We might journey in a spirit of penance, fasting and giving alms along the way. We might do so joyously, in thanksgiving for blessings received, or in a spirit of supplication for blessings desired. Or we might do so simply to be blessed by being in the presence of holy relics or by walking on ground hallowed by Our Lord or the Saints.
Our Lady of Bethlehem Pilgrimage
Day 1: Friday, May 25, 2012
Dad and I were convicted that the entire family would participate in this year’s pilgrimage, the Second Annual Pentecost Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Bethlehem. We prepared for this pilgrimage for almost a year. The entire family was ready to walk for Our Lord, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We carried many private intentions on pilgrimage but we all shared the intention of strengthening our family virtue.
Alongside what the Church says, the testimony and commitment of the Christian family – your concrete testimony – is very important, especially when you affirm the inviolability of human life from conception until natural death, the singular and irreplaceable value of the family founded upon matrimony and the need for legislation which supports families in the task of giving birth to children and education them. Dear families, be courageous!
~Pope Benedict XVI, National day of Croation Catholic Families (June 5, 2011)
Once again, we united our pilgrimage with the Chartes Pentecost pilgrimage. My family adopted the Chartes theme.
St. Joseph was our patron for the first day. A day that started at 3am with an early wake-up call to prep breakfast for the pilgrims and hit the road for a 2.5 hr drive.
The day started with Mass at the mission prior to the 15 mile walk from Mission San Juan Bautista to Salinas.
Mass was celebrated by a newly ordained priest, Dad’s friend. He and Fr. M traveled over 2.5 hours. The chorister members in attendance sung for the Mass under Fr. M’s direction.
We embarked on the first leg of the pilgrimage at 10:30AM.
Fr. M and Fr. M joined us for the first 7 miles, along with newly ordained Fr. M’s visiting family.
There were about 34 pilgrims (including kids) on the first day.
The youngest pilgrim was Dragonfly, at 2 years old.
The first half of the first day’s walk was a grueling hike in the hills.
prayer and song
7 miles. break for fellowship and food.
It is customary for those who attend the priest's Ordination and/or first Mass to kiss the palms of his hands which have been consecrated by holy oils.
Dad continued on with the three girls for the additional 8 miles. I took the boys back to camp to give them a break while I helped with dinner and setting up camp.
+++All for the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, all through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, all in union with St. Joseph.+++
Lord, from You, every family in heaven and on earth takes it name. Father, You are Love and Life. through Your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman, and through the Holy Spirit, the fountain of divine charity, grant that every family on earth may become for each successive generation a true shrine of life and love.
Grant that Your grace may guide the thoughts and actions of husbands and wives for the good of their families and of all the families of the world.
Grant that the young may find in the family solid support for their human dignity and for their growth in truth and love.
Grant that love, strengthened by the grace of the sacrament of Marriage, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass.
Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that the Church may fruitfully carry out her worldwide mission in the family and through the family.
We ask this of You, who are Life, Truth and Love with the Son and the Holy Spirit.
~Bl. John Paul II, 1994 – year of family
Our Lady of Bethlehem, pray for us now, pray for us in every need, and be Thou with us at the hour of our death. Amen.
~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
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