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Sodalitium Christianae Vitae - English / News  / Virgin of Chapi: More than 300 devotees participate in the MVC Arequipa pilgrimage

Virgin of Chapi: More than 300 devotees participate in the MVC Arequipa pilgrimage

Under the light of an imposing full moon, the pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Chapi, organized by the Christian Life Movement (MVC), took place on September 30th and October 1st with pilgrims from Lima and Chincha, in addition to the Arequipa hosts of the various educational and solidarity works of the Sodalitium.

Peregrinos rezando en el Santuario de la Virgen de Chapi - Arequipa

Pilgrims at the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Chapi – Arequipa.

To the “Mamita de Chapi”, as the pilgrims affectionately call her, a sanctuary that rises at an altitude of 2420 meters above sea level, our spiritual family has come to pray to her since October 1985, the same year in which Saint John Paul II, on February 2nd, after crowning the Child Jesus, crowned our mother amid applause from a crowd of faithful.

Peregrinación a Chapi 2023

The organization of this event was in charge of María Angela Macedo Masías, who informed us that on this occasion Emevecista from Lima and Chincha joined the pilgrimage, as well as pilgrims from Arequipa, among whom were students from the San Pablo Catholic University (UCSP), headed by the rector of the institution, Alonso Quintanilla. In addition, members of the Institute of the South (ISUR), the MVC Arequipa, Solidarity on the Move and the Sodalit community “Our Lady of Chapi” joined, with the participation of José David Correa, Superior General of the Sodalitium.

Peregrinos del MVC Lima

Pilgrims of the MVC Lima.

According to María Angela, one of the strongest experiences is that of the pilgrims who begin their pilgrimage at night and walk between 8 to 12 hours.

“With the cold, sleep, fatigue, offering Our Mother the gift of her effort and asking for each of her intentions. Many may decide to simply abandon, however, we saw them arriving accompanying each other, tired and happy to have made that offer, which, I am sure, is a joy for God and a testimony for everyone”.

“Another testimony is the effort of the team that ensures the realization of the Pilgrimage, those who, with the daily burden, family and other occupations, give their time generously to ensure that everyone arrives safely at the Sanctuary”, shared María Angela, who also thanked the members of the National Police of Peru for their collaboration with the protection of the pilgrims.

Participantes de la peregrinación del MVC al Santuario de la Virgen de Chapi, 2023.

Pilgrims who left from the Yarabamba district.Upon arriving at the sanctuary, the pilgrims participated in the Holy Mass celebrated by Father Alberto Ríos Neyra SCV, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Arequipa, who reminded them that we are all called to be saints, and urged them to live the faith as our Mother lived it. Mary, who said yes to God.

Stories of the pilgrims

In the experience of Jade Aracelly Berrios Pino, a student at UCSP, the path to the sanctuary was: “a route where the beauty of the sunrise, after a period of calm, inspires you to follow the rocky route hand in hand with a good friend. Until reaching with joy what seemed hidden and unattainable; where exhaustion serves as an offering for those who, with sweetness, intercede for us. A path that, full of blessing, I would undoubtedly travel again”

From Lima, Paola Riveros, psychologist at the Areté Center, traveled to make a pilgrimage to Chapi for the first time. She walked for 11 hours. “As I advanced and the path became more complicated, I experienced the strength and company of Mary, it was with the prayer of the Rosary that my fatigue mysteriously vanished and encouraged me to continue”.

For Estephany Molina, an Emevecista from Arequipa, she told us that it was a unique experience for her. “There were sections in which I wanted to give up, but I was able to continue because of the promise I made to the Virgin”.

Finally, Mauricio Valencia, a UCSP student, highlighted two moments of the pilgrimage that for him were significant: “praying with my brothers and supporting each other to continue”.

“When I arrived at the Sanctuary I felt great joy, it was a victory and the best feeling was seeing the Virgin Mary, I experienced at that moment that the pain and effort had been worth it”, he shared.

Peregrinos del MVC participando en la Misa en el Santuario de la Virgen de Chapi.

During the Mass in the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Chapi.