ASIA/PAKISTAN - Marian pilgrimage "in digital form", but faith remains strong

Friday, 11 September 2020 evangelization   marian devotion   popular worship   local churches   coronavirus  

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "Every year we celebrate the feast of Mother Mary, on 8 September, by organizing a three-day national pilgrimage to Mariamabad, the 'city of Mary' in the Archdiocese of Lahore. The pilgrimage involves thousands of faithful. This year, due to Covid-19, the celebrations schedule was curtailed and the faithful attended following coronavirus procedures. However, spiritual communion was felt and the community gathered around the heavenly Mother to ask for her protection. Despite the difficulty, Marian devotion is strong, the faith of the community remains steadfast": Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw of Lahore told Agenzia Fides, speaking of the special pilgrimage of 2020. The Archbishop expresses "the sadness of the faithful, who every year came from all over Pakistan to invoke grace to Mary and who this year were unable to move". However "those who were unable to visit the National Center for Marian Pilgrimage, this year were able to follow Mass through the service online on the Facebook page of Catholic TV, the official service of the Archdiocese of Lahore", reports Mgr. Shaw.
"At the moment - continued the Prelate - we have two points on which to focus: the first is to save humanity from the danger of the coronavirus; the second is to save faith and in this sense the Church has done everything possible, encouraging the faithful to unite in spiritual communion to receive blessings and to connect via the web to be present, at least in a virtual way, at the Shrine".
The National Pilgrimage in Mariamabad has been taking place every year for more than 70 years and is a gathering in which about 200 thousand faithful from all over the country take part, who for three days settle near the Shrine. Christians of other confessions and non-Christian faithful also come to implore special graces. (AG) (Agenzia Fides, 11/9/2020)