The tiny village of Jerico, Antioquia is expecting to at least double in size on Sunday when thousands are expected to visit to celebrate the canonization of a local nun.
The canonization ceremony of Mother Laura, the first Colombian ever to become a saint, will be held in the Vatican, but followed by worshipers in the village of only a few thousand inhabitants.
Since the Vatican announced the Colombian will be declared saint in December, the Antioquia Governor’s Office, Colombia’s Vice-Ministry of Tourism and several local authorities have been working full-time to prepare Jerico for the influx of thousands of worshipers and tourists.
The Antioquia Police Department expects between 15,000 and 22,000 people to come to the town Sunday to honor the nun, who according to the church cured two terminally ill people who had turned to her for help decades after the nun’s death in 1949.
To make sure the canonization celebration will proceed orderly, authorities have assured:
- 300 parking spaces for cars
- 300 parking spaces for buses
- 30 portable bathrooms
- Tourist information points
- Several screens on which the ceremony can be seen
- 200 extra policemen
The local hospital has also been preparing for possible incidents and accidents.
Hotels in the nearby towns of La Pintada, Tamesis and Pueblorrico have offered their services to shelter the religious tourists expected to visit the town.