The Archbishop of Quito, Fausto Trávez Trávez forbade the group of good Catholic men who for two decades have been bringing the Statue from the choir to the Church from carrying out this work. He also prohibited them to organize the Procession of the Dawn, a solemn procession carrying a smaller statue of Our Lady through the streets of the city in the dawn hours of her feast day, February 2.
He passed these charges to the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), who overnight entered the picture and took over. The reason for this sudden complacence of the Archbishop with a group that says the Latin Mass, which he forbids in his whole Archdiocese, seem to be some rare exchange of favors on both parts.
Indeed, the common talk in Quito was that the Archbishop had been pressured by creditors to pay the huge debt he had assumed during Pope Francis’ visit to Quito in 2015 and was unable to pay. It was being said everywhere that the SSPX advanced the needed amount of money in exchange for the Prelate’s pledge to replace that group of good Catholics who traditionally oversaw the descent of the Statue and organized the Procession of the Dawn.
I also heard from well-informed persons that, when the SSPX priests tried to lift the Statue from the choir to bring her down to the Church, the Statue became so heavy that they were unable to do so. By the way, it is known that this is a common way for the Statue to show her displeasure: the Statue becomes so heavy that it cannot be transported even by a group of strong men.
According to these trustworthy sources, the situation was so embarrassing that the nuns did not know what to do. The Archbishop was called and he decided that the Franciscans should carry it down. The Statue allowed herself to be transported by the Franciscans, but they could not move the Child Jesus, who in turn became insurmountably heavy. So, for that first night the Statue remained in the Church without the Christ Child in her arm. The next morning the Mother Superior could easily pick up the Child and place Him in the arm of His Mother.