MAPUTO APRIL 29, 2016(CISA)-Thousands of faithful from various parishes of the Archdiocese of Maputo and other parts of the country are preparing for the annual pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima of Namaacha diocesan shrine in Maputo.
This year’s pilgrimage starts on May 6, 2016 and is dedicated to the Year of Mercy: “Merciful as the Father.”
Traditionally, every year, thousands of Catholics from all parishes in the Archdiocese of Maputo gather to honour the Virgin Mother.
Bishop João Carlos Nunes, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Maputo, said that the central theme of this year’s pilgrimage, “Merciful as the Father,” is the overall message of the Jubilee Year of Mercy as proclaimed by the Holy Father, Pope Francis.
He called on all the faithful of the diocese to live the mercy of God intensely by giving and seeking forgiveness in their lives.
“They should strive to transform lives by engaging in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy,” Vatican Radio quoted Bishop Nunes as saying.
Namaacha pilgrimage organiser, Fr Ercílio Manhique said that the great diocesan event is an opportunity for the faithful of the diocese to strengthen their faith.
The pilgrimage is not a leisure outing picnic as some people tend to think.
As such, the Church wishes to call for a sober atmosphere to prevail throughout the spiritual event. “All pilgrims must desist from behaviour that incites violence and disturbs the ordinary course of prayers and sacred climate,” Fr Manhique emphasized.
The pilgrimage will be characterised by three days of intense prayer and spiritual activities.
The Month of May is set aside for to devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary.