The Maltese Association of the Order of Malta held its Annual Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary in Gozo on Saturday 30th May where about 250 patients and elderly from Malta and Gozo were accompanied by members of the Order and volunteers to spend a lovely day together. The weather was beautiful and the sea was very calm. The Maltese contingent crossed over to Gozo by ferry boat and arrived at Ta’ Pinu in good time, under the usual police escort.

 The elderly and handicapped were quickly helped off the buses and settled inside the Sanctuary. Holy Mass was concelebrated by H.L. Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo assisted by MASMOM Chaplain Mgr Paul Vella. Members of the Order read the Epistle and Prayers of the Faithful; the Bishop gave an excellent homily and Dr Philip Farrugia-Randon, Maltese Association President read the Prayer of the Order.

Holy Communion was received by all those present. At the end of the Mass, the bishop walked down the church aisle with the elevated Holy Eucharist blessing the entire congregation.

The Bishop then greeted all the pilgrims and comforted Our Lords the Sick with his kind words and blessing.

After the Church service, the elderly and infirm were helped on to their respective transport vehicles to be taken to Villa Fiorita, in Marsalforn were a delicious lunch was served by Maltese Association members and volunteers in a spirit of conviviality. During the meal, vintage guitar and accordion music, with professional quality singing was provided the usual Gozitan folk group. The event was enjoyed by all and came to a happy conclusion by 3.00 p.m. when all vehicles set off to return to Malta on the 4.00 p.m. ferry.

Thanks are due to His Lordship the Bishop of Gozo, the Clergy, The Rector of Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary, the volunteer helpers and singers, the police and the organizers for the repeated success of this annual commitment of the Maltese Association of the Order of Malta.