Pandemic dampens largest celebration of the Assumption in Northern Europe

The covid-19 pandemic has sharply cut back one of the largest pilgrimages for Catholics in mainly Protestant northern Europe — the annual feast of the Assumption on August 15 at the Basilica of the Assumption in the village of Aglona in Latvia.

On the first evening of the celebration August 14, only a fraction of the usual crowd had gathered in a field around the Basilica, guarded and ushered by some 100 members of the Latvian National Guard, who ensured the worshippers stayed in their assigned areas and…