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"Omni in re, semper, et ubique tantum Deum video, ipsum Deum." MAM

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Pilgrimage of SDR Associate Members and Believers

from Raslavice to Rome, the Eternal City

In the Jubilee Year of Mercy we welcomed our Associates and Believers from Raslavice, and our Sisters from Slovak Province, in Rome, on September 14-18, 2016. It was a special grace, along with them, to visit the Holy Doors of Mercy at the Papal Basilicas in Rome.

The first day was a special richness for us. We attended the General Audience with our Holy Father, Francis, who, at the end of Audience, greeted our group with the words: “I greet the Slovak-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, particularly Parish groups and pilgrimage participants of the Associates of the Congregation of the Divine Redeemer.
Brothers and sisters, tomorrow is a Feastday of the Patroness of Slovakia – Our Lady of Seven Sorrows. Jesus gave her to each of us as a Mother. May she accompany you on the way to Him. Gladly I bless all of you.”

 

The most impressive was the pilgrimage by going through the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica. We started this pilgrimage by the Castel Sant’ Angelo where we received from voluntaries crosses with emblems of the Jubilee Year. We walked the marked path towards the Basilica, reciting common prayers and songs. We deeply realized the essence of the Jubilee Year by wayfaring, crossing Holy Door and obtaining indulgences. The important thing was the spiritual pilgrimage - transition from evil to good, changing “old man” to “new man” which must take place in the heart. When we walked through the nave of the Basilica, with eyes fixed on the tomb of St. Peter and in the spirit to his successors, from the depths of our hearts, we sang our Slovak Papal Anthem ”V Sedmobrežnom kruhu Ríma...“ (In the Circle of Seven Hills of Rome).

On September 15th, Feastday of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Patroness of Slovakia, we visited St. Peter’s Basilica. It was a precious moment because we venerated the Pieta - Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, which the genial Master Michelangelo Buonarotti, created as a 24-year-old boy.

Each of the four Papal Basilicas left in us great spiritual riches. In the Basilica, Santa Maria Maggiore, we found relics of the manger of Bethlehem. The most precious in this Basilica, for us, Slovaks, was a historic act because, in this basilica, Pope Adrian II, in 867, placed on the Main Altar the Slavonic Liturgical Books in the presence of St. Cyril and Methodius and their disciples from Great Moravia. Thus Pope Hadrian II approved the Slavonic Liturgy translated by St. Cyril. In the Baptismal Chapel of the Basilica, in 1998, was the unveiled memorial board of St. Cyril and Methodius, in memory of the approval Slavonic, as a liturgical language, by Pope Hadrian II.

We visited the Church of St. Alphonsus and venerated the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help by a Marian song. For the Sisters and the SDR Associates, this church is precious. Our Foundress, Ven. Mother Alphonse Marie chose her Religious name, after St. Alphonsus. Our pilgrimage continued to the Basilica of St. Clement, Basilica of the Holy Cross, the Holy Stairs, etc.

On the last day of our pilgrimage we prayed The Angelus with our Holy Father, Francis, on St. Peter’s Square. At the farewell from Rome we stopped at the Pontifical College of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.

In the Basilica of St. Paul, Msgr. Valerio Lazzeri, Bishop of Diocese Lugano (Switzerland) celebrated Holy Mass. During the homily he encouraged us and all the pilgrims: “Here, in Rome, we find the starting point: We are loved and chosen by God to become EUCHARISTIO – to give thanks – thanksgiving. Despite our weakness and sin, we have to show the world the fruit of mercy. Each of us is a missionary in the world. Let's go back home with a mission: everything that we will do let it be done in God's name. We came to Rome in order to change ourselves, to change our hearts. We can talk to all about what we saw, what we experienced, what we felt.

We can bring the flame of mercy, we saw burn – wherever we go...“ And everything “to the honor and glory of God and the salvation of immortal souls “ (Ven. Mother Alphonse Marie).

Sister Arimatea Kiškovská     

 

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