In May 2019 hundreds of people all over the Diocese of Eshowe embarked on a spiritual journey to Fatima. Every year, the pilgrims honour Mother Mary and praise and worship God for all He has done.
Every year in the month of May, the Catholics of Eshowe Diocese and other visiting dioceses travel to Fatima in Ntambanana, close to Empangeni, for a pilgrimage. We go there in honour of Our Lady of Fatima, remembering the apparitions of Mother Mary to three young sheperds in 1917 in Portugal. She asked them to devote themselves to the Holy Trinity and to pray the Rosary every day to bring peace to the world.
This year, many priests, religious brothers and sisters and lay people attended the pilgrimage in Ntambanana, starting on Saturday evening until early Sunday morning. Due to the large number of pilgrims the celebration was done outside the Church. It started with a praise and worship followed by a penitential service led by a young priest. He shared a story that encourages one to go for confession and reminds one of the importance of this sacrament. Afterwards we had Holy Mass and then a Healing Service conducted by Fr. Tapole who spoke about the many sicknesses we have. There are spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and relationships illnesses. “Most of the time we run to others and tell them we are sick, but we never talk to God” said Fr. Tapole. He added that we need to truly believe that we are healed.
We then had Benediction followed by a Candlelight procession where we walked around the Church with the statue of Mother Mary praying the Rosary. In the morning we had the final Mass celebrated by Bishop Thaddeus Kumalo. He urged us to pray for vocations, as it was Vocation Sunday.
This annual pilgrimage continues to be fruitful and successful every time; as sisters we always return to our homes filled with the spirit and new hope.
Text & Photos: Sr. Maria Machi