collected at the event will be passed on to the prosecutor's office and sanitary authority" - the officer added.
The organisers of the rally said they had called upon the participants to follow the sanitary restrictions, and hanged posters reminding of the current limitations.
The spokesperson of the Jasna Góra Monastery, Father Michał Legan, told TVN24 this year's pilgrimage was organised on a very small scale. "Usually it's hundreds of thousand people, this year, due to the epidemic, the organisers limited this number" - Legan said.
"We, at Jasna Góra, in turn made sure all sanitary restrictions were observed. The pilgrims are quite disciplined, we see they are wearing masks and keep social distance. We also see they use hand sanitiser dispensers dispersed around Jasna Góra, and we're glad to see they take responsibility" - he added.
The Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, Poland, is a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary and one of the country's places of pilgrimage. The image of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, also known as Our Lady of Częstochowa, to which miraculous powers are attributed, is one of Jasna Góra's most precious treasures.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, TVN24 Katowice
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Silesian Police