Hermínio José - Maputo, Mozambique.
A branch of the Archdiocese of Maputo’s pastoral office organised the pilgrimage, which was led by the Auxiliary Bishop of Maputo, António Juliasse Ferreira Sandramo. The daylong spiritual event culminated with the celebration of the Eucharist at the summit of the mountain in Ressano Garcia, a small town in the Province of Maputo. Ressano Garcia is 80 Kilometres from the country’s capital, Maputo.
The atmosphere during the pilgrimage was characterised by a climate of deep prayer for the renewal and strengthening of the people’s faith. In particular, the faithful prayed for peace in their country and hoped that the Pope’s visit would enhance dialogue for peace in a nation that has had its share of internal armed conflict.
Devotion to the Virgin Mary
One of the organisers of the pilgrimage, Fr. Ricardo Ribeiro, told Vatican News that the pilgrimage was testimony to the deep devotion for the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Archdiocese of Maputo.
Auxiliary Bishop of Maputo, Antonio Juliasse for his part, told Vatican News that the Way of the Cross (re-enacted by pilgrims on their way to the Shrine) helped them draw closer to the suffering Christ. Jesus’ mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, witnessed the pain of her Son as he carried the Cross to Calvary.
Pope Francis is expected to visit Mozambique from 4 to 6 September. It is an Apostolic Voyage that will see the Holy Father also visit the countries of Madagascar and Mauritius.