For forty years, every August 15th, the date on which the Assumption of Our Lady into the Heavens is celebrated, nearly 250 pilgrims depart from Campo Belo, Minas Gerais, Brazil, for a 10-day pilgrimage on foot to the city of Aparecida do Norte, São Paulo, where one of the largest Marian Shrines in the world is located.
Sharing their stories of faith, the pilgrims face all the hardships of a 320 km hike in thanksgiving for the graces and blessings they have attained. One part of the group walks behind the rest, to pray a thousand Hail Marys a day — which until the final destination add up to about 10,000 Hail Marys — with great faith and devotion to the Most Holy Virgin.
This month, one of the stops for lunch and rest for the pilgrimage group was at the House of Light on the Hill *, in the city of Carmo da Cachoeira (MG). Monastics of the Grace Mercy Order, Children of Mary, and devout collaborators prepared to welcome the brothers and sisters of the faith journey, offering a community space where everyone could experience unity and share a love for the Virgin Mary.
Mother Maria del Salvador, monastic of the Order, received the Marian pilgrims with emotion. She reported:
"It was a joy, because it was about welcoming people who, in the simplicity of
their hearts, were going to make their sacrifice, their surrender, their offer to Mary.
It was an exercise in mutual love. They learned from us and we learned from them”.
The devotion, the love for Our Lady, and simplicity were the note of this meeting.
The following video illustrates the atmosphere of this genuine moment:
*House of Light on the Hill: nucleus of service, located in the city of Carmo da Cachoeira, affiliated with FRATERNIDADE - International Humanitarian Federation.