AMERICA/ARGENTINA - Towards the pilgrimage to Luján: “Let us learn from the pilgrims to continue building the common good”

Tuesday, 27 September 2022 popular worship   marian devotion   social situation   politics   youth   episcopal conferences  

Luján (Agenzia Fides) - "We are called to learn from the pilgrims, a true source of inspiration and teaching to continue building the common good... Ask the Virgin of Luján, Mother and Patroness of Argentina, to help the different leaders of the country, to have the look and heart of pilgrims, humble and helpful, always part of our people and never above them". This is the exhortation of the Presidency of the Argentine Bishops' Conference, addressed to the young people who are preparing for the 48th Pilgrimage to Luján, which will take place between 1 and 2 October, and which every year brings together thousands of young people from all over the country. The icon of the Virgin "Our Lady of Luján", Patroness of Argentina, dating back to the fourteenth century, is kept in the Basilica of Luján, 60 km from the capital Buenos Aires, the destination of countless pilgrimages throughout the year.
The motto of this year's pilgrimage is: "Mother, look at us with tenderness, we want to unite as a people". "This event has been, since its origins, a strong commitment to the life, hope and unity of the Argentine people" the Bishops write, inviting us to live this experience with the eyes and hearts of pilgrims. "We are witnesses of the faith of our people who set out to celebrate the God of life. It fills us with joy to know that the Shrines of our Homeland have their doors open to everyone, we recognize ourselves as part of the same family".
For this reason, the bishops recall "the multitudes of men and women of all ages" who participate in pilgrimages and celebrations of faith throughout the country, expressions of the strength of popular spirituality. In pilgrimages "the joy of feeling immersed in the midst of a multitude of brothers, walking together towards the God who awaits them is celebrated". The “culture of encounter” is manifested "in the participation of people from all social classes; coming from different realities and experiences, we walk and pray together; in the pilgrimages the other is respected, many times we walk to the rhythm of the other, and together we all help each other to reach the desired goal. The pilgrim recognizes himself as a walker towards the goal and therefore, does not assume that he has arrived or that he is above the others who walk alongside him. The shared pain and fatigue makes him supportive and committed to the common journey".
Argentina has been experiencing an economic and social crisis for some time, aggravated by a delicate political situation. Even recently, the bishops have denounced a "stifling inflation that generates misery", a growing number of people who go to soup kitchens every day, the elderly who cannot afford medicine, families whose income is increasingly insignificant. In addition, society is divided and confronted, it seems impossible to develop common projects, while "politicians need more than ever an exercise of responsibility that goes beyond their own interests" (see Fides, 1/8/2022). (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 27/9/2022)