Aparecida 07/08/13, (Noticias sodálites – Brasil). In thanksgiving for the graces received at World Youth Day the pilgrims of the Christian Life Movement visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida on July 29th.
After a few intense days at World Youth Day, a number of young pilgrims of the Christian Life Movement gathered at the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, the National Shrine of Brasil. Located in the Paraíba Valley, the city of Aparecida is home to a massive Marian shrine that hosts millions of pilgrims annually. The shrine was built after a few local fishermen discovered a statue of the Virgin while casting their nets. Due to the unlikely nature of its discovery the statue soon became a cause of great devotion which eventually brought about the erection of the shrine and the development of the city.
Hundreds of youth were able to appreciate the beauty of the shrine dedicated to the Virgin along with the central moment of the day which was dedicated to the Eucharistic celebration. CLM pilgrims from all over the world actively participated in the different parts of the mass, including: the readings, the petitions, and the placing at the feet of Mary all of the fruits and gratitude for WYD. The Sodalit priests that had participated in WYD accompanied the celebration.
At the conclusion of the mass some pilgrims of the CLM were invited to carry the statue of Our Lady of Aparecida, which was then carried in procession toward the high altar of the Basilica with songs and praises.
For Moshé Abensur, one of the young Peruvian pilgrims, the experience of carrying the statue of the Virgin was, “One of the most beautiful things to happen to me during the trip to WYD. Our Lady of Aparecida, Patron of Brazil, sought me out, a clumsy son that’s not always thankful for God’s gifts, so that I would carry her. Out of all the people present I was chosen. To many it could seem to be a mere coincidence, but I believe it was her that chose me, to tell me never to forget about her, and that at her side I will remain strong.”
“During the pilgrimage to Aparecida I had the opportunity to carry the Virgin at the end of the Mass,” said Mariafe Velarde, also a pilgrim. “It helped me to better understand my experience at WYD, to rediscover the love the Lord has for me, and how He calls me to draw near to Him, and let myself be guided and accompanied by Mary throughout the whole journey just as she did for me when I was carrying her. Seeing the zeal of Brazilians for Our Lady of Aparecida and the joy of people looking to her showed me that she is the best example of faithfulness and love for the Lord.” For her WYD was also, “a strong experience of discovering myself as part of the one Catholic Church. But also in Aparecida I could see the vigor and importance of the spiritual family, and with certainty that together, at the hand of Mary, we can change the world. As a Sodalit Family we paid a visit to Mary; and as her sons and daughters we entrusted ourselves to her guidance. As Mary did, and at the invitation of Pope Francis, I know that I am called, together with all of the Church, to go, without fear, and serve.”
The Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida is a basilica dedicated to Our Lady of Aparecida, Patron of Brazil. It’s found in the city of Aparecida, in the state of Sao Paulo. The building takes up a constructed area of 23,000 square meters (250,000 square feet.). Approximately 12 million pilgrims visit each year many of whom are from Brazil as elsewhere the world. It is considered one of the most important Marian shrines of the Church.
The Sodalitium of Christian Life has one community in Aparecida where its members, in addition to promoting the CLM in the region of the Paraíba Valley, help in the area of information of the National Shrine.