27 july, 2023
Around 400 Scouts Set Off On Pilgrimage with Our Lady of Fatima in Preparation for WYD Lisbon 2023
In an initiative promoted by the Corpo Nacional de Escutas (CNE), young Portuguese, French, Rwandan, Haitian and Madagascan scouts set off for Lisbon, accompanied by Our Lady of Fatima.
In the early afternoon, around 400 scouts set off on a pilgrimage on foot from Cova da Iria with the Image of the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima, heading to Lisbon, where they will participate in World Youth Day (WYD Lisbon 2023). #AndaComMaria is the name of the initiative launched by the Corpo Nacional de Escutas (CNE), which brought together scouts from Portugal, France, Rwanda, Haiti and Madagascar in a walk promoted as “an opportunity of faith, prayer and sharing, (...) for young people from all countries and a communion with different languages, cultures and ecclesial affiliations”.
“This departure from the Little Chapel of the Apparitions is significant, but so is the willingness to set out promptly to walk with Mary,” said the Rector of the Shrine of Fatima, just before the statue was placed on the platform on which she will be carried on during the pilgrimage.
“This initiative, promoted by the CNE, has a great symbolism, because it shows us the young face of the Church on the way to WYD Lisbon 2023, and tells us that the Shrine, which is a place of gathering of so many people, is also a place of departure, of sending and of mission”, said Father Carlos Cabecinhas to the media that covered the departure of this pilgrimage in Cova da Iria.
The National Chaplain of the CNE and World Chaplain of the International Catholic Conference of Scouting, Father Luís Marinho, who gave the starting signal at the Little Chapel, sees this walk with Mary as an ideal opportunity for young people to “rediscover themselves, others and God”, and recalls that Fatima is a place where young people can learn the way to a life “happy and committed to the world, in the light of the Gospel”.
“It was here, in 1917, that it all began: the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to three children, to whom she taught the way of the Gospel and of a happy life, such as that proposed to us by the Scout Movement. The story of Fatima is open to the future. A century later, many people have begun or resumed a journey of life and faith. The path we are about to walk is also a path open to the future,” said Father Luís Marinho, inviting the young scouts to embrace a life with Mary that is “more fruitful and committed to the transformation of the world and to the beauty of the Gospel”.
“Welcome this image with enthusiasm. We have a Mother who accompanies us on the path of life and loves us to the end,” concluded the World Chaplain.
The platform carrying the Image n°2 of the Pilgrim Virgin of Our Lady of Fatima then left the Chapel of the Apparitions to join the vehicle that will take her to Lisbon, on a 135-kilometre journey through Minde, Alcanena, Pernes, Verdelho, Santarém, Cartaxo, Azambuja, Carregado and Vila Franca de Xira. Each day the young scouts will cover an average of 25 kilometres and in some places they will organise processions of the Pilgrim Image with the local community.
On their way out, at the top of the Shrine, behind the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, the group of 400 scouts also received safety instructions for the walk, before they leave in smaller groups of about 20.