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Today, I begin my adventure, a 25-day immersive study pilgrimage following Christ through the light of Sts. Francis and Clare. I am reminded of what Blessed John Paul II said about our universal pilgrim journey:
“From birth to death, the condition of each individual is that of the homo viator (man journeying).
Sacred Scripture, for its part, often attests to the special significance of setting out to go to sacred places. There was a tradition that the Israelite go on pilgrimage to the city where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, or visit the shrine at Bethel (cf Jg 20:18), or the one at Shiloh where the prayer of Samuel’s mother, Hannah, was heard (cf 1 Sam 1:3). Willingly subjecting himself to the Law, Jesus too went with Mary and Joseph as a pilgrim to the Holy City of Jerusalem (cf. Lk 2:41). The history of the Church is the living account of an unfinished pilgrimage.
Pilgrimages have always been a significant part of the life of the faithful, assuming different cultural forms in different ages.
A pilgrimage evokes the believer’s personal journey in the footsteps of the Redeemer: it is an exercise of practical asceticism, of repentance for human weaknesses, of constant vigilance over one’s own frailty, of interior preparation for a change of heart.
Through vigils, fasting and prayer, the pilgrim progresses along the path of Christian perfection, striving to attain, with the support of God’s grace, ‘the state of the perfect man, to the measure of the full maturity of Christ’ (Eph 4:13).” – Blessed John Paul II
Be assured I will carry your expressed and unspoken intentions with me to the Holy Places and to the altars where Mass or prayer is celebrated with Pope Francis or our priest-guides. You can follow me at any one of these social media venues:Read More
WITH THE WEIGHT OF THE CHURCH ON HIS SHOULDERS, POPE FRANCIS STILL PRAYS ALL THE MYSTERIES OF THE ROSARY EVERY DAY! Can WE really say we are too busy? Try breaking it up over the day into single decades, that’s what I do. I’m more focused on the individual mystery and it’s a wonderful way to increase my awareness of Christ’s presence throughout a long day.
Here’s the story of Pope Francis’s commitment to the daily rosary back when he was a Jesuit priest visiting Rome.
“If I remember well it was 1985. One evening I went to recite the Holy Rosary that was being led by the Holy Father [John Paul II]. He was in front of everybody, on his knees. The group was numerous; I saw the Holy Father from the back and, little by little, I got lost in prayer. I was not alone: I was praying in the middle of the people of God to which I and all those there belonged, led by our Pastor.”
“In the middle of the prayer I became distracted, looking at the figure of the Pope: his pity, his devotion was a witness,” he continued. “And the time drifted away, and I began to imagine the young priest, the seminarian, the poet, the worker, the child from Wadowice… in the same position in which knelt at that moment, reciting Ave Maria after Ave Maria. His witness struck me.”
I felt that this man, chosen to lead the Church, was following a path up to his Mother in the sky, a path set out on from his childhood. And I became aware of the density of the words of the Mother of Guadalupe to Saint Juan Diego: “Don’t be afraid, am I not perhaps your mother?” I understood the presence of Mary in the life of the Pope.
That testimony was not forgotten in an instant. From that time on I recite the mysteries of the Rosary EVERY DAY.” – adapted from 30 Days magazine.Read More