ARGENTINA, Constanza Manrique •
On September 11, the fifth pilgrimage of couples to Lujan, organized by the Los Olmos Shrine, in charge of Father Marcelo Gallardo, took place. Years ago we walked praying for the shrine, which was finally built in the midst of the pandemic, against all odds. Today we walk to give thanks for the shrine. The Blessed Mother has made her home among us. —
With a radiant sky and under the immense cape of Mary, we gathered at Los Olmos, the meeting point and headquarters of Schoenstatt Pilar. We are many, every year we are more and more. The shrine rises in spotless white among the ancient woods, the exuberant nature as a perfect sign of God on earth.
A true pilgrimage
So we set out to walk. We set out as a group of 120 people. The atmosphere is relaxed, we breathe eagerness, happiness, devotion and faith.
Eight hours of walking through open country paths, avoiding the mud of previous rains, a metaphor of the mud that we want to remove from our paths of life. All together and in pairs, with exercises and dynamics that guide us throughout the walk. Meanwhile, from the cars that accompany us as support, the music flows and the atmosphere is one of absolute peace.
Throughout the walk, we make refreshing and invigorating stops. We feel Mary’s presence among us. The atmosphere of prayer and contemplation is permanent. We are not alone.
And when our legs begin to feel the steps we have walked, lunch arrives like an oasis. The baguettes seem to fall from the sky and we devour while laughing and chatting with each other.
We keep walking, we keep praying, we keep talking. We have time, time that is a miracle, and we are on our way to Mary. Father confesses and the graces multiply. We talk among ourselves, with ourselves and with God.
The experience is truly unique. Of conjugal communion, conducive to mutual observation, dialogue, rethinking and all in the light of faith and the love of Mary that moves our steps.
Arriving at the Basilica of Luján is empowering
And suddenly we see it. The dome of the Basilica looms imposingly and we are almost there. We are tired but energetic, we want to get there! We exercise body and soul.
Reaching the Basilica of Lujan is empowering, one gains strength in this mutual walk, in this loving bet to continue doing it hand in hand. We feel rejuvenated. There is plenty of energy to continue enjoying, smiling and taking pictures. Mass awaits us in that castle of the Virgin, another prize of God on earth.
Original: Spanish 2021-09-18. Translated by María Aragón