The Order of Malta’s 61st International Pilgrimage
Led by the Grand Master, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, together with the ten newly elected members of the Sovereign Council, members and volunteers assisted persons from 45 countries on the five continents that participated in the pilgrimage.
Like every year on the first weekend in May, some 7400 people, including over 1300 malades, peacefully invaded the Marian sanctuary on the foothills of the Pyrenees for the most important of the Order’s pilgrimages.
The Grand Master participated in numerous events, including the Eucharistic procession with the sick to the Sanctuary, the pontifical high mass in the Basilica of St. Pius X celebrated by the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, followed by the angelus in the Grotta of Massabielle, Msgr. Jean Laffitte’s meeting with the chaplains and the candlelight Marian procession. Not to mention numerous encounters with members, volunteers and malades, offering each a handshake and a word of encouragement.
When consigning the participation medal to those making the pilgrimage, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto expressed his “thanks to you, dear pilgrims, for your participation, devotion and faith and for the unquenchable ‘esprit de corps’ of our beloved Order of Malta in this venerated Marian sanctuary. Dear pilgrims, we shall go forward together, enriched by the blessings we receive in this holy shrine to Mary, with renewed energy, hope and the courage to face the challenges ahead of us”.
The Maltese contingent, led by its President Marchesino Daniel de Petri Testaferrata, consisted of a Cardinal and 8 chaplains, 77 barelliere, 104 sorelle, 56 malades (10 of which were children), 50 pilgrims, 34 relatives of the malades, and 19 medical staff, totalling 348 persons. Amongst the Barelliere and Sorelle were 22 Cadets from Stella Maris and San Anton schools.
Appointment for everyone in the first weekend of May next year for the 62nd pilgrimage to Lourdes.