Centennial Pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes
Posted in General on November 27, 2017

Over seventy pilgrimages from North America were led by Canon Michael Stein and the good services of Syversen Touring from October 27-November 4 on a pilgrimage through Spain, Lourdes, and finally to Fatima in the centennial year of these apparitions. In Fatima they joined the Institute’s superiors, canons, sisters, oblates, and seminarians, as well as over 1,000 pilgrims coming from various Institute apostolates in Europe and Africa, for three days of liturgies, conferences, and devotions under the guidance of His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke.

 

Day 1: Pilgrims arrived this morning in Barcelona, Spain and traveled 30 miles West to go up the Montserrat Mountain to visit Santa Maria de Montserrat monastery. Tradition has it that the Benedictine monks could not move the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Infant Jesus to construct their monastery, choosing to instead build around it. The statue's sanctuary is located at the rear of the chapel, where an altar of gold surrounds the icon, and is now a site of pilgrimage.” The pilgrimage started with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in this very place.

Day 2 of the Pilgrimage began with Canon Stein offering morning Mass for everyone at Santa Maria de Montserrat. Pilgrims then spent most of the day driving through the Pyrenees en route to Lourdes - approximately 400 km. The lengthy bus ride was a time of rest, but also of prayer and instructions. In addition to the historical lessons provided by one of the guides, Canon Stein gave a conference on the Salesian Spirituality of the Institute. Upon arrival, they were able to visit the Grotto of Lourdes, attend a candlelight procession and pray the Rosary. “I am the Immaculate Conception.” (Our Lady of Lourdes, March 25, 1858)

Day 3 started out at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Lourdes where Canon Stein offered Sunday morning Mass for the Solemnity of the Kingship of Christ in the main Church at the top - the "Upper Church". Pilgrims then traveled to the Boly Mill where St. Bernadette's family lived and worked until she was 10 years old. Afterwards, they toured the Cachot, a former prison and the place where St. Bernadette's family moved after they were evicted from the Mill. St. Bernadette lived at the Cachot during the apparitions of Our Lady. Later, everyone went to the entrance of the baths, walked back to the Basilica and Grotto of Lourdes and had Canon Stein bless items. The day ended with the Rosary and a night at the Grotto.

On Monday, October 30th (Day 4), it was the 150th Anniversary of St. Bernadette's Religious profession. Pilgrims had morning Mass at the parish church, Sacred Heart, in Lourdes. The original church burned down after St. Bernadette's death but the current church has the font that she was baptized in and her pastor is buried in the crypt. The group then traveled to the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos (dedicated to the Virgin Mary) in Leon, Spain. The exterior and interior of the Burgos Cathedral are just stunning and full of incredible details.

On October 31st (Day 5), pilgrims visited the Discalced Carmelites monastery in Segovia where St. John of the Cross is buried. During some "free time" in Spain, many visited the Segovia Cathedral and the Roman aqueduct. To conclude Day 5, everyone visited La Encarnacion Monastery in Avila, where St. Teresa of Avila lived. Canon Stein offered Mass for pilgrims at the monastery.

Day 6, November 1st, All Saints Day, was spent visiting the incredibly well preserved medieval city of Avila before traveling to Fatima. In the bus the pilgrims received an instruction on the history of the town of Fatima and a spiritual conference on the Liturgy. Evening Mass was offered at the Holy Cross Monastery.

Day 7, November 2nd, All Souls Day, although a rainy day, represented the downpour of graces upon all the travelers. Pilgrims followed in the footsteps of the apparitions praying the Rosary, first visiting the places of the 3 apparitions of the angel in 1916. Then the group visited the local parish and prayed for the Poor Souls at the village cemetery. That evening Msgr. Wach offered a Solemn High Requiem Mass with the Pontifical Assistance of Cardinal Burke in the Basilica. It was here that the 70+ American pilgrims were joined by more than 1,000 others from Institute Apostolates around the world. Confessors heard confessions in over 5 different languages, their confessionals being marked with flags of the countries whose languages they spoke.

Day 8, November 3rd, was in most ways the climax of the pilgrimage: Solemn Pontifical Mass by Cardinal Burke for thousands of Institute pilgrims followed by a conference on Fatima by His Eminence. Canon Stein led the pilgrims who braved the rain in the Stations of the Cross.

Day 9, November 4th, after an early Solemn High Mass by Msgr. Schmitz, all of the international pilgrims processed to the chapel of Apparitions where Msgr. Wach renewed the consecration of the entire Institute of Christ the King and all of its branches and all of its apostolates to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The American pilgrims, with hearts full of joy and consolation, then traveled to their final destination: Lisbon. Here they venerated relics of St. Anthony of Padua and visited his birthplace (yes, in Lisbon!). That evening in the hotel Canon Stein blessed a second round of sacramental and the newly ordained Fr. Gallagher offered his First Blessing to all. The enthusiasm and good spirit of the concluding dinner was a tangible example of how a spiritual family had been formed over the course of the pilgrimage.

Day 10, November 5th, the pilgrims meet one last time all together and end the pilgrimage in the same holy way it began: with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Special thanks to Mark Nemecek for contributing his photos to this group selection

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Centennial Pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes
Centennial Pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes
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